Philosopher and psychiatrist William James observed that We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”

American psychiatrist Bruce Perry explained that “The most powerful predictor of your functioning in the present is your current relational connectedness. The second most powerful component is your history of connectedness.”

Being connected is essential.

To feel deeply connected is to feel free to be ourselves.

Yet, so many workplaces still have a long way when it comes to nurturing true connectedness – both with ourselves and with each other.

And, too many people can’t be themselves at work and are ‘covering’ to downplay or hide elements of their identity in order to ‘blend in’.

  • 9 in 10 people who are burnt-out report experiencing poor workplace relationships
  • 1 in 2 people are not willing to be vulnerable at work
  • 2 in 5 people feel isolated at work
  • 83% of people who identify as LGB report ‘covering’ at work
  • 67% of people who identify as women of colour report ‘covering’ at work
  • 45% of people who identify as straight white men report ‘covering’ at work

I have personally experienced many moments in my career when a conversation with a colleague has left me feeling somehow…

Inconvenient, or
incompatible, or
inadequate, or
inappropriate, or
unimportant, or

I’m sure you can relate.

Regardless of how we identify, we all want to feel like we matter.

We all want to be valued and respected for who we are – not just the work we do.

We all want to thrive, play, perform and belong.

And, no. That is not too much to ask.

Last week, I was invited to design and deliver a session on Conversations That Connect for Logicalis as part of their International Women’s Day events.

I loved delivering the session and I received some heart-warming feedback.

In my session, I invited the leaders of Logicalis to play with a small ‘nudge’.

This small behavioral change has the power to create a big ripple of greater connection, authenticity and belonging.

And this small nudge was simply to focus on more linking and less ranking at work.

‘Linking’ is our innate tendency to be drawn to others, to want to help, connect and care. When we link, hierarchy dissolves and we are connecting human-to-human.

When we ‘rank’ we are mentally placing ourselves above or below another person, based on some logic or criteria that we deem to be relevant or important in that moment.

There is a connection between low self-worth and ranking.

Those of us who have low self-worth are more prone to perceiving ourselves as ‘lesser than’, mentally placing other people at a higher rank.

Low self-worth can also cause us to rank ourselves above others in an attempt to create a sense of value in the world.

Sometimes, ranking is helpful and necessary in the workplace, but often it’s not.

In my session, I shared three simple questions that we can ask ourselves when we are in conversations at work (and at home) to create more connection:

Am I puffing up?
Am I shrinking down?
How might I be more myself in this moment?


By reconnecting to our deepest selves we liberate our highest potential and serve the greatest good. That’s why I specialise in the tricky business of authentic leadership and why I’m pioneering the practice of self-fidelity. I’m a trusted guide for big-hearted leaders who are ready to explore their inner worlds and rediscover their true selves. I help leaders get out of their own way, so they can have the impact they want to have. I offer keynotes, workshops, programs, one-on-one and group coaching. Book a no-strings-attached discovery call with me here.


“Being True is an inspiring portrayal of the power of true leadership and an indispensable guide for those aspiring to be their effective self. Cassandra’s approach to understanding the inner workings of leadership inspired me to pay more attention to how I lead and work with others in my team. Her book is enlightening and provides tools to help professionals like me to become more authentic leaders.” Daniel Barallon

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