Day 3 Observations – #SHRM13

Day 3 of the 2013 SHRM Annual Conference started with another group of 7:00 sessions. I must admit, none of the sessions struck me enough to fight the shuttle bus lines at 6:15 or 6:30 to get there by the session start time. The morning’s keynote, Daniel Pink, was the closing keynote at last year’s Indiana SHRM State Conference so I did not originally intend to catch him, but ended up at the convention center in time to see his entire presentation (from the comfort of a couch at the Hive and in the blogger’s lounge thanks to SHRM’s Curtis Midkiff!)

Mr. Pink, as discussed in detail in his book, To Sell is Human, talked about that all of us are in sales and that selling ideas, as HR pros are often trying to do, is more difficult than the selling of things. Much like Hillary Clinton earlier in the conference, Pink talked about the importance of relationships. He also dispelled the popular notion that extroverts are the best sales people and that it is those who are “ambiverts” who tend to have the most success in selling. His messaging is consistent and builds upon his previous studies on motivation. I could not help but poke a little fun when he stated that to sell, we need to be ourselves. I jokingly asked on Twitter who else i could be. Someone suggested that George Clooney might be a nice choice!

Other day 3 highlights included an excellent presentation by Brad Karsh with a theme using the Hunger Games. His messaging targeted toward better relationships with the C-suite meshed well with the movie points he used to highlight real life examples. The stories told were designed to give concrete examples to the theories that many other presenters talk about without giving real world applications.

The Tuesday Masters Series presenter, Dan Heath, is a best selling author of several business books. His presentation, in the Lakeside Theater at McCormick, was the most heavily attended session outside a general session that I attended. Watching Dan, it was obvious that he knew his material well and that the information shared in the books was well researched. One element that really resonated with me was finding a way to more closely examine the decision making process. One hint that the process has not been fully vetted is hearing the phrase “whether or not” when examining options. I liked his suggestion that we “should fall in love twice” or looking at things as if there were “vanishing options” among the ones being considered.

The social component of the conference also continued on Tuesday evening and these events, like the ones from the previous nights, will be covered in a later post!

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