I’m glad to say that I’ve survived another phenomenal Ohio State SHRM HR Conference !! It was spectacular from stuffing the conference bags and setting up the vendor booths all the way to the final session. It truly is an exhausting week for many of us (by choice).
It’s fascinating to watch the interactions that happen at an HR conference. I think this is mainly because HR folks love to be around others from their profession. There’s camaraderie, laughter and a truly evident bonding that is needed at least once a year. You have to know it’s fantastic to be around people who are working in very similar circumstances ranging from compliance to employee relations.
Another very interesting facet that I keep coming across is how involved people choose to be throughout the conference. I get the fact that ALL of us are taking time away from our families, our workplaces and the projects that will be jumping to life come Monday morning once again. Since this time is more focused around HR intentionally, it would make sense to me that you would fill every moment with everything you possibly could at the Conference. Ironically, this doesn’t happen. This isn’t to be critical – it’s an observation.
I think what is telling about this though is the issue of capacity. People take in as much as they can handle in all areas of work, life and activities. The question you have to ask yourself is – what is my capacity? What if I could take in one more thing that may give me THE answer I need to do my role better? What if I met one more person who could be THE one who connects me to resources, a career opportunity or other great HR pros who could make HR come alive?
At the Conference we asked everyone to sign a birthday card for SHRM because it’s their 65th birthday this year. It was a simple thing to ask for a very small commitment. When people saw that their contribution was within reach, easy to accomplish and they had someone there to encourage them to do it – there was instant participation. Once there was one signature, the next one seemed natural. By the time one side of the card was filled, the next side began to take shape. People wrote in all directions, sizes and locations. No one argued and everyone joined in. We even bled over to the back of the card because more and more people wanted to be included.
It was a card. A piece of cardboard that still had room to take on more people. It hadn’t reached it’s capacity – and most of us haven’t either.
So, the next time you’re at an event – take in everything. I mean it. EVERYTHING !! Don’t miss out on one moment. It is so fulfilling and you’ll take all that you’ve experienced and learned back to work and be an even greater HR person !!