I keep starting to write and then I stop.
Words have the power to profoundly move me, but then feel tedious at times.
But this weekend, I went to an HR conference and I’ve been so inspired that the words are flowing again. It was like a TED event for HR professionals. This could also be due to the Morning Pages I’ve started recently, but then again the speakers at the conference were pretty darn good. And not just AT the conference. I’ve been in touch with two of them (Siobhan Sheridan, the HR Director of NSPCC and Vilma Nikolaidu, Head of OD at Tate) post the conference and they’ve taken the kindness and the time to respond to my questions and request for a meet-up.
They could very easily say ‘Conference done! I move on to the next thing’, but they don’t. Siobhan had a look at my CV and gave me some feedback on a Sunday afternoon. She offered to have a look at it again if I wasn’t achieving the desired results. When I asked her what made her so calm, considered and kind, she mentioned she practised mindfulness.
Vilma on the other hand was inspired and energised. I asked her how she kept engaged with the massive Tate programme across their four venues. And she said that she read press releases, looked at visitor numbers, she was interested in the programme which in turn made the programmers interested in her work. She talked about how problem solving could be enhanced by changing the questions you ask – ‘what is the problem?’ could become ‘what do you want to achieve?’. And even one small tweak to the conversation could make a massive difference to the outcome.
Vilma talked about how she had one of her early line managers champion her – make a case for her and help her get the job that changed the course of her career. I thought she would go on to say – everyone should find their champion / keep hunting for your champion. But no, instead she said, make sure you are a champion for someone else.
Perry Timms, one of the other speakers, responded very kindly when I wrote to him on LinkedIn to tell him I had started working on my Business Model YOU. I told him I had a long way to go, but he said that the most important thing was to start. Making a start gave me an immediate edge over everyone who already had the information but didn’t do anything with it!
But the most important thing I learned, and experienced with these speakers is their kindness and the impact it had on me. By them replying to me and making me feel like an individual, I feel inspired and want to do the same for others. Yesterday someone I didn’t know asked me for an email address of an ex-ICA colleague. I told her to contact the new organisation he had moved to. She wrote back to say, please, it’s urgent, can you please send me his contact. I ignored her email and left work for the day. But on my way back home from work, I had another think. All she needed was an email address I had easily available. What would it take for me to send it to her? Nothing. But her recieving the email address would make her happy – even if just a tiny bit. And she might pass on the kindness to someone else. Like I’m passing on the kindness I recieved from the speakers at the conference.
If this does inspire you, and you’re at the start of the chain, or at the recieving end of some kindness, keep passing it on!