Annual Conference Lessons: Gratitude, Kindness and Listening

By The SHSMD Team posted 09-20-2019 12:59

SHSMDconnections19.pngBy Rose Glenn

Following a conference, it's normal for my mind to race from all of the ideas generated and lessons learned.

But this time, it was different.

The messages of the keynote speakers at the SHSMD Connections Conference resonated with me in an unusual way. Rather than thinking about digital strategies and population health, I was reflecting on how often I express gratitude, whether or not I am regularly demonstrating kindness in my words and actions and if I'm truly listening when others talk.

This was not your mother's conference!

Shabnam Mogharabi of SoulPancake talked about the fact that people are craving positivity. We need to take time to cultivate joy for ourselves and others. Sekou Andrews of Poetic Voice urged us to deepen our relationship with people by humanizing ourselves. He also introduced a new way of thinking about ROI, to think about Return on Inspiration. We also need to rethink failure, telling ourselves, "You win some, you learn some." Jon Meacham challenged us to be more reflective than reactive. "We have an instant feedback loop today. It's simply easier to respond than to think." He also shared his "three keys for doing any job better: Be curious. Be humble. Be empathetic." Doing that sometimes takes time to think. In the closing session, Carla Moore advised us to find both our passion and our purpose. She has a simple method for discovering your passion: Ask yourself what you would still do tomorrow if you won the lottery. 

In 2019, we face with so many digital "to-dos," both professionally and personally, that we don't always take the time to connect fully with the people and purposes that add meaning to our lives. 

That's a pretty powerful take-away.

For me, it's easy to be enamored with a speaker or a message when on-site at a meeting, hundreds of miles from my home base. Then I go back to the daily grind and don't make any changes. I'm challenging myself this time NOT to do that. Interestingly, I think the universe is helping. When I was waiting for my flight at the airport in Nashville, I took a quick glance at a LinkedIn message a colleague had posted. It's worth sharing.  

"To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens. Empathy is the most important leadership skill needed today." 

This quote from bestselling author Brigette Hyacinth was like the exclamation point to the paragraph that had been running through my mind. Stop. Reflect on what's truly important. Lead the change that you want to see around you. Make a difference. 

Thanks, SHSMD annual conference team for veering outside the usual speaker circuit and inspiring me in a new and very important way.

This blog was written by:

Rose Glenn
SHSMD Board President

Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
Michigan Medicine
Ann Arbor, Michigan