Look Past the Avatar !!!

“Steve !!! Man, you’re tall !!”

“Wow !! You’re a lot taller than I thought you’d be !!”

“Steve !! Great to meet you finally.  Man, you’re tall !!”

And so it was as I entered the hotel lobby for my first HRevolution.  I took it in stride that I towered over my peers physically because I’m used to being tall.  NOTE: There were other tall HR folks at HRevolution, but we were the significant minority !!

Right after I was “sized up” the next thing I heard for 48 straight hours was laughter.  Tons and tons of exhuberant laughter.  You see, the difference to me for this event wasn’t whether it was a “Conference” or and “UnConference” – it was that I got to meet friends in person.  I wasn’t surprised by how engaged everyone was, or how friendly everyone was at all.  In fact, I expected it.

It was so refreshing to not feel any pretense or jockeying for attention when you enter a new environment.  I’ve always been a person who just is who he is – and now I was at a conference with 130 others who were incredibly genuine, unique, funny and short. (hee, hee)  I loved the fact that you could be intentional with other HR folks and it was welcomed, not shunned.  It’s hard to find the words I’m looking for here. I feel closure I guess.  Closure to meet and get to further know people that I truly care for.

I would list a link for EVERYONE that attended because I don’t want to miss anyone.  It was that cool !!  It was humbling to be a presenter.  It was great to hear the thoughts and ideas of others.  And, most of all I love the fact that HR people were willing to challenge, confront and explore different approaches to HR.  It was so non-traditional that I secretly hoped every HR conference I attended would be free enough to be this candid.  Ahhhh, to dream !!

At our session, Jason Lauritsen and I challenged everyone to see what they would do to improve HR.  Here’s my response . . .

I’m not going to let HR people live behind their avatar anymore !!

So HR beware.  I’m going to be intentional with you just like we were with each other at HRevolution.  No apologies. It’s time for us to remember that we’re humans first.  Believe it and don’t forget . . . I’m tall !!

9 thoughts on “Look Past the Avatar !!!”

  1. Steve! Great summing up! Im sure i didn’t say you were tall though, did i? Im British you see! Thought it though 😉 Great to meet you and the rest of the crowd – your instant warm welcome when i stepped into the tweetup, fresh off the plane, knocked me flat and will stay with me forever. Here’s to the next one!

  2. Wow, were you tall? I didn’t notice. Must have been because you were hanging out with Jason Lauritsen and Josh Letourneau a lot. ha ha

    One of the things that you said at HRevolution that stuck with me is that you are “going to be intentional” with all of us as HR pros. I’m glad you mention that in your post. I find that being intentional about connecting is very helpful because it means that I am not just talking to the same people all the time. It is also a way to ensure that you are always out there offering to help others. I learned that from Jason Seiden. He never finishes a conversation without asking how he can help me. I loved that about him and I’ve been doing that same approach for two years now.

    I am thrilled that you came to HRevolution and shared your knowledge. I love that you embraced the new situation and you were a bright light in our world! Can’t wait to see you again my friend!

  3. Gee, you are tall? Did not even notice….

    Seriously, it was great to meet you, I enjoyed spending some time talking and of course your session with Jason was one of the highlights of the event. Many thanks for the inspiration and the support.

  4. What a pleasure to meet you (& all ofthe other HR pros) @ HRevolution. I love this post and will take it as a personal challenge to be ‘more’ intentional. During the networking session, you made made a statement that has stuck with me – you said that “if I engage with someone i’m the type of guy that will get under someone’s skin”. Now that’s intentional and I love it – your passion for what you do is evident and you are “all in”. Thanks for sharing…btw, are u tall 🙂

  5. Great post about HRevolution Steve. You nailed it…and now have me off-the-hook for a summary post! It was absolutely fantastic meeting you, and so many others, in person. By far the best “conference” I’ve attended. I look forward to speaking with, and seeing you, again soon!

  6. It was great to meet you (finally) after a decade of extended friendship. I hope we don’t have to wait so long until next time!

    I am glad you are tall, btw. It gives me a good reason to look up to you!

  7. Hilarious. It’s funny how these events force you into a brand and let you expand from a brand.

    I hear:

    – Wow, you are short.
    – How is Mister Scrubby?
    – You don’t look very punk rock.

    But those are opening/ice breaking statements.

    Then the fun begins.

    Happy to see you!!

  8. I’m one of those guilty ones who was floored by your vertical reach Steve. Of course I had to laugh when you said, “you look taller in your avatar!” As you are used to being tall, I’m used to being vertically limited.

    I loved everything you had to say and your session with Jason was excellent — calling out HR to stop saying “should” and take action.

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