Resurrecting HR !!

HR is dead.

(At least that’s what people want you to believe.)

It’s staggering to me that there continues to be this on-going conversation that is desperately trying to kill Human Resources. Blogs, magazine articles, conference presentations, etc. It’s happening throughout the profession, and very few people are standing up against it !! Why in the world should we allow people to degrade, belittle and tear down our profession? It’s especially disheartening when some of those voices are coming from inside HR itself !!

I believe that there should always be discourse, dialogue and critique. If that doesn’t occur, then change doesn’t happen. However, trying to move things forward through tearing it down has never worked. Never.

The reason for this post, and the title, is that I truly believe there is a problem and HR does need resurrecting !! Also, with it being Easter, how could you not use this title ??

The problem, as I see it, is that we are working so hard to maintain the status quo, that we’ve lost the urge to stretch and dream to see what HR could be. We feel that keeping things comfortable and in line will make our role effective and needed in organizations. It helps to have some of that, but not as your primary approach. It’s interesting that we encourage others not to settle, but we don’t see that this advice also applies to us.

Still AliveI’d like you to consider some ideas to make HR alive for you personally and collectively as a profession !!

Stand up and be heard !!

When you hear someone taking a shot at HR and what you do, respond. If that happens in your organization, push back. Bring solutions that elevate the human element of your employees and pull the company together. Quit making efforts to manage to the exception and recognize the whole. If you see negative comments online, respond. Being frustrated behind a screen will not bring about change. Comment, share and respond !!

Get connected and involved in the profession !!

HR is a field of isolation by design because we deal with the difficult side of employee issues. They have to have a safe haven they can work with and come to. After awhile, that isolation builds up and you have nowhere to go. (or so you think). The best thing about being in HR is the other people who practice it !! Having a viable, interactive and living network of HR professionals is essential if you want to thrive in this field. There was never anything written in your job description that stated that you had to quietly suffer.

Reach out. Connect with others who are near you. Make social media the communication vehicle it was intended to be and find out that there are thousands of  people who do what you do, and they’re looking to connect as well !! Go to conferences to meet people. Join organizations like SHRM nationally as well as locally. Do it because it makes you a better HR pro, not just because you were told to do it !!

Believe in what you do !!

HR is alive and well. It’s not just a blog post or a rallying cry. It’s a fact. Every day senior management is seeking HR to step up and make sure that organizations are more human. It’s a natural instinct in most of us and the time for suppressing it is past. It’s not time for us to be wildly optimistic, but it is time for us to say – How can we make the workplace better?

There is value in what you do my peers and friends. Inherent, tangible value. As you head back to work this week shake off the cobwebs, drudgery and negativity which can swallow the best of us. It’s time to resurrect HR !! Will you join me ??

 

The Eyes Have It !!

Every so often I am fortunate enough to travel for HR. I’ve been an active volunteer for SHRM for over 15 years now and it’s always cool to me to get to go to a place away from home and see my peers. I never take it for granted and I’ve been able to venture out to places I may have never gone to on my own.

Travel is a unique thing. When I first began to travel, I think I was like many of the folks I encounter now. I was anxious and uncertain of where to go and what to do. People are constantly milling around you and they look as anxious as you feel. Many people are rushing without care or concern of any other human within 25 feet of them because they need to get to their airplane gate, taxi or desk at the hotel.

I decided that if I traveled like this, I would be miserable, frustrated and impatient with others. That runs completely counter to who I am and how I see others. So, I slowed down and looked up. I no longer buried my head down to join the mad rush to the next destination. Instead, I really took a different approach . . .

Eye ContactIf you don’t know, I’m a very intentional person. I sincerely want to meet and know every person that I cross paths with. I’m intrigued as to who they are and what they do. I know there’s a chance that I will meet someone that may not be “safe” or could take advantage of me, but my experience says that this is rare. This brings me back to my new approach – I make eye contact with people.

I don’t gawk or stare. I don’t fix on someone to be overt or creepy, but I look at people and if we connect, I really take a giant leap !! I say, “Hello !!” That’s it. Nothing more.

If someone wants to chat, I chat. If someone gives me the head nod, I reciprocate. I do this with the driver from long-term parking, to the ticketing agent, to the TSA ID checker, to everyone I meet. When I do this I get one of two responses. The one that is unfortunately the majority is that people avoid making eye contact because they don’t want to interact. I get that, but it’s disappointing. When people do make contact and chat, it’s fantastic !! Why ?? Because I truly feel that people today want someone to notice them.

