I had the pleasure of meeting Erich Kurschat this past December when he traveled from Chicago to Orlando to present to the 2019 Greater Orlando SHRM Board of Directors during our transition meeting. I’m sure it was a very difficult decision for him to come to Orlando in December. I can only imagine that internal debate… “Orlando… Chicago… December… Hmm…” Anyway! Erich was fantastic! He facilitated a DiSC discussion with our group to help us understand how to cohesively work with each other as a board. We even got to do a group activity where we had to put ourselves in order by birthdate, but without talking. A very interesting activity, but so much fun! When I found out that Erich was going to be speaking at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19), I knew that I would be sitting front row in his session! Then when I found out I would be a #SHRM19Blogger, I waited impatiently for the speaker list to become available so I could sign up to interview Erich so I could preview his session for all of you! I hope that if Erich’s session is one on your list to check out, that you will make it your no. 1 pick after reading what he has in store from #SHRM19!
A little bit about Erich: He is the founder of Harmony Insights LLC, a company that helps coaches, consultants, and organizations benefit from the DiSC personality assessment. He is also the founder of HRHotSeat, an inclusive mastermind community of real HR pros solving real HR problems. Erich draws from a broad range of experiences as a corporate HR professional, a public speaker, a career coach, a classical musician, and a proud introvert to inspire others toward meaningful work and productive workplace relationships.
Please enjoy this Q&A between myself and Erich!
Your topic is on Networking like an Introvert. Do you consider yourself an introvert or extravert? Tell me a little bit about how your own personality style has helped you get to where you are today.
As my speaker bio often attests, I am a proud introvert! Some of my very best work is done when I am alone for extended periods of time, free from distractions, including well-meaning visitors. On weekends, I tend to spend time with friends one on one or in small, intimate groups rather than seek out larger gatherings.
You’re likely to hear about these tendencies and wonder how I might ever find fulfillment in speaking to large #SHRM19 audiences, building HR community, or leading professional development workshops.
I am a strong believer that introverts have as much capacity to excel in these roles as anyone else does; we simply need to identify the unique strengths and motivations that position us well for achievement.
For me, it is all about connecting meaningfully with individuals, sharing and encouraging insight, and recognizing when some quality alone time will allow me to recharge after a long day.
You are a huge advocate for the use of the DiSC personality assessment and you are an excellent facilitator when it comes to using the assessment to coach professionals to improve their collaboration and teamwork efforts. What inspired you to pursue that path?
First of all, thank you for saying that! It really means a lot.
I admit that I’m a bit of a DiSC nerd. After all, it’s in my LinkedIn headline, so it must be true!
During my corporate HR days, I witnessed first-hand the impact that DiSC had on individuals and teams. It served as the foundation for vitally important conversation about how we connect with one another in the workplace. It became a resource for contributors at all levels who wanted to communicate, sell, and lead with influence. It gave teams and entire organizations a common language for assessing culture and increasing productivity.
I found it to be such a valuable tool, in fact, that I decided to build a small business largely around equipping companies, coaches, and consultants with the education and materials they need to leverage the DiSC assessment with their stakeholders.
I begin nearly every DiSC workshop that I facilitate with, “There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now.” When you can guarantee that people will leave a talk or training session better understanding themselves and others, you know you’re on the right path. It’s been 12+ years in the making!
Without giving away all of your secrets and tips, could you provide a sneak peak into one of the tips you will be discussing during your #SHRM19 session?
The goal of my #SHRM19 session will be to get personalities of all shapes and sizes to consider how fruitful… and enjoyable… networking truly can be! All it takes is a change in perspective.
Those who are least comfortable in a networking environment are often the slowest to realize that they can control where the spotlight is shining.
Whether you identify as an introvert, an extravert, or something in between, your relationships will be forever improved the moment that you begin treating others as though they have a sign above their heads that reads, “Make me feel special.”
If you typically approach networking opportunities focused on what you need to get, instead consider what you have to give. Redirect the spotlight for a change in perspective that could immediately impact the way you connect with others.
What else should we know about you, or your session?
Having divulged here that I value meaningful, individual interaction, it would make my entire conference if audience members stick around long enough following my session for a quick handshake. Oh, and it should be known that I’ve met Amanda Brunson in person and feel confident that even a brief review of her blog will make it abundantly clear why she was invited to be a #SHRM19blogger.
Finally, how can readers best connect with you on social media?
Until we’re able to meet face to face, readers can find me on LinkedIn, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
Erich Kurschat will present Network Like an Introvert: Valuable Tips for All Personality Styles at the 2019 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition on Sunday, June 23 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.. Please make sure to check it out!
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