Reporting back

I am fortunate to be able to attend more than my fair share of HR conferences. With more great conferences coming up, I find myself thinking about some conversations with attendees at the last couple of conferences I’ve attended.

As I spoke to other attendees and asked them about their conference experience, I frequently get one of three reactions:

  1. Who are you and why are you talking to me?
  2. A story about the great session they just went to.
  3. A comment about how little new information has been learned, but how they are hearing and getting refreshed on things they already knew.

It’s this third point that catches my interest. I believe this provides an opportunity for the HR pros who attend conferences to leverage their own knowledge in their organizations and build their credibility in the organizations.

We know that outside “experts” are often believed more than those who are embedded within organizations. This gaining of knowledge from the outside can be leveraged to help position HR as true knowledge partners throughout the organization.

When you hear a speaker talking about something that you believe and sharing information that you want your organization to use or implement, take note. When back in the office, share what you’ve learned. A simple summary of points can go far in helping convey points that need to be made. Giving credit to others brings both enhanced credibility to you as a learner and shows the value that attending conferences or other learning experiences is for the organization.

So, if you’re heading to state conferences in Ohio, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, New York, or Michigan in the next few weeks, don’t let the information gained reside only in your mind. Spread the knowledge and share the wisdom!

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2 Responses to Reporting back

  1. M Faulkner says:

    Good reminder, Brad! Another benefit of sharing what you learned is that it helps justify WHY it’s important to keep going to conferences (as long as they’re good ones). If attendees keep saying, “I didn’t learn anything new,” then why would I as your manager send you? It’s the learning you bring back to others that justifies the attendance…not the number of giveaways you pick up at the trade show…

  2. karlahlrichs says:

    Agree. It’s like making candles, sometimes. A thin layer of wax, then wait, then another layer, repeat, repeat. Lots of little layers of wisdom, sometimes from the podium, sometimes from a conversation in the hall…