Association News: AAMA keynote speaker emphasizes listening, valuing others’ knowledge to keep top talent

Posted on September 27th, 2016 by Heather West

AAMA_GarrisonWynn.jpgAt the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) 2016 National Fall Conference, those present heard management lessons from keynote speaker Garrison Wynn. Wynn shared the ways in which top performers harness the power of their personal and organizational influence – stressing the importance of making those around feel heard.

"What do the most successful people do that make them so successful?" asked Wynn in his opening. "We'll talk about leadership, communication and affecting change."

Wynn's advice centered around ways to work with difficult people, as well as the importance of taking responsibility for one's own behavior. He also talked about how valuable the education of others is.

"Everyone knows something you don't," Wynn said.

Wynn shared how to build trust by listening carefully to others and empathizing with their needs.

"When someone feels heard, they feel trust in that moment," Wynn said. "It's a chemical brain response. It's why people fall in love."

It's also why people stay in jobs, he added.

Working with those who are talented, but harder to manage, will help a company keep top talent, Wynn said.

"Those in the top 1 percent in our research were willing to work with difficult people," said Wynn, adding that they were also able to take a hard look at their own actions. "The minute they're willing to look at the roles they might play in someone else's bad behavior, that animosity decreases. Take ownership for what you could be contributing to a situation. Address that person and talk things out with them. Ask how you can work with them better. Communicate. Do you want to be right or do you want to be effective?"

Taking this kind of responsibility can make a world of difference, said Wynn.

"We play a giant role in most of our issues and most people won't even look at that," he said. "It's not easy to do. If problems are always about somebody else, it means you have no control over your destiny. You can change people, but only if you're willing to change your behavior."

Making those in the workplace feel heard and valued will go a long way toward retaining them and working better together, said Wynn. He also recommended framing changes to processes as additional information added to old processes rather than completely new ways of doing things for a smoother transition.

"Show how someone's existing knowledge will help someone [work] a new way, and allow them to apply that knowledge," Wynn said. "'Brand new' is scary. Similarities first, differences second."

Listening to and valuing the experience and wisdom of others will take anyone far, Wynn concluded.

More information about AAMA and its activities can be found via the AAMA Media Relations page or on the AAMA website,

* About the speaker *

Garrison Wynn helps people learn how to make the jump from being great at what they do to understanding and developing the qualities it takes to be chosen for the job. As a speaker, advisor, author and entertainer, Wynn has worked with some of the world's most effective corporate leaders and business developers, from multibillion-dollar manufacturers to top New York Stock Exchange wirehouses.

He has a background in manufacturing, entertainment, telecommunications and financial services. In his teens, he worked with Magnavox and baseball legend Hank Aaron to promote the world's first video gaming system. By age 27, he became the youngest department head in a Fortune 500 company's history. He researched and designed processes for 38 company locations nationwide, and he developed and marketed products that are still sold in 30 countries.


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