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Motivational speaker tells how to attract, keep talented employees
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Motivational speaker tells how to attract, keep talented employees

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MERRILLVILLE | Gathering talented people for a business or organization helps create success, but how those people are treated in their work environment determines if they will stay or move on.

How to become an influential leader who attracts and keeps talented people was the focus of Garrison Wynn’s presentation Thursday at the eighth annual Business Speakers Series Luncheon at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza.

The event was sponsored by the Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics and the IU Northwest Business Alliance.

A motivational speaker and author, Wynn and his Houston-based staff have conducted research interviewing 5,000 top performers in their fields to find out why they are influential, including behaviors they display that can help others before effective and influential.

As a former stand-up comedian, Wynn’s rapid-fire, humorous delivery of information kept the audience laughing and taking notes. His research-based message contained concrete methods for developing qualities of leadership.

“If you criticize other people’s ideas, they will never use yours,” Wynn said. “We are all walking, talking judging machines.”

Among Wynn’s other pointers:

  • Building rapport with others depends on how fast you make connections.
  • Everybody knows something you don’t. Learn from that.
  • People are often wrong. However, to be influential requires becoming “very good at not using the word ‘wrong’,” he said.
  • “Telling you their story is the beginning of trust,” Wynn said. “The truth about trust is that within 30 seconds to 1-1/2 minutes, people will know they can trust you, that you have compassion and competence.”
  • Research shows people who feel they are “heard” are more satisfied in their jobs and more likely to stay with a company. To accomplish that, Wynn recommended listening first, then talking. Unfortunately, 72 to 78 percent of people don’t listen very well, he said.
  • The link between the feeling you’re being heard and feeling valuable is established between the ages of 0 and 5. If a child doesn’t learn that adults will listen, he or she won’t learn to listen.
  • People who are difficult to deal with have the most talent, he said. The top performers in any industry jump around between jobs and companies. Learning how to work with difficult people involves acknowledging that you as the manager may be “30 percent of the problem”.

Wynn praised those at the luncheon for creating commerce, which he called “the basis of civilization.”

The series serves as a fundraiser for the Indiana University School of Business and Economics, which is the only public business program in Northwest Indiana to be accredited by the Association of Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

It’s also an opportunity for students, alumni and business leaders to network, said IUN Chancellor William Lowe.

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