We are all constantly surrounded by people and yet we act as if we’re completely alone. We surround ourselves with social media, but we really only look to see if people notice us. It’s time we change our approach – especially in HR.

Each and every day we’re surrounded by employees, clients, vendors and new people. Are you taking the time to pause, make eye contact and greet them? Do you stay long enough to see how someone is really doing or are you in your own mad dash because your e-mail is more important than the person you just passed ??

It’s time we looked up from whatever we think is more important and notice the people around us. You never know if the “Hello !!” you give will be just the thing that someone else needs more than anything. Trust me when I say that people aren’t doing this. People deserve to be recognized and noticed.

This next week start making eye contact. It will change your view of others, your work and the world around you. I’ll be watching and when I see you, I’ll be making eye contact – guaranteed !!

Do The Work !!

Do you enjoy meeting people personally and professionally ?? Does there have to be a compelling reason to do so ?? Is the only reason you meet people is because you read a blog post that tells you to ??

I’ve been thinking about this lately because I thrive on meeting new people. That’s a fact. Whenever I go to a new environment, I reach out to meet people. I really want to get to know them, know who they are and something unique about them. I understand that this isn’t the norm and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have the capacity to take in more and more folks.

You see, I’m not a collector. Many people who network are because they have some ulterior motive that is intended to result in a sale of their services or products. When this occurs, people are only scratching the surface of truly connecting and yet people continue to do this. Just last week a person who was a guest at the restaurant I work at came up to me and said, “You look friendly and are always smiling. Here’s my card, I represent . . . .” I was floored. No name. No introduction. Just a chance to whip out the 30-second sales pitch because this is how you think it’s effective to meet other people. I threw his card away.

Let me share an example of how networking has a lasting effect – as it should !! My best friend, Fred, calls me every week. Every. Week. He checks in to see how things are with me personally and professionally. He also just stepped up to run a monthly networking group, GETDOT Cincinnati, as their new President. By the way, he’s officially “retired.” Meeting new people really shouldn’t matter to him anymore should it ??

Fred is not only a dear friend, but he’s a great mentor and example that you need to have relationships with those in your network. That is the key !! If you can’t tell others about a connection past a rectangular piece of paper, then they really aren’t a connection at all. Remember, if you’re too busy to make time for others, don’t have them in your network and don’t be in theirs. That may sound a bit harsh, but great connections encourage each other. They don’t use each other.

Do The WorkThe key to networking is to Do the Work !! I think that having a viable network and being an effective networker should be a mandatory skill for all business people and especially for those in HR. Let me be clear – this is a business skill and not a job hunting skill. We’ve lost sight that having a set of “go to” people makes you a stronger professional in your role both within your company and in your industry.

The challenge I see is that HR people are hesitant to reach out and meet others in our field. I don’t understand this because I’ve only seen it benefit me personally and allow me to have access to incredible folks !! This isn’t a factor of being extroverted or introverted. It is a factor that we don’t see the value of taking the time to connect with others.

This week, I’d like you to start doing the work of connecting. Make a commitment to connect with one or two new people in HR. Send them a Linked In request with a personalized invitation. Be active on Twitter and connect with other HR folks and share HR blogs you read with others. Go to events and find a few people you don’t know and take the time to intentionally meet them.

Be good with adding just a few people to your network each week. If you have a larger capacity, meet more people. However, commit to making sure they are connections and not collections. You’ll be a stronger HR pro when you have others around you that can encourage you and share their experiences and knowledge.

I hope you understand that I know that this makes a difference. It will be some of the most meaningful work you’ll ever do !!

Belong !!

This past week I was fortunate to attend one of my favorite events – the SHRM Volunteer Leader Summit. It’s a great event for many reasons, but the main draw for me is being with other HR volunteers. We have a common bond. It doesn’t matter if you are attending for the first time or have been attending for several years. There is an instant recognition and affinity because we share some commonality in our experiences.

The sessions are great. The chance to visit Capitol Hill and advocate is amazing !! However, when you talk to people in the hallway they share about the people they’ve met, the connections they’ve made and the experiences they’ve had throughout the conference. They focus on how they “belong” to each other. This is more than some sappy emotion. It’s a tangible factor that draws people together.

I know that many HR bloggers write about “engagement” because it is something that also is a really and not some Kum By Ya spirit circle. However, I think we’ve overlooked a key component and that is that people want to belong. I’m not talking about belonging to SHRM or a local HR Chapter, but those are great examples of where this can happen.

