#SHRM18: Expanding My World by Eliminating a Word



I just cannot believe how quickly June is creeping up on us! Like many #SHRM18 attendees, I am just over the moon with enthusiasm to learn from keynote speakers and attending sessions vital to evolve our profession. Hopefully, I’ll spend just a few hours winding through the maze of the Expo Hall. My biggest hope however, is just that I’ll be able to gracefully engage with brand new faces and continue to grow my professional network. So, how do I intend to expand my world at #SHRM18? My plans for #SHRM18 are key elements of my overall strategy for the year – to move beyond a frame of self-doubt and into an invigorated foundation of confidence.

My first step to accomplishing that goal? Kicking the word “just” to the curb and out of my vocabulary! I’d be surprised if you read the first few lines of the paragraph above and didn’t pick up on how the word “just” can completely alter the tone and context of a sentence. I am entirely guilty of not only using this word in casual conversation, but, more often than I care to admit, also in my professional communications: “Just checking in for an update…” or “I just wanted to let you know…”. This language shifts the tone to apologetic instead of assertive, as if already apologizing for an error I haven’t made yet. While I have heard this habit attributed to being a “millennial” thing, a “female” thing, or a “young professional” thing, it doesn’t matter as much to me where the struggle has stemmed from – it’s time to eradicate this verbal stumbling from my language.

Since #SHRM17 I’ve spent lots of time contemplating what I can do to empower my own growth as a HR professional. Many instances that I mull over most often usually include one form of this communication, where I insinuate that perhaps I am not 100 percent certain of the validity of the information I am conveying. My goal for SHRM18? Envelop myself in confidence gained from expanding my world, and more importantly, my knowledge.

Now that this isn’t my first conference rodeo, I am looking forward to a more focused approach while stepping through those conference room doors. At #SHRM17, I tried to jam pack sessions into every free moment of my schedule, only to end up exhausted and drained by the end of the day – right when all the fun networking events begin! Instead of getting the most value from the experience by attending everything under the sun, I ended up missing out on valuable chances to connect after burning out from multiple mega sessions and running frantically from one event to the next. By concentrating on a few targeted areas of education, at #SHRM18 I am eager to expand my knowledge in key areas related to my day to day work, and still leave more than enough wiggle room in my schedule for time to rest, recharge, and start making connections.

For me, preparing for #SHRM18 has been about more than cell phone power packs, which vendor has the best swag, and finding the best walking shoes – although the wrong pair of shoes can ruin even the best laid plans! This year, #SHRM18 prepping is about giving myself room to breathe, grow, and acknowledging what I need to feel more confident and grounded in my professional interactions. It’s about finding the balance between meaningful sessions and carving out healthy amounts of time for making friendships with my HR tribe that will span a career and beyond. My shoes are broken in, batteries are charged, extra business cards are ordered, and I’ve mapped out the events that I want to attend – how are you getting ready for #SHRM18?



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