This past week something very cool happened. A young man posted a question on Linked In asking whether one should be an HR generalist or an HR specialist. It caught my attention because he was kind enough to pull a quote from my book – HR on Purpose !!
I wanted to make sure to respond. This wasn’t because he quoted my book. I try to look at the posts of my peers and do my best to acknowledge them and respond. I think we misconstrue social media as only a series of highlights, and we miss that people want to have conversations. I reached out to Shomari and offered to have a real chat on the phone or virtually. He was kind enough to agree to this when something magical occurred. Other peers who commented on his original post wanted to come together and be included in our call as well.
We set a date and a time which was a bit of a challenge because we live in three different time zones. Through the wonderful world of technology, we made it happen. Shomari had put together a list of preparatory questions he wanted to make sure to cover. Four of us were on a Zoom call and the hour we spent together was wonderful. Several opinions were shared along with much laughter. In fact, one person on the call said she loved that we laughed because she said she doesn’t do this nearly enough as she should. That warmed my heart.
The key takeaway from the four of us convening was not the content or approaches we discussed. Instead, it was something truly revealing. The three others who joined me expressed how much they valued getting together and talking to their peers. Building the foundations of a community between peers was the wonderful outcome. That too warmed my heart. Anytime I see the light come on when peers understand how much better work and life is by having a community, I’m filled with joy. Literally.
I had spent the first several years alone as an HR practitioner. I kept my head down and didn’t even think about peers who also practiced HR. I never reached out to others and others didn’t reach out to me. It didn’t make work fun by any means. Once my eyes were open to connect with others, my career took off personally and professionally. After I saw the benefits of having my own community, I was compelled to make sure that others became connected as well.
Despite my best efforts to date, I find that a significant portion of HR professionals remain isolated. I don’t understand it but I’m not defeated in the least. I’m encouraged that opportunities like the one from last week will continue to present themselves. When they do, I plan to fully jump in. What I’d love to see though, is for others to do the same.
We’re a stronger and more relevant profession when we’re intentionally connected. Many of the social media platforms which brought many of us together years ago are evolving or deteriorating which is pushing people back into the shadows. We can’t allow this to occur !! I know many others who are also community builders around the globe. They continue to do amazing work, and they’re doing all they can to make sure communities are growing and remain sustainable.
I heard the phrase – Community Builds Community – this week, and it is absolutely true.
As we head into 2024, please join in. Know that if you’re in HR then I consider you as part of my community already. Since you’re already “connected,” then take the next step to reach out to others, and let’s make more of this activity occur. It will make a difference to people personally and it will help our companies grow and thrive !! Community builds community.
BTW – Shomari is staying in touch with the three of us and figuring out how we can keep talking and networking. I’m geeked to be included and we’ll see where his efforts go.