BelongBelonging, I believe, is a human desire. We want to be part of something that is bigger than ourselves, and we want to do it with other people. It could happen in many arenas from churches to civic groups to professional associations.

One quick side note on this  . .  . Belonging is not generationally exclusive. People of all ages want to belong. Different ages may choose to belong in ways that we haven’t traditionally thought of, but they all want to connect. People naturally want to connect and not be alone.

As HR professionals, what are we doing to make sure this happens for our employees and within our companies? You see, if people feel they truly belong in their role and at your organization, then you’ve tapped into something that is much more powerful than merely being engaged.

The challenge of belonging that often keeps people outside of groups is that we don’t ask people to join us. We get used to being a part of a group and enjoy it so much that we lose sight of the fact that someone once asked us to belong. We should never become so comfortable that we don’t reach out to others to have them become part of something. The moment we start forgetting that new people could add to our place of belonging, it will become stagnate and shrink quickly. In the end, people will make a decision to go somewhere else. They will find another place to belong.

This week make sure you are doing some things to make belonging a reality for yourself and others.

Belong Yourself !! – You need to quit trying to do HR on your own. It will never be effective for you. Connect with your peers. I’m asking you to join me. Seriously, if you do nothing else, reach out to me and I will make sure you’re connected !!

Ask Others !! – Don’t let people shift in the wind hoping to land somewhere that has value. Be intentional and ask others to join you where you belong. With so many social media platforms, you can get someone to belong with you easily.

Do This at Work !! – Make sure that your employees know that they belong. Don’t assume this is happening. Reach out and be intentional to evaluate where people see their sense of belonging in their position and within their department and the company as a whole.

I love belonging. I know you do too. Let’s make sure that occurs !!

The Wisdom of Tide Pools !!

I am a big fan of Social Media. I use most of the well known forums liked Twitter, Facebook and Linked In. I dabble in Instagram and Pinterest, and am always interested in watching other platforms to see what they offer. I think they’re an incredible way to communicate with people globally and they provide avenues to connect that we didn’t have in the past.

I know there’s a negative side to Social Media and the way I look at it is just like all areas of life. If you want to find the dark side of something, you’re sure to find it. I choose not to – ever. I use the great wisdom of Eric Idle from Monty Python – “Always look on the bright side of life !!” (double exclamation points are my addition, always wanted to be a Python)

The biggest challenge for me is taking note of how I use my time on Social Media. It’s easy to get bombarded with friend requests, likes, invitations, retweets, etc. It can grab your attention and take it away from other things. Let me share a story . . .

This past week I was on vacation with my family in San Diego. It was our first time there and we rented a condo that sat up high enough on a hill to see the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean. We took in the phenomenal San Diego Zoo our first full day and I took tons of pictures of the animals and the park. The second day we went to Coronado Island and the beach. Again, incredible and tons of pics. I felt compelled to post a few !! The third day we ventured to Cabrillo National Monument which is a National Park.

Tide PoolWe decided to see the tide pools before the monument, lookout and light house. To get to the tide pools, you hike up and down the cliffs alongside the Pacific as the waves do their best to erode the shoreline every few seconds. It was physically challenging, but I wouldn’t have missed it. The views were panoramic and inspiring. We took our time and were careful as we worked our way over to the area where the pools were formed inside a rock ledge. As the kids and my wife were taking pics of their own, I leaned over one of the pools and said to my wife, “Debbie, you have to see this !! It’s beautiful !!”

And . . . then I slipped and slid down into the tide pool. I panicked and tried to push off the bottom, but never felt it. I was up to my chest (and I’m 6’4″) when I grabbed hold and pulled myself out of the tide pool. The kids yelled “Phone !! Camera !!” I yanked them out of my cargo shorts, but they were blank, black rectangles. My “swim” took less than 30 seconds.

I was safe but drenched. Everyone around asked if I was okay, and I was thankful I was. I’ve seen many posts from my friends about the need to be unplugged from Social Media and I agree with them. I’ve taken breaks, but I’ve never had one taken for me. It seems that my slip broke the chain I didn’t know I had.

When we got back on the trail to see the rest of the National Park, Debbie reminded me that I lost a phone and camera, but she could have lost me. I was only a few feet from dropping down into the ocean. A sober reminder.

The break was what I needed because it was life before Social Media and technology. The rest of the trip was better than the beginning !! We saw one of my past Eagle Scouts who is training with his brother at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista to try and make the Archery Team for the 2016 games in Rio. We climbed the California Tower at the San Diego Museum of Man and saw the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, and we enjoyed delightful food and picturesque sunrises and sunsets.

