What ‘Build connection, strengthen communities’ means to me and my business

The quality of our relationships affects the quality of lives.

As Harville Hendrix quoted “We are born in relationship, we are wounded in relationship, and we can be healed in relationship”.

This may be a profound way to look at this year’s TEDxWarrington theme but let me explain some more…

A story of rebuilding trust to re-establish connection

Trust is one of the most common themes I hear about in both business and private practice work. Whilst many things can contribute to having, or not having trust, what is fascinating is how, more and more, we have begun to lose trust in ourselves.

The last two years (the Covid-19 pandemic) created the perfect storm for us to question many aspects of our lives.

We were forced into circumstances that placed a magnifying glass on the fundamentals: health, family, basic provisions, education, RELATIONSHIPS – the one we have with ourselves and those we have with others.

During the pandemic, I experienced clients feeling very vulnerable, not just about the wider world and circumstances, but it raised a child-like fear within them – it made them question themselves, their businesses, their decision making, their relationships, how good a parent they were.

I became interested in the extent to which people were feeling so under-resourced to cope.

For teachers, doctors, nurses, and many others on the front line, there was an enormous pressure to ‘keep going’. Equally for those not on the front line, they would talk of similar experiences – companies as well as individuals.

I realised the extent to which we were all forced to behave in certain ways and follow the strict rules of lockdown, took us back to feeling our most powerless – even infantilised.

I was asked to do talks on resilience, self-care, managing stress and anxiety, whilst being inundated with requests to offer therapy and counselling.

There were many reasons people were looking for support, all unique to them, but the most common theme was how affected they had become from a lack of connection to others and in turn themselves and the profound impact that was having.

To re-establish a connection with themselves and then feel more equipped to connect with others, I worked predominantly on supporting people to rebuild trust and their psychological resources.

Though exacerbated by the pandemic, feeling confident, connected, and empowered to influence your own life is essential at any time.

All human beings have three core psychological hungers:

Connection is more authentic when our basic needs are met

That is why my work (even in organisations) focuses on self-awareness and developing skills to enable greater, more authentic connections where these fundamental needs can be met.

When we build connections with ourselves, we can better connect with others. When we connect with others, we create communities.

What is positive to see, is communities used to be more about ‘being the same”, now they are becoming more about embracing the diversity of people and life.

TEDxWarrington is an opportunity to embrace what we don’t know

Of course, having some shared / common interests is a key part of connecting. However, the more balance we can bring to creating spaces for commonality and for difference, we develop our capacity to embrace what we don’t know and the vulnerability that comes with that.

Trust allows us to create places of safety where people and communities can thrive and flourish: schools, workplaces, homes, social and educational environments.

TED and TEDx created an online / event community where we could bring ideas. Any ideas.

The challenge of having a short time window to try and capture the imagination, to inform, support, or educate has created a pathway to people and experiences from all walks of life.

What is consistent? They are all wanting to influence and make positive change in the world. They have found something in their everyday that makes them want to share and amplify the possible.

Which brings me back to the Harville Hendrix quote:

We were born to be in relationship (connected to others) and we are mostly affected by what happens in our relationships, both work and life.

We tend to do better and recover from adversity when we are connected and supported by others and feel we are part of something bigger.

Discover more at

Blog by Joanna Williams.

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TEDxWarrington 2022
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