Be a Student !!

I’m a big proponent of Social Media. The various forums give us a variety of ways to communicate, connect and learn from each other. It can be overwhelming at times because it comes at us from every angle and during every moment of the day.

What intrigues me though is how people approach Social Media. I find that most people present ideas, opinions and perspectives that I would not have necessarily come up with myself. I enjoy looking at the material I see as a way to build the amount of knowledge that we can use.

One thing that is challenging in how people use Social Media is when people are critical. Not in the way of poking at the status quo, but in the way where their style, or form of sharing. is to tear everything down. There are no areas that are off limits and the more critical the better. Very few solutions are offered and it is really disheartening when I see the tone of blogs tear people down.

I value hearing from others who don’t look at things the way I do. The fact is this happens every single day all around me. I don’t need Social Media to get that. I do think that Social Media has a “critical” feel to it because we spend the majority of our days being critical of each other and the experiences we have. This isn’t to point fingers. It’s an observation and one I’m guilty of as well.

It’s exhausting and not productive. When you think that you’re spending so much time being critical when you could take a different approach. I heard a piece of advice this week that hit me directly and made me want to change. Here it is . . .

Be a student and not a critic.

LearnThe thought is to learn from others instead of critiquing what they say, or who they are. This may seem passive, but I don’t think so. Hearing other’s points of view does not necessarily mean you agree with them. However, it also doesn’t mean that you tear what they say apart only because it differs from your beliefs.

This is essential in HR. One of the biggest roles you have on a daily basis is being a counselor. You are in a position where you hear the good, the bad and the ugly of people’s lives. If you take the posture of being critical, you will always see the dark side of what you’re facing. You can’t help it because you assume that the worst will surely occur.

You have a choice. You can listen, synthesize and respond to people, or you can critique, judge and react. This is true for all people in organizations and in life. I know that even in writing this people will be critics. My choice is to be the student.

I’d rather learn from you, get to know you and have a relationship with you. Even though our thoughts and opinions may differ, I can still learn. This week I ask you to stop being a critic, and start being a student.

Folks I Learn From !!

Recently, I’ve been trying to think of more ways to put resources in the hands of other HR pros. When I saw the recent post from Trish McFarlane on HR Bloggers as well as the new e-book from David D’Souza Humane, Resourced: A Book of Blogs, I wanted to chime in as well.

You see, I have this incredibly audacious goal !!  I want to see the ENTIRE HR community connected, informed and able to rock in their roles.  I desire to see the “social” HR folks connect with HR practitioners and vice versa.  I believe that the more we’re genuinely connected, then we can share the resources we enjoy in order to do a better job in Human Resources.

Feed Your HeadAlso, I’m a voracious reader who always yearns to learn.  There are so many great ideas, thoughts, concepts, trends and movements to be taken in.  Often, people shy away from information because they load in the filter of “Well, I can’t do that in my organization . . .” and they shut down.  If you do this, stop it !!  What company wants an HR person who only focuses on what can’t be done ??

What if you took the stance of, “I’m not sure if I can use this, but it’s important for me to learn about it.”  Who knows?  You may be able to take something from all you take in and apply it to your culture and situation.  How do you ever plan to change the norms in your organization if you continue to practice only what you know today?  If someone reading this uses the “I just don’t have time” excuse at this point, then just stop reading.

It is an opportunity to use your time differently, creatively and constructively !!  Wouldn’t you love to have that freedom everyday?  I do, and it is exhilarating !!

So, I wanted to put some folks out there in front of you and off the blog roll so that you can consider connecting with them and learning from them.  I do this each week when I send out the HR Net, and now I wanted to highlight some folks every so often to make sure you’re being exposed to folks I learn from !!

Paul HebertFirst up is Paul Hebert.  He works for a cool company called Symbolist.  Paul and I have known each other for years now and we chat often.  I learn from his blog writing as well as our deep conversations.  I mean that.  We say hello, ask about families and then jump in deeply to talk about all facets of HR !! He’s an incredible resource and you will enjoy how he looks at the human facets of engagement, culture and recognition.