I was missing the reason that I post, blog, tweet, etc. in the first place and that’s the people in my life. I learned a great lesson from that tide pool. It’s not the technology that’s a problem, it’s how I choose to use it.

I plan to take this lesson to heart from now on.

 

Do Something Meaningful !!

A few weeks ago as I was leaving for some activity or another, my wife grabbed my hand as I was heading out the door and said, “Do something meaningful today !!”

I stopped for a second and asked her what she just said. “You heard me,” she said. And, then I headed out to my activity with this thought guiding my way. I’ll be honest it threw me. I was in such a rush to go that I wasn’t even thinking about why I was doing it. I had fallen into a pattern of just going to participate, that I hadn’t even remembered what motivated me to do this in the first place. Now, fast forward a few weeks . . .

I was fortunate to speak this year at the SHRM Annual Conference. I enjoy speaking to my peers at HR events. You could say I get Geeked about it !! I never quite shake the nerves you get before a presentation starts, and this was no different. Before anyone came to the 7:00am session, I stared at a vast room filled with 1,200 empty seats. The thought of, “I wonder if anyone will come?,” crossed my mind once or twice. Slowly the room began to fill, and I felt less anxious.

SHRM Speaker PicThe next hour and fifteen minutes flew by !! We laughed together and talked about how to make your company’s culture rock. I’ve always been someone who thinks HR is simply the best field ever to work in, and I shared that with the group. This message was one of encouragement. I believe in what HR folks do for organizations and for employees individually.

During the presentation, I pulled out my favorite HR tool available – my Magic 8 Ball. Yes, this is the toy from the 1970’s where you ask it a question and then turn it over for it’s response. I usually ask, “Are you going to keep your job?” Shake the 8 Ball, turn it over and see “Doesn’t look good.” It’s fun because you get to mess with your employees and there’s nothing that says you can’t do this !! At the end of the presentation, I make sure to give out a Magic 8 Ball to make sure that someone has a new tool to take on HR in a different way.

The same anxious feeling you get before you give your presentation you have after it’s over. You don’t know if what you covered mattered or not. Was it meaningful?

The reality of this is that it isn’t in your control and it’s a humbling factor of speaking. I’m good with this though because doing something meaningful shouldn’t be self-serving, it should help others. This runs contrary to most everyone today because we still keep focusing on the “what’s in it for me” approach. We build entire systems to make sure that we cover the WIIFM factor.

Is practicing HR meaningful for you? Are you focused on others? What happens when you practice every day and you’re not sure it matters to others. You honestly may not hear if what you do every makes an impact. It’s hard to keep going, but I want to encourage you to not give in.

Since the presentation, I’ve heard from several people who say they’re Geeked about HR again. Two people told me they bought Magic 8 Balls and they’re already “using” them at work. I also was humbled when two young HR pros from Utah called me to talk about their ideas on benchmarking HR to improve their culture !! There were many others that talked to me and I loved meeting each one of them.

As you start the week, I want to leave you with the encouragement my wife gave me – Do something meaningful today !!

Extroverts Guide to #SHRM15 !!

The SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition starts in one week in Las Vegas !! This venue seems to scream “extrovert” with all of it’s bright lights, shows and casinos. With over 15,000 people, expected the Conference can be overwhelming for everyone.

We don’t write about extroverts much because we assume they’re going to fill the space with their outward thoughts anyway !! I have to be honest, most of my friends are not extroverts. I assumed because they were active socially, they’d be extroverted. I am, so why wouldn’t they be? (1st fault of the extrovert . . . )

Being introverted or extroverted is neither right nor wrong. It just is who we are and how we’re wired. So, I wanted to put some hints and advice that will fill up the extrovert’s need for constant communication and interaction so that you can fully enjoy SHRM15 !!

Pick Sessions that STRETCH you !!

There are so many great sessions at this year’s Conference. Don’t fall into the trap of going to ones that reflect your day-to-day role. Stretch yourself and feed your inner desire to see what HR could look like and may look like in the future. Get on the edge of what we do and claw out of the trenches for a week. These sessions will challenge the way you think and you’ll love it.

Talking To YouMake connections that matter !!

Extroverts have to talk. They can’t help but express themselves. Use that fact to meet the folks who are at the event. We are all in HR together and instead of trying to continue to go it alone, meet the folks that are milling around you. We’ve lost sight that we’re all in the same profession. The best resource you are looking for could be right next to you. So, when you talk to strangers, because you will, connect with them so that you can be resources for each other long after the conference concludes. To put this in HR math – if you connect with 10 people and each of those folks are connected to 10 people, you have just built an incredible network !!

