Today, in the company of my colleagues I got the opportunity to listen to one of my favorite management authors – Dr Marshall Goldsmith, the world renowned author and leadership coach at the NHRD – HR Conference at Bangalore. What struck me most was how well thought through the event was – from the singing of the national anthem to getting everyone to understand the NHRD code of conduct and to the lovely and enchanting sand art performance by Kanth Risa. A great way to story tell the journey of NHRD.
Dr. Goldsmith invited as the key note speaker, addressed HR professionals on ‘building their own engagement and creating their own future’ a subject interlinked with work and life. Seeing him in person immensely increased my respect for his work and abilities. Cheerful, bubbly, humble and direct – he made a profoundly tough subject of living life meaningfully into an interactive, freewheeling discussion that had the audience glued to their seats – soaking in every word he spoke. He cited research, borrowed from leading management gurus and even the Gita (the holy book of the Hindus) to share his approach to making live more fulfilling.
Congratulations to Sudheesh Venkatesh, President of the forum and his team who deliver a superlative event complete with showcases, stalls and interactions. The nice touch of inviting past presidents and the office bearers demonstrated how much we respect our lineage and pay reverence to our leaders.
It will be futile to summarize all Dr. Goldsmith’s pearls of wisdom – here are a few that stood out in my mind:
- Our employee engagement approach needs a revisit: we don’t need to engage employees – question to ask employees is ‘what can you do to engage yourself?’ I asked this question in an employee engagement workshop last year.
- The difference to who we are and how engaged we are on the inside – but most organizations look outside for consultants and hope employees will change.
- When asking questions during engagement surveys – focus on the work, the key factor to evaluate
- Ask – can I live my own values as work?
- Love what you do, find it meaningful. People who are miserable at work are also miserable at home
- If you ask people passive questions they will blame the environment. (Sounds familiar? What are the questions we ask in our surveys?) There is never enough stuff to do for employees
- Six questions to ask: Did I do best to: a) Set clear goals? b) Make progress on the goals set? C) Build positive relationships? D) Be happy? E) Find meaning? F) Be fully engaging?
- We are looking outside for the solution. To consultants. The answer is within
- You don’t need to improve anyone else. Be happy now
- Don’t be wrapped up choosing things that you can’t live. Cherish what you have
- Go forward. It’s not their life, it is yours
- Life is short, have fun
- It’s the people you help, that matters
Overall, an energizing day to understand what it takes to make a positive difference to those around us. NHRD led it by example.