August 10, 2011

You've Changed, Others Haven't: Tips for Coming Home from a Conference

This is an encore post. It was originally published March 11, 2011.  

You went to a conference.

You networked, renewing old friendships and making new connections.

You shared challenges, gained fresh perspectives.

You've returned to work brimming with energy and ideas, eager to share all the insights you have for improving everything in your organization.

Don't.  I repeat.  Do. Not. Share. Like That.

Dial down your "I'm ready to change the world" passion out of respect for those who aren't ready to have their world changed by you.

They did not just come from the mountains of Colorado, the beaches of California, or the fabulous retreat center in the hills.  They've been dutifully slogging away, probably even doing a little extra to cover for your absence.

While they undoubtedly will want to hear what you learned, too much shared too soon will make them want to smack you down or vaporize you on the spot.

Share appetizers not entrees.  Do a summary report of key takeaways and what they mean for your organization and post it on your internal web site.  When talking individually with a colleague, drop in a casual "Hey I picked up some info for you at the conference that I'm happy to share whenever it works for you."

Over the next few weeks be careful to not start every contribution you make during team meetings with "Well at the conference I just attended."  Link your suggestions to existing strategies.  Connect your comments to colleagues' passions and problems.

Yes, you're fired up and ready to go, but to others you can easily seem like an out-of-control blaze who needs to be reduced to ashes.  So let your new thinking and new ideas be kindling you add to others' flames … and keep stoking the fire so it never dies out.

2 comments:

BBoydFlynn said...

Jeffrey, you rock. Even if you didn't recognize me at first. ;)

Jeffrey Cufaude said...

I'm going to blame your Twitter pic. It's not the current you; hence my confusion. :)