How to Cultivate Winning Relationships at CoSHRM 2015


By Morag Barrett on September 1, 2015

Posted by Morag Barrett | September 1, 2015How to Cultivate Winning Relationships at CoSHRM 2015I firmly believe that the world of work is a team sport. The biggest team sport any of us get to play. Which means we are dependent on others for our success. We must pay attention to how and when we cultivate professional relationships at work.Events like the Colorado State SHRM (CoSHRM) Conference offer a wonderful opportunity for networking and reconnecting with past contacts. I have had the opportunity to speak at events around the world, and one thing I can almost certainly guarantee is that of those attending CoSHRM, most will hunt in packs.  What do I mean by this? Most will stay with their friends and colleagues, eat together, sit together, and chat together. Very few will have the courage to break out and to meet new people, make new connections.Why not consider CoSHRM as a chance to deepen and expand your network? Set yourself the goal of meeting five new people everyday. I don’t mean simply collecting business cards. Take the time to stop and talk about a breakout session. Get to know them and what they hope to gain from CoSHRM. Lee Odden recommends having a purpose and goal for each connection.With that in mind, here are 15 tips to help get the most out of your CoSHRM experience.Before the ConferenceWhat are your goals? Think about what you would like to do better. What would your company like to do better? Make a list of 3-5 things you would like to learn from the conference. Then, create a plan for sharing what you learn at the conference with your team.Who can help? Review the presentation schedule and highlight the speakers that might be useful to see. Look up the speakers on LinkedIn or Twitter to learn more about their area of expertise. Develop a list of questions you would like to ask them at their session.Connect with colleagues. Let your friends on LinkedIn and Twitter know that you are attending CoSHRM and offer to meet them at the conference. Share this article with them and ask what are do they hope to learn at the conference. Offer to each cover a different session, then exchange conference notes with each other afterwards.Practice your “hello”. Be ready to introduce yourself and explain what you hope to learn from CoSHRM in 30-seconds or less. The intent is to open up a conversation with others who might share your interest or could offer some help.Pack your business cards. Make sure your business cards have your most current contact information. Bring plenty of business cards and tuck them into the back of your conference name tag so they are easy to find. At the ConferenceAsk questions. Write down questions or tweet them during the presentation. Refine your prepared list of questions based on the speaker’s presentation. When asking a question, be prepared to provide a specific business example. When you get the answer, write it down in a way that make it easy to share with others.Share notes with a fellow session attendee. As Adrian Segar of Conferences That Work notes, “Connecting with peers during a session allows participants to access expertise and experience beyond what an expert at the front of the room can provide.” After the session ends, offer to compare notes with another session attendee that you don’t already know. Sharing notes helps filter the most important points from the presentation. Plus, it’s a great way to meet other people.Provide timely updates. Be the conference backchannel – Post photos, videos and comments on your Twitter feed with your comments and #COSHRM2015.Exchange business cards. Offer to connect with others via LinkedIn or Twitter. Send a personal invitation, not just the standard wording. Find out what kind of articles or news you would appreciate sharing with each other.Summarize your notes. At the end of the day, write a summary of the key points that you learned. Email the summary to your team. What questions do they have? What other information could be useful to know?After the ConferenceFollow up with your connections. If you promised to send information, make sure you remember to do so. I write reminders on the back of people’s business cards. Thank the conference organizers. Let the organizers know what you appreciated in the conference via Twitter. Provide a Dropbox link to your written summaries, photos and videos and make it publicly available.Nurture your network. Look for opportunities to give something that is meaningful to the other person, such as a quick congratulations message or an article about something they are interested in. Ask for help and input from your network. You may just receive a suggestion you hadn’t considered!Present what you learned to your team. Pull together your summaries, photos, videos, and a list of people that you met into a brown bag presentation for your team or your company. Identify ways that these ideas could help your team and how you plan to use them in your daily work.Share your network. The most successful people are the ones who share their network and expertise; they give more than they take. Make introductions, share your wisdom and build a reputation for being the go-to person. Need help building innovation in your team?At CoSHRM, our presentation session, Building Innovation: One Team and Learning Activity at a Time, is being held on Friday, October 2nd at, 8:15 a.m. We’re planning a highly interactive session to help attendees experience how to motivate their teams towards high performance, and I hope to see you there. If you can’t make the session, I would love to meet and connect with you. Please come by and meet my team and I on Thursday, October 1st at the Cocktail Hour and the SkyeTeam exhibitor booth.  Feel free to connect with me before September (don’t forget the personal message) because business is personal and relationships do matter! References:Hart, Jane. “Using the Twitter backchannel at an event.”Odden, Lee. “5 Ways to Optimize the Business Value of Attending Conferences.”Segar, Adrian “The advantages of supporting connection during meeting sessions.” Related Articles Share3
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