Navigating human relationships can be and often is complex.
Especially in an increasingly digitised world, further fuelled by the pandemic, how do we forge closer and more meaningful connections with our loved ones, the people around us, and in a professional setting?
We direct our questions to Simone Heng, a human connection specialist — if you find her a familiar face, it’s because she was formerly an international broadcaster and radio personality at the likes of HBO Asia, CNBC and local radio station Class 95FM.
The Singapore-born keynote speaker recently debuted her first book, Secret Pandemic: The Search for Connection in A Lonely World, which details her own pursuit of human connection, the detachment that people now face, how family trauma can have impact how we connect, and how people can distinguish authentic connection from ingenuine substitutes.
“I was inspired to write the book at a time where I was working in a very disconnected workplace. I saw how people that were disconnected could not create content that resonated and landed with their audience,” she reflects. At the same time, she witnessed how her mother’s degenerative disease prevented her from connecting not just with loved ones, but also herself. “She couldn’t recall memories of my father dying and was forgetting the days and times of the week.”
Seeing how human connection and the lack thereof had impacted her life, she left her job to become a fulltime speaker on the subject, and put forth her own, specifically Asian, lens, on it. And when the pandemic hit, she often found herself getting booked to speak about human connection.
“At that point, I knew that this special voice I had on this topic from the Asia Pacific region was a fresh take compared to how everyone in North America and other parts of the world were speaking about human connection. I needed to share that voice, and that is how the book was inspired.”
Below, she sheds more light on deepening and creating fulfilling relationships, as well as building authentic connections in your life and workplace.