I recently attended SHRM17, the biggest HR Conference in the world, and it was here I found my most favourite theme of any conference I’ve ever been to. I’ve heard it before but it’s never resonated as strong as it has in the sessions I’ve been to the last two days.

HR are not responsible for an individual’s happiness and engagement. A manager or leader is not responsible for an individual’s happiness.  It is up to the individual to make a choice.  Make a choice to indulge their ego.   Make a choice to engage in BWM (bitching, whinging, moaning). Get up in the morning and make a choice about the attitude they are going to approach the day.

The majority of the population is weak. We are not strong enough to hold people accountable. We are not strong enough to question people more, we let them off the hook too easy, we buy in to their drama and in fact, feed it.  We are letting our team and our peers down by being afraid to be honest. We are serving no one by letting our peers and our team wallow in their own pity party. (I wrote a blog about this last year – read about it here).

Cy Wakeman told her audience that “Not one of us is comfortable with stepping down – we all want to have impact”.  But it’s a lot easier to play in that space.  I know I’m guilty of it too.

So while most of the leaders in the world are still catching up with giving constant feedback (please don’t stop this if you’re on this road!), we need to start to look beyond that. We need to create a culture where we give less feedback and allow more time for self-reflection. And better yet, focus on how we get individuals (including ourselves) to think more about how we can impact our own circumstances and what we can do differently to be great, and add value. It’s up to no one else, it’s up to you.

The #SHRM17 conference asked us how we are going to go #allin – I implore everyone – the next time you shy away from giving honest feedback and letting someone off the hook, ask yourself – how is this serving me, and how is this serving the recipient? And just as important as this, the next time you get feedback, pause before you get on the defense and take the time to self-reflect. This is the only way we, as a society, can continue to move forward and grow.


Author: wattsnext Group
The wattsnext Group blog is a compilation of ideas and expertise from the entire team, past and present with a few added gems from guest authors from time to time. With this collaborative approach, we can provide you with a broader perspective and high-level expertise across the small business landscape.