Who Knew you Could Learn Life Lessons at an HR Conference?!?!

Last week I attended the 2011 Kansas State SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) conference in Wichita, KS. By the way, if anyone cares, I want this shirt from Wichita. Sorry, I digress….so I was expecting to gain great, new HR knowledge like I always do. What I wasn’t expecting was how these lessons can also carry over to everyday life.

The very first speaker I got to hear was Matt Roloff. If you don’t know who Matt is, he is more than a public speaker. Matt is a little person. He is also in a show about his on TLC called Little People, Big World. Matt was speaking on the power of diversity and inclusion. I am not sure what I expected to take away from his talk, but I was seriously overwhelmed and impressed. I am going to paraphrase Matt, I am sure he won’t mind: He said something along the lines of Craft your thoughts for they become your words. Craft your words for they become your actions and craft your actions as they become your habits. Wow! What a powerful statement! Not only does this apply to interviewing candidates but to how we treat each other, and ourselves, daily. The other 2 things Matt said that have really stuck with me are these: Whose life could you be playing a role in and not even realize it and Embrace differences to build a better community and world. And to close about Matt on a laugh, he said he never denies it when people think little people have magic powers. Not sure I’ve ever heard a room laugh so hard.

I also got to hear Jason Young. If you ever have the chance, DO IT! Something that stood out to me that Jason said was that leadership influences culture which in turn influences teamwork and drives performance. Again, this applies not only in companies and HR but in life. If you are a leader in your network, how will that change others? Think about it. Remember to praise the step and not criticize the fall. Yes, Laura Wynn, you can laugh on the inside. But seriously, when a child is learning to walk, do you get upset when they fall or do you pick them up and have them start again? We should be doing this in business as well. Challenge your employees, but then don’t scold when they fall….empower them to make mistakes. And before I read it in the comments, Yes within reason.

We also heard a great Matthew Kelly quote. “An organization can only become the best version of itself to the extent that the people who drive that organization are striving to become better versions of themselves.” How can you apply this in your daily life? Do you think it can be applied in your daily life, outside of work?

Hopefully these things help you in your daily work life, but you also see how they can transfer to your life in general.


On a final note, just remember that no matter how bad you think your job is, at least you are not the one doing this……

About jeangleason

I am the HR manager for a company in Overland Park. I love to travel and really love the ocean! Spending time with my family & friends is very important to me. These posts are my own and do not reflect those of my company.
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