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  • Writer's pictureFitPros Workplace Wellbeing

5 Steps to Improve: Social Connection

In a world more connected, yet more disconnected, our stories are the building blocks to authentic connection. But even though we know this, we confuse a profile for a real person and hide behind screens versus stepping out to be seen. With countless opportunities to create face to face connection, we bypass moments and bury ourselves in behind screens.

Let’s talk about a typical day: You head to the break room for a cup of morning coffee. You have a mid day meeting with your sales team. You grab lunch in the downstairs cafe. You fill up your water bottle. You take a bathroom break. You cruise through the cubicles. You pass people in the parking garage.. Rather than ask, “how’s your day going?” or reply with “Good, how’s yours?”, here’s a handful of ways to invite more connection in your world every day:

1. Lead With Confidence: Be proud of who you are. Let go of the story you aren’t enough. Your contribution matters! The more practice meeting people, the more confidence you build. Applaud your risk taking, friend making abilities. Be the first to say hello! 2. Lead with a Compliment: You have the power to make someone’s day! Plus it feels good to make someone else feels good. This is a safe way to exchange good energy and open the door to conversation. 3. Follow Up With a Question: Telling someone you love their shirt is a start But, asking where they got it opens a response! Curiosity means you care. Curiosity is a catalyst for conversation. Curiosity allows you to listen rather than lead a conversation. 4. Be Open: Connection begins the moment someone takes action. Whether you feel called to approach another person or your role is to be approachable, it’s imperative to let go of judgements and expectations. Release the pressure of how connection should be and allow it to show up as it’s meant to be. 5. Lead with You vs What You Do: You’re more than a title, job or certification. Taking the time to get to know yourself welcomes others to do the same. Remember, there only one you and your uniqueness, matters.

Whether you’re an introvert, and extrovert, you have a choice on how you show up for yourself and others. We spend so much time working together, why not spend time getting to know each other! Skip the small talk. Share your story. Create Real Connection. Feel Good and Have Fun!

Based on her own transformation, from a 19-year old diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, who lost 2 best friends in separate car accidents, to becoming a fearless optimist who turns strangers into friends, Carlyn Shaw is a testament to the words, “Life doesn’t happen to you, but rather, for you. Fueled by her misfortunes, Carlyn shifted her perspective, choosing to plant her feet all over the planet! She’s hiked Machu Picchu, backpacked Australia while working for a non-profit, and likes to say she’s, “eaten her way through Thailand." After a freak bike accident in 2013 left her without two front teeth, Carlyn chose to “rock out with her teeth out,” inviting the power of perseverance and her smile to shine. Carlyn routinely receives emails from people around the world, as they see themselves in lessons learned from her journey. Early in her career, utilizing her Journalism Degree, insightful imagination and profound people skills, Carlyn tackled PR for a $60M hotel chain. She later served as a Senior Travel Nurse Recruiter, receiving the annual award, “Most Passionate Recruiter” by her peers. After a job loss in 2010, seeking a means to network, Carlyn created a “Connection Card,” giving herself the title, “Turning Strangers Into Friends." This simple shift of leading with her authentic self, open the door to people, synchronicity and possibility. Recognizing it was the ‘stories’ connecting us all, Carlyn followed her intuition and founded an in-person community, Strangers To Friends, inviting men and women to share their unique stories, establishing real connections while building self confidence. An inspirational speaker and connection workshop facilitator, Carlyn shares her journey of self-healing, embracing adversity and gaining personal perspective. Additionally, Carlyn is a Transition Coach—supporting individuals to shift their inner dialogue, take action and become their own best friend. Carlyn is a published author in the book, “When I Rise, I Thrive” and has been featured in news outlets including The Denver Post, San Diego Tribune and an appearance on Anderson Cooper’s daytime talk show. She has been a presenter at “Ignite Denver”, a keynote speaker for the Prince of Wales Alaska Marathon and regular speaker at Multiple Sclerosis Society engagements. Carlyn challenges you to let go of what no longer serves you and to say YES to the life you not only want, but you deserve​!

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