Recently I used some of my Professional Development budget to attend a mock trial presented by the Birmingham Society for Human Resource Management which is an organization of Human Resource professionals throughout Birmingham.  I have attended several mock trials in the past but this time, I was asked to be a juror.  I accepted and soon was listening to actual lawyers presenting mock witnesses giving testimony about a mock (but common) type of employment issue.  I didn’t realize how much being on the jury side could change my perspective!

Some realizations for me were:

  • You can’t ask questions (consider how tough that would be for the Concetta L. types out there!).
  • You have to have excellent listening skills and can’t ask for anything to be repeated.  In my work, I have conducted investigations and been able to decide what information I needed and get it.  AND ask for clarification when needed.  Not so as a juror….even a fake one.
  • As a “jury” we had to deliberate and make final decisions based only on the information we had and not assumptions that we would all have liked to make…even if they seemed fairly obvious.

I am used to hearing about employment issues from an HR standpoint, but another take away for me was how much seeing things from new “eyes” really gives you not only more insight, but more empathy for others.  While we can’t always walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, sometimes just sitting in a different seat, like a jury seat, can make you think about the same problem in a new way.  I may not be able to be a job applicant but as a Talent Sherpa, doing the best I can to remember and even go through some of the steps can be very helpful in better understanding their experience.  And maybe an old problem has a new solution if I just go down to one of our Restaurant style booths to think about it instead of staying in my pod.  A new view, a new outlook!

I’m off to Daxkpark for a coffee and a new perspective!

Kim B. is a Talent Sherpa who thinks sleeping is an underrated activity and tops every sandwich with potato chips.

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