Have you ever been to a conference where you felt moved and inspired? Monday’s pre-conference started with speakers Michelle Gielan and Steve Pemberton, who made compelling cases for why we should join the #workhuman movement. Here are my takeaways.
1. “We’re all broadcasters.”
A best-selling author and positive psychology researcher, Michelle shared how our attitudes and word choices influence the people around us. When Michelle chose to change her broadcast message with people at work, and it changed not only her own outlook on life, but it also impacted those around her. She said, “When we change our story, we change our power to influence others to focus on the positive.” Rather than ignore negativity, we should acknowledge that even with challenges, there is always a lesson learned.
2. “It begins with me.”
Steve Pemberton, Chief Diversity Officer of Walgreens and author of A Chance in the World shared his story of overcoming adversity. As a child growing up in foster care, he faced challenges finding a home because of his physical appearance. People would label him “of no hope, of no value” when speaking about his future. He overcame his own adversity by envisioning the kind of future he wanted to create: a loving family of his own. That vision pushed him to change his mindset and focus his energy to seek incremental advancement and support. Steve reminded us, “We can be the author of our lives.”
3. #WorkHuman works.
As rapid technological advancement changes how people work and live, humans have the power to change the world by creating meaningful connections in the workplace. The change should start with us as we mindfully think about how we broadcast ourselves and how we can make incremental changes to be positive and influence others to do the same.
In a world where negative news seems overpowering, choosing to be positive is never an easy feat. Michelle and Steve convinced me that the act of staying positive is worth the effort. As Steve said, “the leaping is as important as the landing.” And that is exactly what I intend to do.