A social introvert’s musings from Workhuman Live
Two introverts walk into a conference center. After walking two miles in the Atlanta heat, trying to find a door for said conference center. Not an auspicious start. Next, two introverts have to decipher the equally complex ritual that humans have enacted over thousands of years. You mean you want to shake my hand? One thing became immediately clear, our social cues, group dynamics, and small-talk skills have all gotten a little rusty. After all, when was the last time you were in a building with 1,000 plus people sharing food, shaking hands, and chatting with “the close talkers”, remember them?
Before heading on the road, it became obvious that I was out of practice with “business travel.” My suitcase, computer bag, and actual pants (not the yoga variety) all had to be located. Frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Now that I have been home for a few days and have recharged, I can safely say that the Workhuman Live Conference (hosted by Workhuman) far exceeded my expectations. Check out my highlights and questions.
Eric Mosely, the CEO of Workhuman kicked off three amazing days of content, conversation, and incredible camaraderie. In his keynote speech he stressed the importance of our humanity. Going so far as to include a slide claiming that 2022 is the year of the human, sharing that this is the year that we build a true culture of human connection, of shared purpose and individual meaning.” So my question is: How do we prioritize and build a culture of human connection? Not. How do we get people to come back to the office?
Braindate, if you haven’t tried it yet. Just do it. Particularly if you are an introvert who hates networking events and gets awkward every time you have to walk up to someone you don’t know. Want to talk to someone? Want to learn about a particular topic or person? Set up a Braindate, and you are set up for success. I got the opportunity to meet so many engaging and exciting people (hey Kellie Groover at Focus Lab!), all of whom helped shape the way that the Ampll team is thinking about our product. So my question is, how do we host intentional gatherings and meetings for people where they get value and feel connected? Not. What if we make that recurring meeting 48 minutes instead of 60?
The Gratitude Bar, Workhuman did a fantastic job of modeling the power of appreciation with the Gratitude Bar, a place where people could go to recognize one another throughout the conference. Workhuman employee, Marcy Ricci, left me an incredible note that made my whole experience feel meaningful! As Dan Heath, keynote speaker on day two would call it, a peak moment for me! So my question is, how do I create an environment where employees feel genuinely appreciated, valued, and cared for? Not. Uh-oh, employee engagement is low, what time should we schedule the virtual happy hour?
And finally, Dan Levy Schitt’s Creek” co-creator and executive director. Joined by Cy Wakeman, New York Times bestselling author were an absolutely unstoppable duo. The energy in the room was full of optimism, hope, and a willingness to celebrate the human in all of us. Dan paints a picture of how the world could be if we were all supportive of each other, differences and all. Saying about his Emmy winning television series, “We had an obligation to show what life would be like if we were all treated the same.” He was delightfully candid, funny, and “real” as he spoke about his experiences, challenges, and celebrations. His message was simple. Care and kindness above all else. And in true David Rose fashion, my favorite quote was “I feel the need to expose that there are workplaces out there that don’t care about their employees- and that’s just f***ing insane!” So in closing, my question to you is: how do we put people first at work? How do we create environments where individuals are human first, employees second? Not. Flexibility might be great in theory, but I just don’t think it works for us.
Thank you to Workhuman for an unforgettable week. We are already looking forward to next year!
Chief Experience Officer and Question Asker