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Chris Schembra      

Transformative Speaker on Employee Engagement, Human Connection & Gratitude; Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author of “Gratitude Through Hard Times” and “Gratitude and Pasta”

Chris Schembra, a celebrated keynote speaker, best-selling author, and expert in human connection, has gained widespread acclaim for his compelling insights on gratitude's role in fostering meaningful relationships and outsized business outcomes. Regularly delivering addresses at top-tier companies and institutions like Microsoft, Google, IBM, Dell, Citi the US Navy, Air Force, and Harvard, his teachings pivot around gratitude as a powerful tool for personal and professional growth.

Schembra draws extensively from his personal experiences of triumph over adversity, making his motivational narratives relatable and uplifting. His keynotes reflect the essence of his Wall Street Journal best-selling book, "Gratitude Through Hard Times", which has served as a beacon of hope and resilience for many, navigating them through their toughest challenges.

Recognizing the critical role of human connection and empathy in fostering productive workspaces, Schembra's insights are instrumental in shaping healthier, happier, and more collaborative work environments. He advocates for a culture steeped in genuine gratitude, enabling a shift towards a more empathetic, connection-focused mindset.

His work is instrumental in helping organizations address the feelings of disconnect, enhancing team cohesion, resilience, and overall performance. His speeches serve as a roadmap for audiences navigating their way from setbacks to comebacks, always emphasizing the vital role of human connection. By championing empathy and genuine connection, Chris Schembra is leading the way to a more connected, understanding, and compassionate corporate landscape.

Speech Topics

Fostering Human Connection: The Hidden Key to Elevating Engagement and Well-Being in the Workplace

In this powerful and insightful keynote, Chris Schembra unveils the unseen crisis of disconnection and loneliness within the contemporary workplace. Diving deep into recent statistics and expert views, he exposes the dramatic impact of isolation on employee mental health and overall organizational engagement. Chris brings forth thought-provoking insights from authoritative studies like Gallup's Global State of the Workplace report and the shocking truth about employee disengagement rates. Chris shares his powerful 3-step method for solving this pervasive problem: embracing the present and recognizing our shared humanity, learning to give and receive authentic gratitude, and fostering curiosity and inquisitiveness for the future. This keynote will provide attendees with practical, actionable strategies to bring about emotional well-being and foster a vibrant, connected culture within their own organizations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Unmasking the Disconnection Crisis: Gain a comprehensive understanding of the modern workplace's disconnection issue and its repercussions on employee mental health and engagement.
  • Human Connection as a Solution: Recognize the paramount importance and statistics of genuine human interactions in counteracting workplace isolation and its myriad problems.
  • Master the 3-Step Connection Method: Delve into Chris's unique approach, from embracing shared humanity to promoting curiosity, and discover actionable strategies to implement in your organization.
  • Stories of Connection: Be inspired by real-world examples that highlight the transformative power and tangible benefits of nurturing human connections in professional settings to revitalize culture.

The Power of Empathy and Connection: Transforming Customer Relationships from Transactional to Transformational

In this transformative keynote, Chris Schembra explores the significance of empathy, gratitude, and human connection in creating enduring customer relationships. He presents the necessity of engaging with customers beyond transactions and emphasizes the critical link between team well-being and exceptional customer service. Chris delves into the power of emotional connections in shaping customer loyalty, brand perception, and fostering referrals. He provides practical advice on expressing gratitude that deeply resonates with customers, forging stronger bonds and lasting impressions.

Chris concludes by revealing the transformative impact of creating a connected customer network, promoting a sense of belonging, and nurturing brand advocates. He highlights the essential shift in focus onto your team and customers as the key to unlocking substantial value in genuine connections and a customer-centric approach.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Power of Presence: Understand the crucial role of being present and genuinely connecting with customers, and how it can transform business relationships.
  • Internal Health, External Success: Discover how investing in your team's well-being and engagement leads to improved customer service and satisfaction.
  • Leverage Emotional Connections: Learn about the impact of emotional connections in driving customer loyalty, referrals, and enhancing brand perception.
  • Express Gratitude, Build Bonds: Learn how to communicate gratitude in ways that resonate with customers, strengthening bonds and making lasting impressions.
  • Foster a Community, Not a Customer Base: Understand the transformative effect of connecting customers to foster a sense of belonging and build a network of brand advocates.


How to Practice Prosocial, Altruistic and Empathetic Gratitude
G: Given Prosocially For many years, positivity gurus have promoted the idea of the gratitude journal as the end-all-be-all solution for gratitude. You write in it twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, to give gratitude to positive things in your life. Now, what’s great about the gratitude journal is that it gives you an instantaneous momentary burst of happiness and thanks. But the problem is that just practicing gratitude on your own in a journal does not have the same benefits as practicing in a prosocial way. When you practice gratitude in a small group format, people get the benefits of giving gratitude, receiving gratitude and observing gratitude. In essence, it builds community. R: Rooted in the Past, Granular and Specific So many people will write in their gratitude journals that they’re thankful for the sun, grateful for their health, grateful for food, and so. The issue is, that’s not specific. Gratitude in the present is just mindfulness, rumination and momentary appreciation. Gratitude in the past is giving credit and thanks to something measurable that you can track the benefits of. A: Authentic and Intrinsically Motivated You can give gratitude in a very selfish way, meaning you give gratitude in a way that’s most convenient for you, the giver. We believe that in order for something to be authentic, you must be intrinsically motivated and go out of your way to show that credit and thanks when it is due. Z: Zero Expectations of Reciprocity Gratitude is not a response to feeling indebted. Gratitude is not a response for someone giving you something and you feeling like you have to give that back. When you want to give gratitude, do it in a giving way. Adam Grant wrote a book, Give and Take, on how the most successful people in the world are intrinsically motivated, altruistic givers. Gratitude is that thing. Gratitude isn’t writing down all the benefits you’ve received and making sure you pay them back. Gratitude isn’t writing down all the gratitude that you’ve given and making sure you get it back. In fact, when you give gratitude through a gift or a card, we almost want you to burn any trace of you giving that gratitude, so you don’t get in the habit of measuring whether you’ve received it back from that person or not. I: Inquisitive Question-Asking Sir Francis Bacon is often attributed to having said, “a good prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” We believe that a good prudent question is one-half of gratitude. All the work that we do revolves around a good prudent question or signature gratitude question: If you could give credit or thanks to one person in your life whom you don’t give enough credit or thanks to, who would that be? Who have you never thought to thank? This question makes you sit and think about gratitude and identify measurable specific moments from your past that you’d like to give thanks to. E: Egoless and Empathetic Not all gratitude given is gratitude heard. Giving gratitude in a language that’s most convenient to you is ego — it’s lazy and selfish. But giving gratitude in the language of the recipient is empathetic. Gary Chapman wrote The Five Love Languages and in the book, he outlines that people like to receive love in one (or sometimes more) of five ways: receiving gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch or gifts. The language or way of giving that’s convenient to you might not be the same to the receiver. Today is your call to action. Go out and observe the life around you. What benefits have you received from others that you’ve overlooked? Who do you need to thank?

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