I’ve seen quite a bit of conversation lately about human resources and influence. I received this note from an HR Bartender reader and thought it might be good to answer it here on the blog.
Hi Sharlyn. I hope my message finds you well. You must know that you are my true HR Hero. I would like to seek your advice on starting a HR blog. I have nine years of HR experience mostly in a generalist role. I have both good success (and downfall) stories as a HR practitioner but I don’t want to bore readers with HR life stories (you know what I mean). Could you give me some tips on what I can write about? Thanks a million!
First of all, I want to thank the person who sent this note. It’s very nice and totally made my day! I see this note having three parts: 1) starting an HR blog, 2) telling HR stories, and 3) influence. Let’s start with the first one, blogging. I’ve written posts about being a blogger before. Here’s a few of them:
In addition to these, there are a variety of articles out on the interwebs about how to start blogging. Both from a logistical view as well as writing. Mr. Bartender and I still go to events like WordCamp to stay current with what’s happening from a technical perspective. And I read several writing blogs, so I can continue to become a better writer. I think the better I get at writing, the better I become at expressing myself. Which leads me to topic number two, telling HR stories.
We all have HR stories. Just get a group of HR pros together and the stories begin to flow. While HR professionals can learn in many ways, there are times when hearing other people’s crazy HR stories that adds to the learning. In my experience, I know there have been times when I thought “no one else deals with this crazy” or it would be embarrassing to ask a question “because the work craziness is a reflection on my HR knowledge and skills.” Well, get that thought out of your head right now. You do not control workplace crazy. Even though you have to deal with it.
HR professionals need to hear other HR pro’s stories. Look, we’re not asking anyone to name names and reveal confidential and proprietary information. But sharing war stories can be valuable. Both the good and the bad. The boring and the exciting. The funny and the sad. It helps readers realize they’re not alone. Which leads to the last point – influence.
People shouldn’t be hesitant to share their stories because they feel they might be boring. Boring is okay. Boring helps people. Tell your story. Tell all of your stories. Because trust me when I say this, your story will be relevant, valuable, and helpful to someone.
I enjoy a funny story as much as the next person. But deep down we all know that funny stories aren’t always relevant, valuable, and helpful. They are entertaining. But when I’m looking for answers, I’m not looking for funny stories. I am looking for proven results.
So, go out there and start a blog. Share your stories. Influence others. The profession really needs it.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby after speaking at the Learning and Development League 2016 Annual Conference in Delhi, India14