Michael CartyNext is Michael Carty.  We’ve only known each other through social media, but I know that we share an incredible amount of similar likes (HR, Global HR and Rock Music) !!  Michael is the consummate curator and works for a phenomenal HR resource – XPertHR.  He hails from the UK and it is on my bucket list to meet in person sooner than later.  Michael is someone who has a pulse on the global perspectives in HR.  Whether it’s through his writing or in his compilations of tweets and blogs on Storify, he keeps others aware of a broad pallet of issues and trends.  He’s a phenomenal person (and resource) to know !!

This is just the start and I hope to feature more folks each month.  Make sure you’re getting more and more connected to the greater HR community !!  You’ll only be better for it !!

 

What are you reading ??

Whenever you talk to HR people these days, heck really ALL people these days, they always bemoan that they don’t have enough time.  I don’t buy it.  If your perspective is that you’re too “full” it’s because of the things you are choosing to fill your time with.  It’s true !!

Look.  I know we all lead incredibly full lives, but there are amazing statistics about how much time people spend watching TV, using technology, etc.  And, many people don’t have a problem catching a movie or a great dinner out on the town.

This isn’t a post on time management because I honestly don’t believe in it.  Instead, I think you need to look at life as – what do I choose to fill my time with ??

ReadOne thing that almost consumes me is reading !! I find myself taking on two to three books at a time plus countless blogs.  Why ??  Because reading allows me to continuously learn about endless things.  Those within my field and about life in general.

Recently I’ve read QBQ! – The Question Behind the Question by John Miller and two great books by Andy Andrews – The Traveler’s Gift and The Noticer. I’m also waist deep in trying to take in The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.  What’s so cool about the Ayn Rand book is that it was a gift from the great folks at Kinetix.  Each year at Christmas they send out a classic book.  I take it as a reminder to delve in and read something that I may have not seen in years.  It’s a fantastic, and memorable, thing to do for people.

As for blogs, it’s hard to highlight them enough.  There are so many folks who do great work.  I have them listed in my blogroll on the site, but here’s the difference.  I have all of these blogs in my Feedly reader.  I make sure to read them all because I think that there are tons of information that needs to be taken in, used at work and shared with others.

So, this week – start reading.  You’re kind enough to read my blog and I truly appreciate that.  Expand your scope even wider.  Take up a book.  Find a new blog to read and follow.  You’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover !!

Challenge for you as well – List what you’re reading in the comments section below.  Let’s share the great items you enjoy.  Fill it up and let’s see what happens !!

Blogs, Blogs Everywhere There’s Blogs !!

The amazing Five Man Electrical Band left their indelible mark on musical history with their one-hit classic – Signs.  The lead singer is struggling with signs all around him telling him “do this, don’t do that,” and it struck a chord with me.

You could say the same today with blogging.  Everyone is encouraged to get their voice out there, and to do it through a personalized blog.  Don’t get me wrong, I love blogs and my Google Reader is packed with amazing work from people I respect both in HR and in business in general.

What has been puzzling me lately is  . . . what do YOU, the reader, want to read?

You can read one post on a site that encourages you to do things one way, and another will come out a week later completely opposite of what you just read.  How can someone cut through the “noise” of what’s being written?  Or, should you cut through it?

I’ve been guilty of tweeting and retweeting blogs as much as anyone else.  However, I don’t cast out the “Hey, read this” button until I’ve read the post myself.  I have my faves and some get my attention every time they post.  The filter I use before sharing it though is that I take in that person’s perspective and do my best to learn something from it.

So, what do you like to see?  I’m not going to embed a survey for this.  I’d like you to leave comments.  List what you like from topics, themes, etc.  You can even list your favorite blogs and bloggers.  I’m open.

As an HR pro, you should be active in learning more and taking in what’s new.  I encourage you to read several blogs from the areas that interest you.  You never want to be stale.

So, lay a comment out here on the site and let me know.  I’d like to make sure that you’re not just being “told” things from my blog.  I know my friends would like to hear what you have to say too !!