Tweet, SnapChat, Post, Blog, etc. !!

Face it, you’re already social. It’s part of your inherent nature. Social Media use by HR pros jumps through the roof during SHRM15 and that’s awesome. The challenge is that you carry it forward and remain social. Remember, social media is just another way to communicate and connect. Tweet during sessions using the speaker’s Twitter handle and the hashtag #SHRM15. Post to Instagram with pics from all over the SHRM Store and the Vendor Hall. Show HR people who weren’t able to attend all of the great things going on.

As an extrovert, you have a drive that needs to be constantly fed on the social side of your personality. Use the Conference to launch your social side and then keep it going strong with all of your new connections once you head back to your part of the HR universe.

Take in EVERYTHING !!

I know that the temptations of the Vegas Strip will pull on every attendee, and there will be plenty of time for that. My hope is that you take in the entire vendor hall and talk to people to see what they have to offer and not just make the dash for swag. Sit up front in the keynotes and the concurrent sessions to grow and develop.

Extroverts are great at “conferencing” which means that you are eager to see the 7:00am sessions and then you are on the go through the wee hours of the night. Don’t miss a thing. You’ll be glad you did !!

Finally, don’t just hang with your own kind. There will be people from all over the world at the Conference. Don’t just stay with those from your own state or country. Release your inner extrovert and meet folks from everywhere !!

When you meet our introvert counterparts, greet them, give them a second and then hug away !! (if they’re cool with it). Have fun !! The SHRM Annual Conference is always a great event. This is where you can flourish and be your extroverted self !!

I will make sure to find you – count on it !!

What Happened in Vegas . . .

. . . shouldn’t stay in Vegas !!

I just returned from the SHRM Annual Conference (SHRM15) in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a great even from start to finish. I enjoyed the Bloggers Lounge, the Smart Stage, the SHRM Store, the vendor hall, the keynote speakers, Jennifer Hudson, the concurrent sessions, being on TChat with Kevin Grossman, Callie Zipple and Chanel Jackson, the No Kid Hungry Poetry Slam and especially meeting the great attendees throughout the week !!

Tomorrow, I return to work and the great folks I get to be with most of the time !! Please note that I don’t HAVE to go back to work, I GET to go back to work. I have great new information on how to work with my Team Leaders from Marcus Buckingham, how to build my team from Coach Mike Krzyzewski, how to develop leaders that leave a legacy from Mary Faulkner, how to drive strategy through HR from Jennifer McClure and much more.

Las Vegas SignI have information that I can use immediately to make my role better and more effective. I’m sure that everyone who came also gathered information that they could use in their HR roles. The question is – will that information stay in Vegas or make it back to your workplace?

People tend to get all geeked up at HR Conferences which is fantastic and needed !! It is a great release from the day-to-day functions we perform. We don’t get that release often enough and it’s fun to decompress with your peers. In sessions, we find tons and tons of takeaways that we promise ourselves that we will use the moment we step back into the office.

Then . . . Monday hits and the pattern that we have been following every day takes over. The first “fire” of the day bursts into flame and it builds from there. The excitement we felt at the Conference rapidly fades and all of our good intentions never come to life. Aren’t you tired of that? I know I am !!

Break the past and hit Monday running and take it head on. Be intentional about changing how you’ve been practicing HR, and implement the takeaways that mattered to you into your day right of the bat. Also, reach out to the people you connected with during the Conference and build your network. Refuse to go back to the days of practicing HR on your own. The people you met will be the best HR resources you will ever have. Keeping in touch with each other will make you an even better HR professional !!

Trust me when I say that these hints are things I practice myself. I met hundreds of new HR folks and have already reached out to them to make sure we’re connected. I’m going to introduce the takeaways I had in my department and with our Team Members. I used to go to HR conferences and left everything behind me. They were great fun, but they weren’t very sustainable.

That never seemed to work, and I changed my approach several years ago. Once I brought things back on purpose, my love for HR grew and grew even more.

Don’t HR Me !!

This past week I had one of my many “commute convos” on the way home from work. I have a pretty long commute and I love to fill it with calls with friends. I know it’s a bit archaic to have actual conversations with people these days, but I’m sticking to it. They are often exhilarating because I catch up with people and hear the great stories and experiences they are having.

