On June 1, 2022, West End Home Builders Association (WEHBA) held a professional development breakfast seminar focused on Body Language with a special guest speaker Neil Thornton from The Thornton Group. Neil Thornton is the President of the Thornton Group which specializes in business strategy, planning and coaching. This breakfast seminar took place at the Waterfront Banquet Center in Hamilton. UrbanSolutions was proud to attend amongst other industry professionals.

Mr. Thornton quickly engaged with the attendees and secretly began making observations of how the guests walked, talked and moved and the latent impacts of these gestures. Mr. Thornton focused on how to pick up both verbal and nonverbal cues, the ability to read others through body language and the way they carry themselves. Mr. Thornton shared much of his wisdom over the hour long segment, including how the feet are the most truthful part of the body, ultimately indicating if the conversation is engaging and enjoyable for the other person depending on the direction their feet are facing. Through Mr. Thorntons cheerful and engaging attitude he provided key thoughts on how to ace a job interview, give a speech and how to be a successful leader. We learned to keep our posture up, arms open and engaged and NEVER stand behind a podium when making a speech.

Another theme Mr. Thornton discussed is leadership in the workplace and to set yourself up for success with phrases such as ‘hire slow and fire fast’, ‘set intentions and goals’ and ‘don’t accept mediocracy’. Mr. Thornton helps businesses grow, become engaged with the employees and work to continue evolve to keep up with the technology and youth of tomorrow. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have had to evolve and adapt, this should continue post pandemic. It is important to have a vision, mission and goals in the workplace and in personal life to keep evolving.

The breakfast concluded with a Q & A period. Mr. Thornton left us with a final quote to continue to inspire to move forward, think outside the box, and open yourself and body up to new opportunities to become a better leader in and outside the workplace.

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes … the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. … You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. … They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

-Steve Jobs

Thank you Neil Thornton, WEHBA and all sponsors!