I am a big fan of "So You Think You Can Dance". Not a closet fan - an upfront I-hate-reality-TV/instant-fame-shows SYTYCD convert. Me - who believes in the power of words and the magic of music. I have succumbed to the raw emotive qualities of dance.
I have seen two amazing moments this season on SYTYCD. The first was a short piece by Mia Michaels called "Addiction" that caught me off guard and left me silently crying. The second was a depiction of a piece of the breast cancer struggle: the woman trying to deal with it and the friend who gave his best to support her.
And what (you ask) does this have to do with mentoring and networking? A lot if you're one of the artists in my community. And perhaps even more if you join me from any of my other circles.
That's my point today: We trap ourselves in our heads. We think through situations - simple or intense, career or personal. We talk about it - the theory, the probable.
We think through how to connect with each other. We think about points of reference, shared experience and tactical requests for support. We often keep how we feel about it to ourselves.
Sometimes, it's simply about the body. Your real smile. A true puzzled look. An impulsive hug. The non-verbal that says to the person listening/watching: I'm really feeling this moment with you as large or small as it may be. A non-verbal cue that is more genuine than all the compliments and advice there is.
And beyond the physical (which we, in the business world, try often to forget exists)...
Mentoring and networking - really building a community with ties that span beyond the project or the immediate need - needs more than thinking. It begs honest self expression to create a shared experience.
I'm not saying go dance :-). I'm saying your emotions have a place - however small or big - in creating connections.