During this one particular call, my friend (also in HR) was telling me about a recent chat with her husband who was struggling with his job. He wanted to throw in the towel and look for something different. (We’ve ALL had that kind of talk with someone !!) His wife was being awesome and listening to him. As he paused, she pulled out her expertise and started coaching and exploring options for him when he held up his hand and exclaimed – “Don’t HR me !!”

We both howled about this story because she was doing what comes naturally. All people in every profession do this. We tend to keep things at the surface level and talk about our profession. Not true ?? When you meet someone for the first time and learn their name, what’s your first question? I’ll bet you that it’s “So, what do you do for a living?”

We are fiercely defined by our career and occupation. If you want to test how true that is, talk to someone in transition. One of the driving challenges of getting that next new job is getting over the feeling that our job IS who we are. Don’t get me wrong, it is a huge component of our life, but it is only one component.

Confined WallsWhat’s the harm in getting to know people past their profession? If all we have to talk about is work with each other, the conversations would get pretty predictable don’t you think? It may give you the illusion of some safety bubble, but it keeps people at arm’s length.

I have dear HR friends right now who are celebrating new accomplishments, mourning loss of friends and/or family, looking for their next great gig, seeing life through the eyes of their children, trying on a new city they just moved to, etc.

I love hearing about every aspect of what they’re going through !! They’re very cool in reciprocating as well. You see other than my great HR job, I’m a husband, father, musician, writer, comic book movie nerd, sold out musicophile, Scout leader and social media wonk to name a few things.

In just a few weeks, I’m going to the SHRM Annual Conference in Las Vegas and I’m geeked !! I’ve had a goal the past few years to try to meet every attendee, and last year I  made some serious strides. This year, I’m keeping the same target, but I won’t ask one of them what they do. I already know they’re in HR !! I want to be different and get to know them for the phenomenal people they are !!

It may make some folks uncomfortable, but I’m good with that and I have a motive to do this other than being an extrovert. I think that the more HR people are connected as humans, the better HR people we will be in our organizations. You see, you won’t look at your employees other than people you happen to work with unless you’re connected to other humans yourself.

This week reach out and make a call during your commute. Fill your travel time with connections to those friends that you promise yourself you’ll call. Don’t pause anymore. Give them a call and ask them how life is going. I know they’d love to hear from you !!

You never know, I may be calling you as well !!

The Real #FF !!

As 2014 draws to a close, we take time to reflect on what was and what will possibly be for the coming year.

For those of you who are active on Twitter, there has been a hashtag called #FF which stands for “Follow Friday.”  It’s where people recommend others that are on Twitter for you to consider following.  When Twitter was in its infancy, this was huge every Friday and you’d see tweets flying so quickly that your head would spin.  People were excited to connect and see who else was out on the social platform.

Inevitably, you’d see the same names week after week because, like any system, there is a bell curve of activity.  There are many who are very visible, active and they do a great job of posting their material and the material of others.  There are also many who “lurk” and watch what people write and post.  Nothing wrong with lurking because I’m assuming that you are trying to see what has value to you and this allows you to filter what information you like and avoid that which you don’t.

There is also a significant group of people who dabble in social media because someone encouraged them to, but they lose interest quickly. For whatever reason, it just doesn’t capture enough of their attention to merit ongoing effort.  They may show up in a #FF once in a while, but they rarely reciprocate.

Friends and FamilyThis isn’t specifically a post about Social Media though.  You see this past week during the holidays was filled with the Real FF – Friends and Family !!  People gathered from all over to make sure to see each other and catch up.  These times of seeing people in person has immeasurable value.  It’s great to hear new stories or relive old memories surrounded by warmth and laughter.

In my case, these gatherings are also generational.  There are Grandparents, Aunt, Uncles, and cousins of various ages and from various backgrounds.  They live in urban settings, rural settings and suburban settings.  It’s a broad spectrum that continues to grow as the families grow.

Getting together with people in person is energizing for me. To take the time to get to connect with friends is something I look forward to every time I get to go to an event.  I am a big proponent of the #FF movement on Twitter and try my best to keep active because I believe these electronic introductions can lead to meaningful connections and friendships.

Going into to 2015, I hope to make more of the #FF that I do socially come to life in person.  I believe that the more intentional we are in making these connections become a reality, we experience that “friends and family” high of getting to know one another.

So, be on the lookout !!  I plan to make sure to rekindle existing friendships as well as develop new ones.  I hope that you are one of those #FF folks who truly becomes a friend.  Don’t be surprised when I find you !!  It will be magnificent !!