… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Social Matters

Well, it’s been a week since HRevolution and not only have I caught up on my sleep, all the thoughts and ideas surrounding the event have managed to kind of sort themselves out. I know what you’re saying to yourself, “Not another HRevolution post!” Well, not to worry, this is the last one from me, that is at least until the next HRevolution. And I am hoping there will be another one and that it is soon! Now, over the last week I have reflected on the event, read what other attendees have blogged about it, and I found that one thought kept coming back to me: Social matters.

That’s right, I think that the real value from unconferences like HRevolution is the socialization. It’s the tweetups, the random conversations, the chats over coffee, matching offline personalities with online, and the “secret tracks”. It’s all those fun, silly, and random moments that you can only experience in person and can’t translate to blog posts or twitter not matter how good of a writer you are. It’s about putting yourself out there and being willing to make an ass out of yourself all in the pursuit of deepening the relationships you started online. Even though I would never embarrass myself like that. Never. Really, I promise. Okay fine, I totally made an ass out of myself on several occasions. The point is, I didn’t let that stop me from talking to people.

But why is socialization important? Look, HR is one of those professions where it’s members can only really relate to each other. We can’t go complain about Jane in Accounting problems with her boss to Bob in Legal because that would be inappropriate and violate confidentiality. We can’t form close relationships outside of HR and we have many negative images we have to work against. We need the kind of socialization that unconferences can provide. We need the chance to talk to people who understand, who we can let our guard down with, people who have been where we are and can offer some practical advice. We both need and crave it. It’s not just about the opportunity to learn something new or have our minds open to a new way of doing something. That’s valuable but I feel that the real value of unconferences is the sense of community that it provides.

That sense of community is something that is hard to achieve in a large, traditional conference where the conversation only goes one way and where you’d be lucky to randomly meet up with anyone you could have a deep discussion with, on any number of topics. Unconferences value lies in those random, deep conversations. That is why I have three final thoughts on HRevolution: 1. I think it was too big, which made it hard to connect with everyone in attendance, 2. Returning attendees like myself are important, but I’m glad there were new voices as well to keep us alumni on our toes, and 3. If you did not take advantage of all the social opportunities surrounding the event itself you missed out on arguably the best and most valuable part. Social matters and that is why I found so much value in attending HRevolution. That is all. For now.

10 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 Tammy Colson :

    Can i just say… amen?! i haven’t put my thoughts into words…. yet. Its still stewing, and won’t be prolific… but I agree. the social thing was the best thing. And it sucks that we only had about 30 mins on Sunday. Because that exchange is what makes it for me. i so wish I had 100 connections in MN, because you would rock in any org, ive been in, at any time. I’d give my arm to work with you. Nuf’ said?

  • 2 Adowling :

    Can I just comment to say ‘What Tammy said’? And any shenanigans that’s caused you to make an ass out of yourself was totally worth it. #justsayin

  • 3 Shauna :

    Tammy – Awww, thanks! I’m totally blushing now. I wish we had more time too!

    April – I will gladly make an ass out of myself in order to engage in fun shenanigans! Like you said, totally worth it. 🙂

  • 4 Crystal Peterson :

    Shauna – so glad we got to hang out for a while on Thursday but still wish we’d had more time. (I won’t bring up the Mini, I promise :-)). Seriously, you’re spot on in this post and I think this came up in one of the sessions. HR has a different level of responsibility in the organization and you just can’t share, be friends, hang out, with just anyone. It’s great to make these connections with folks who get what you do and can encourage you, provide feedback and sometimes just be friendly shoulder. Can’t wait for the next opportunity to connect!!

  • 5 Michael VanDervort :

    Shauna – so glad we to hang out at HRevolution and at TRU. One of these days we need to hang out for drinks in the Cities!

  • 6 Shauna :

    Crystal – I’m glad I got to see you and hang out with you too! You’re so much fun I’m already looking forward to the next time. 🙂

    Mike – If you can’t make it back to MN for drinks I should certainly try to make it to Florida! Great to see you too!

  • 7 Mervyn Dinnen :

    Shauna, I couldn’t agree more that the socialization is the most important part…I was really disappointed not to be able to have a proper conversation with you:(

    As one of the ‘new attendees’ and I have to say that it is quite overwhelming trying to speak to everyone…you all seem like friends cos I see your pictures (well, avatars!) constantly and am able to converse with you online. I got to speak to so many wonderful people, yet realise that there were many more that I never got any quality chat time with.

    I can only hope I get the chance to come to many other events and finally get quality time with everyone!!

  • 8 HR Carnival-HRevolution Style | UpstartHR :

    […] Shauna Moerke (she of the big laugh and the bigger smile) got my weekend going with a laugh. She takes things a little more seriously in her post about how social matters. […]

  • 9 Lois Melbourne :

    The social and the discussions is 100% why I came to HRevolution. It was hard to have enough conversations, even with starting on Thursday night. If it had not been Mother’s Day, I would have stayed all day Sunday just to make things more social.

    I hope we can be ‘social’ again soon.


  • 10 Shauna :

    Mervyn – I hope we get a chance to connect again so that we can spend more time chatting!

    Lois – I love any opportunity to chat with you! 🙂