Happy Friday! (And Happy Friday before the long weekend!)
It’s been an amazingly full week.
And by full I mean my bucket is full, my mind is full, and my heart is full.
I started the week off in Las Vegas, as I had the honour of speaking at the SHRM 2019 International Conference.
Sunday had a lovely evening with the inspiring HoF speaker Barbara Glanz, followed by a gondola ride in our beautiful Venetian Hotel with another fellow speaker friend.
Monday morning began by listening to – and learning a ton from – Brené Brown. Pretty darn amazing. And that afternoon had the privilege of delivering my session to an incredible audience. Now I love speaking to all crowds of all sizes, but when there is standing room only in your room with over 1000 chairs (we even filled the overflow room bringing us to 1250 in all!)there is an energy exchange that is pretty powerful.
That evening, I was in awe as I watched Le Rêve, an incredible show in water put on by one of Cirque du Soleil’s directors. It was truly breathtaking and magical.
Tuesday was travel day – which I surprisingly love – and was met at the airport back in Toronto by a friend and whisked off to see Hugh Jackman live for his AH-MAZING musical show.
Wednesday enjoyed an intimate dinner party with some other special speaking colleagues – and friends – and then went home to visit my Dad and his best friend who just arrived from Wales.
And finally last night was invited to attend a very special Mess Dinner at The Canadian Forces College and met some extremely fascinating and inspiring individuals.
Now I’m not sharing to brag or boast. First of all, this week was a bit of an anomaly ~ my weeks are certainly not always as full! (And it looked very different than last week I assure you!)
The reason I’m sharing is because as amazing as some of those events were, what actually made my week so full were the people, the connections, and the conversations I enjoyed.
An experience isn’t truly an experience unless shared. Even if you take part in an experience on your own – which I often do – what makes it meaningful is sharing about it through conversation after the fact.
The dinners, the shows, the traveling, even the speaking was made so much more meaningful through the conversations I enjoyed with the women after the talk. And plane rides wouldn’t be nearly as fun if I didn’t engage in conversation with the people sitting next to me.
A lot of my learning and ideas and ahas take place while in conversation with others. In fact, I was taking notes about what I wanted to say in today’s blog while sitting on my hair stylist’s chair, as we were ironically in conversation about the importance of conversation!
Think about it. It’s only through connection and conversation that we can truly make meaning about what is happening to us and all around us.
For me, that is how I define whether my days are full.
As I’ve mentioned before, most mornings I write in my five-minute journal. One of the questions in the morning is ‘What would make today great?’ and one of the questions at night is ‘3 amazing things that happened today…’
And almost everyday, both answers have something to do with a connection or conversation with another I hope to experience or was able to experience.
So this week I invite you to be brave enough to engage in more connection and more conversations.
Courageous conversations. Meaningful conversations. Deep conversations. Curious conversations. New conversations. Transparent conversations. Generous conversations. Spontaneous conversations. Real conversations.
Here are some tips to engage in more conversations that matter.
1. Be The First
Be the first to say hello to a stranger, to ask someone’s name, to ask how someone is, to begin the conversation at all.
2. Give a Compliment
Not sure how to begin a conversation? Who doesn’t love a compliment? It’s a great way to break the ice and build instant connection.
3. Get Curious
Ask good questions. In order to be a great conversationalist, it’s actually less about how up to date you are with current affairs, and more about your willingness to ask good questions and to be curious enough to listen to the answer.
4. Engage in Active Listening
Listening does not always mean hearing. Active listening means you are really in the conversation, and by using both verbal and non-verbal cues you show that indeed you are right there with the other person.
5. Be Present
It’s hard to turn our minds off, I get it. Work hard to be present in your conversations, avoid distracting thoughts or making your grocery list in your head, and choose to be all in. Only then will truly meaningful connection take place.
I hope you engage in some meaningful conversations this week, and enjoy some meaningful connection as a result! Let me know which tip came in handy and what happened…
I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.
Have a FAB week!