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Connecting on Purpose at #SHRM19

Connecting on Purpose at #SHRM19

Day 1 at SHRM is in the books!! I’ve been coming to SHRM Annual for 9 years now, and every year it’s a little like the first. The giddy feeling of having so much knowledge and resources at your fingertips, the anticipation of seeing so many friends that you haven't seen in too long, followed closely by the sense of overwhelming at the sheer size of the conference. But what makes it every year for me is the people.

This year, 20,000+ HR professionals converged on Sin City to discuss, debate, and debauch (not too much, just a little!). Being an introvert, it's a combination of scary and challenging for me. There was a time in my life when I would be the one finding a seat by myself, sitting and staring at my phone the whole time, not talking to anyone.

Fast forward 8 years, I'm a SHRM blogger and I'm one of the people who's walking up to others and saying "hi!!" Don't get me wrong, I'm still very much an introvert. And after a long day of socializing, it's time for me to go back to the hotel, be by myself, and recharge. But during the day, I'm connecting.

So here’s my tips on Connecting at #SHRM19:

1. Use people’s names. SHRM gives us name tags for a reason. Dale Carnegie said “A person's name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.” So instead of just saying “Hi”, say “Hi Joyce, I’m Keith.”

2. Find out things about them. Go beyond just asking how they’re doing, how they’re liking the conference, etc. Find out where they’re from, what kind of company do they work for, things like that. You may end up making an awesome contact in your industry that you can keep in touch with and share knowledge.

3. Meet up for dinner or drinks. After a long day of learning and browsing the Expo, reach out to your new friends and meet somewhere for dinner and/or drinks. Las Vegas is a nightlife city, so take advantage.

4. Connect on social media. When we all leave Las Vegas and head back to our respective home towns, we want to be able to keep in touch with the amazing people that we met. And keep in contact!!

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