#SHRM22: Are You Listening?

As I entered the general session of the conference, I was feeling excitement about seeing former President George W Bush speak at SHRM 22 in New Orleans. Then I read the following… “No recording, no photography, and no taking notes… wait a minute, I am an avid note taker - how can I survive?  and no pictures? As I sat there, I thought, I am going to have to really focus and listen well so I can remember to write down key takeaways when I leave the session. Then, I went into listening mode - fully present in the moment. My eyes were filled with tears of gratitude and joy as I listened to our former president of the United States and the moderator President and CEO Johnny C Taylor Jr share perspective around leadership and the workplace. It was moving, uplifting, and an emotional experience.

As soon as the session was over, I rushed out to make notes. I even sent a text to others in my group asking for their takeaways so we could combine our notes. I wrote down things like humility, family, and some of the quotes he mentioned. It’s amazing how much we can learn when we listen. I have always been amazed when a waiter takes an order without writing anything down, or I meet with others that don’t take any notes. I think, how can they remember? But the good ones are present and listening.

So, I listened and learned so much at SHRM 22 this year…

  • I heard Melissa Anderson, CHRO and SHRM Board Chair interview CEO Ariana Huffington about shifting mental wellness into action in the workplace. 

  • I heard Johnny C Taylor Jr inspire us to “rise and shine”. The time for HR is now. 

  • I heard Jennifer McClure sharing “future ready” secrets and how leadership development, economy, and recruiting and retentions are leading the way for CEO’s thinking today. 

  • I heard Steve Browne engaging the crowd by reminding everyone of the value of HR and how it’s a good day to have a good day. 

  • I heard President George W Bush sharing the most important leadership trait is humility and being humble enough to ask others for input before making decisions. 

  • I heard Julie Burch share the importance of making two lists to keep us on track.

  • I heard Greg Hawks share why today is the best day of your life.

  • I heard SHRM22 influencers encouraging others, connecting others, and sharing content with others to create more value for a better conference experience.

  • I heard first time attendees share their experiences and joy of the conference.

  • I heard Johnny C. Taylor challenge us to be a thermostat in our workplace. 

  • I heard excitement and energy as the state councils from Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma marched into the hall room and expo hall. 

  • …and I heard lots of people share perspective about “Cause The Effect” and how we can all make a difference in the workplace and in our communities.

 During the conference, President George W Bush shared that people can learn a lot about other people when we listen including how the other person thinks. Listening is a skill and when we are in the moment it helps us focus, it engages us, and drives better conversations with business leaders. Are you listening to your team members, leadership team, customers, business partners, and others your circle? When writing my book “Life in the Leadership Lane”, I reached out to several top HR leaders to ask the most important trait for developing influence and trust in the workplace. It was unanimous… The importance of listening was on everyone’s list. It is a key to building trust in the workplace. It also makes people around us feel more valued when we show that we are listening.

As we move past conference week, I want to encourage you to listen. What is everyone talking about in the workplace? What are the topics everyone is talking about after a conference? Are your clients trying to tell you something? What about your boss? My friend CHRO Mitch Beckman once shared “we must listen, relate, understand , and listen more to be an effective leader”.

After the conference, I wrote down all of my key takeaways so I could reflect and share perspective and the last thing I wrote down was a quote from our former president when he said “time dulls the memory.” It’s still important to take notes, but we must first listen.

Quote of the day… “Mental health and well being is now a board conversation.” Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.

Call to action: Did you attend SHRM 22 conference? If so, share your takeaways. If not, follow the #SHRM22Influencer ’s on social media and read their blog posts. What are they talking about… really listen and you will find growth and you will also find inspiration! Hope to see you at SHRM23 conference in Las Vegas!

For more information on the SHRM 22 conference, visit SHRM… or follow hashtags #SHRM #SHRM22 #CauseTheEffect #SHRM22Influencer

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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