Thursday, 4 February 2016

#hrevent16 blog #9 of many

And so Day Three arrives. I am now of the opinion that three days is one day too many for this conference, and this view is supported by looking around the main hall this morning. It's not busy, not as busy as Day One or Day Two and nowhere near as busy as either of the two days were in previous years. The move to three days has diluted the audience rather than increasing it. 

And today is the day I'm speaking so in a way it's disappointing as I'll have less people listening than I would have had in previous years. 

Have I mentioned that I'm speaking today? At 11:50, not long after I will publish this blog. It's about employee engagement during an integration related change. It promises to be good. 

Day Three starts with Rohan Gunatillake talking about how to Bhuddify your life, and how to marry mindfulness with a digital lifestyle. He spoke at length about how he has helped others to achieve this, to be calm, create focus and be kind to others. 

His main points were about using technology to aid mindfulness, not be a barrier to it. Focus on the phone or tablet, use an app to trigger periods of mindfulness and so on. This is useful advice and shows how mindfulness can be achieved even if on the face of it you're attached to your device. 

He also covered being an inbox addict. Dipping into your inbox or other tech distractions can stop you focusing on more important things. Be aware of the mental and physical sensations when you do this and then notice the emotion and thought process that happen before the physical movement to check your phone or inbox. Once you're aware of these impulses, it's easy to ignore them, he said. 

Another point was real listening. This is about tuning into the other persons conversation. Notice if you are starting to tune out, or waiting to have your turn at speaking. Being aware makes you able to stop it. 

His final point was called Hello Monster. This is about recognising and naming your emotions when they arrive. So that might be fear or anxiety. By naming it you're taking it outside yourself and making it objective, and that should be freeing and relieving. By saying hello to the emotion, your relationship becomes less attached, and softer. The point being these emotions aren't going away, so you may as well make friends with them. 

I thought Rohan's talk finished strongly, much stronger than it started. He left us with some very pertinent points and practical tips and was an engaging speaker. 

Next up was Kai Kight, billed as Innovator, Speaker, Violinist - surely a unique tag line. He started by giving an excellent violin performance, that frankly knocked spots off my eldest daughters attempts when having lessons although I remain very proud of what she achieved. He gave us an insight into the personal tragedy that inspired him to begin making more of himself and to begin composing his own music, and to share his own vision with the world. 

He asked us to think about the people we lead and work with. Are they writing their own music, or just playing old sounds? How can we encourage them to be more authentic and play their own music? What can we as leaders do to influence this?

He asserted that few people care if a leader is perfect, what they do care about is whether the leader makes them feel something. 

He challenged us to question what people do, to question their mindsets, their assumptions and the way they behave. Challenge people to ask why what they are doing matters. 

Unleash the music by unlocking people's potential and the innate ability to question, challenge and innovate. And prioritise the music - if you create a sense of urgency about being oneself, being authentic, and focus wholly on it, the music will come and will be better for it. He challenged us to think about what the world would be like if we all, naturally and without prompting, focused on the music, prioritised the music and the important things in our life. 

Kai's talk was an excellent and unique experience, it isn't often you get music at an HR conference!

At this point I skipped the next session in order to go and do final checks for my own session. I'll not blog now for a few hours until I'm back. 

See you on the other side. 

Gary