It was such an honor to hop on a phone call with 2019 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition speaker Barbara and learn more about her and the topics she is passionate about and loves to speak on. The title of one of her mega sessions really spoke to me - “Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm - Creating a Culture of Kindness.”
Why will you want to attend this session? This will be her second year presenting on this topic of kindness, and last year it was a wildly popular and received great feedback. Although it was a 7 a.m. session, over 3,000 people attended to hear her energizing, inspirational message. In addition to kindness, she speaks on employee engagement, appreciation and recognition (Simple Truths of Appreciation and Recognition is the other mega session she’s presenting!) Barbara believes that kindness is always a choice. You can chose to be better or bitter, happy or sad. It’s not about circumstances, but how we react to them. And be ready, because she will be telling some wonderful, powerful stories during her sessions!
HR is really about the people. We get bogged down by laws, policies, other business stuff and sometimes we wonder, “Why did we get into HR in the first place?” Likely because we care about people. We spend half of our lives at work, so shouldn’t they be joyful, caring, encouraging places? The work may not always be joyful but we can create that atmosphere for our people. Little efforts add up and cause change. Individual, positive interactions with our employees make a big difference. What can we do within our power and sphere of influence? Be sure to attend her session to hear more!
What does Barbara look forward to at the annual conference each year? Seeing all her wonderful friends, doing book signings and meeting all of the wonderful HR pros. She truly believes our work is so important and that we all need some encouragement to stay positive and kind in this day and age.
Her advice for first time attendees? Attend sessions that feed your soul! Also, network network network. Make friends and build your support system.
Some fun facts about Barbara:
- She has spoken on all seven continents
- She grew up in a town of 4,500 people in Iowa
- Her favorite thing about owning her own business is that she can be a messenger - she can impact a lot of people at once through keynote speaking (In addition to being able to travel!)
Chatting with Barbara was so much fun because we have similar outlooks on life. Be positive! Be kind! Have contagious enthusiasm. One of her best selling books is called The Power of Positive Thinking. She has multiple other successful books that you can find in the SHRM bookstore!
So, will I see you there! I hope so!
MEGA SESSION Spreading Contagious Enthusiasm™ -- Creating a Culture of Kindness: Sunday, June 23 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
MEGA SESSION Simple Truths of Appreciation and Recognition: Low-Cost or No-Cost Ideas to Keep Employees Engaged: Tuesday, June 25 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.