Connection and collaboration

Paula Harding shares her experiences

It is only as I have matured that I have realised what connection and collaboration is about. I have gained so much and thrived in this new realisation.

The experiences I have had over the last few years have made me feel alive, joyous and grateful. For the first time in my life I am proud of what I have achieved. The ripple effects that I have been part of have been life changing.

Connection is a bond that holds people together, an energy exchange.

Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal.

Together, connection and collaboration have the power to inspire and bring about change, innovation and success. It is said that human beings are wired for connection and collaboration and doing it well is a boost for the soul.


“We rise by lifting others” – Dr Maya Angelou


Connection is good for the soul and advantageous in many ways:-

• When you build your connections, the bond becomes strong and together you support, promote and champion one another. #StrongerTogether

• When you connect with a person, you have access to their connections, who have access to more connections and so on. You will gain access to people who you wouldn’t ordinarily know or consider.

It’s a win-win for all as you gain access to each other, learn from everyone you meet and ultimately, together you are far more resourceful.


C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying “two heads are better than one”.

It is true, by working together in collaboration you exchange ideas, inspire each other and spark creativity and innovation. Together you can get things done quicker and smarter, support one another and share in success.

Imagine the sound of a choir with only one person singing. The result will be ok, good even. By combining different people together with a blend of unique qualities and strengths the results will be amplified, memorable and glorious.

We’ve seen it in the music industry, Lady Gaga collaborating with Tony Bennett, or Ed Sheeran collaborating with Andrea Bocelli. Unexpected union, creating curiosity, each giving the other access to their individual audience and fans. It makes things fresh and interesting, enjoyable to watch and leads you to imagine what else is possible.

Final thoughts, how do make those connections and start collaborating.

• Be open to making new connections. The relationship will grow organically over time, you won’t know to begin with where the path will lead.

• Develop reciprocity. When you do something for someone, they will want to pay you back.

• It won’t always go your way. You may spend more time supporting others. At these times, dig deep and draw on your resilience. You have to make time for people and keep your word.

• Be authentic in your relationships and take a genuine interest in people and opportunities. Treat people the way that you would wish to be treated.

As you come to build your connections and collaborations you’ll come to thrive in the ripple effect.


Paula Harding is an ambassador of the EA/PA profession and is keen for the profession to discuss roles, to share knowledge and to network to build business acumen and credibility.

Paula is an active member of many business networking groups around the UK.