Am I guilty of being a “yes” man?

Being a relative newbie (less than 1 year!) to the social media “scene”, I experienced my first SHRM conference from afar through the tweets and blog posts of my HR colleagues fortunate enough to be attending the 2011 SHRM Annual Conference, or #SHRM11 for those on Twitter!  Although I was sitting safely in Bloomington some 1839 road miles away from Las Vegas, there were times that I felt as involved as if I had been there listening to the speakers.  It was remarkable how the perceptions of speakers being good or bad were largely consistent no matter what stream or blog post I read.  This has me thinking, are those of us active in the HR social media guilty of group think?  If so, is that necessarily a bad thing?

Although there are times when disagreements arise in our robust discussions in blog comments and during chats, it seems that as a group we almost always retweet and

It's a Yes, sir Yes, ma'am thing!

agree with the points made.  As we push greater involvement in social media among our colleagues, it seems this level of discussion will need to increase and that we will need to integrate a wider expanse of world views.  This diversity of thought will make us all better, but may increase the risk of reducing the authenticity that I believe the HR social media community has with one another.  How can we increase the diversity of thought within the HR community while encouraging continued authenticity among those participating?  Are we doomed to have only a select group heavily involved or can we truly build the bridges needed to make the social media experience as real as our real life interactions?

Of course, I may be following and reading items from only those people I agree with and I am inadvertently selecting these similar viewpoints myself!  After all, I do think (ok, maybe it’s better labeled as hope) that those involved with social media and its acceptance are on the cutting edge and we are willing to shout out for innovation and openness.  From that perspective, the diversity of what one can do and/or find is truly quite something to behold.

I welcome your thoughts and ideas.


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