“It was really a life-changing experience, but it made me realize I’m hard wired to connect, as we all are. When we don’t have that connection in our lives we dysfunction,and that’s what’s happening today.” – Mike Stallard

In this episode of Finding Brave, you’ll be hearing how there’s an epidemic of loneliness today in America and other democracies around the world that makes people less resilient in coping with stress. Why is this something we need to pay attention to? Our expert guest today shares the serious outcomes of low connection coupled with a high level of stress, and how human connection is a superpower that makes you healthier, happier and more productive.

Michael Stallard is a keynote speaker and expert on how effective leaders boost human connection in workplace cultures to improve the health and performance of individuals and organizations. He is president of the Connection Culture Group, a leadership training firm, and the author of two books, Connection Culture and Fired Up or Burned Out.  His clients have included Costco, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NASA, and Turner Construction Company. Texas Christian University founded the TCU Center for Connection Culture based on Michael’s work.

Not only does Mike share how strengthening our connections will benefit our overall well-being, but he backs it up with fascinating studies and data, as well as his own personal experiences. Reaching out and connecting with others may not be easiest thing to do for some of us, but it truly is time to “find brave” and connect with the people around us in a much deeper way, to enhance our life experience and strengthen our ability to live well and healthfully.

Highlights from this Episode:

  • Today’s Finding Brave Tip – what is the nature of your connections? [1:35]
  • A powerful example of true connection from Mike’s personal life [4:18]
  • The best example of a strong corporate culture that he has seen and why it was such a surprise to him [6:50]
  • What two qualities Mike’s clients possess and how he’s helping them build a culture of connection [10:42]
  • The loneliness research Mike has conducted and the shocking results he discovered around the issue [12:31]
  • How trauma and stress affects the brain, and the way connection heals this [16:45]
  • What we should be looking for in the people we’re connecting with [20:10]
  • The ways in which the stress-connection gap varies between different groups of people [24:21]
  • 5 ways we can boost connection in order to make a difference [25:50]
  • What future leaders need to consider in order to build a culture of connection [32:31]

For more information:



Connect with Mike:




Resources Mentioned:

Mike’s Books, Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy and Understanding at Work & Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity, and Productivity

Get sample chapters of Connection Culture plus a 28-page free ebook, 100 Ways to Connect by signing up for Mike’s newsletter (click here

Kathy’s Forbes interview with Mike:
What You Don’t Know About Building a Connection Culture Is Hurting Your Business

Mike’s LinkedIn Article, Seven Practices That Protect Your Organization From The Lethality Of Loneliness

UCLA Loneliness Scale (Version 3)

Episode 27: Leading With Emotional Courage, with Peter Bregman

Connect: 12 Vital Ties that Open your Heart, Lengthen your Life, and Deepen your Soul by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.


“We look for leaders who share two qualities: they care about people and they care about results, because their work is serving people in some way.” [12:10]

“We have a public health crisis, because loneliness is killing us. We have high stress and low connection, and that combination is lethal.” [14:45]

“If we build our lives strictly around chasing money, power and status, it’s a shaky foundation.” [16:27]

“Being intentional about getting connection into our lives really is not just a want, it’s a need.” [19:22]

“There are deeper connections and more casual ones, but they all have a positive effect on us.” [21:21]

“When we do serve other people, it connects us.” [30:54]


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  1. 65: How To Be A True Connector and Why That Transforms Your Life and Career, with Michelle Tillis Lederman - […] 28: The Epidemic of Loneliness In the Workplace and How To Cure It, with Mike Stallard […]


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