The HR Juggler

Day 6: Connections

Posted on: December 6, 2012

Day 6’s post is by the rather wonderful Neil Usher who can be found on Twitter @workessence – he is a  blogger, poet, property guru and an integral part of the ConnectingHR community. I know that I can speak for all of us when I say we are richer for his presence amongst us and I love his take on what he has gained through being a part of it all…I think you will too!


I have been privileged for the last couple of years to be part of the ConnectingHR community, despite not being in HR. I don’t pay any subscriptions, I don’t have any commitments, I don’t collect CPD airmiles, and I don’t have a lapel badge. I have been to three unconferences, and several socials. I still marvel that I wouldn’t have found many of the people I have met through this community I now consider friends without Twitter, and professionally would have still been rattling around the biscuit tin of property, wondering how I could ever get out.

The reality is that ConnectingHR has little to do with HR. It may as well just be called Connecting. While there are overlaps between our LinkedIn lives, most of the energy within the group comes from others sources. While the community needed a draw, its perpetuation to a great extent leaves it at the door. Why are we connected at all?

  • Social tools break down connection theories – forget bridges, edges and the rest of the molecular chemistry theories, we play a game of chance every time we engage (and sometimes even when we don’t), and can be amazed by what we find
  • It is instantly and perpetually non-judgmental – we can, in this space, be entirely who we are and not be concerned
  • It is a gift economy – we freely give advice, help, guidance, provide connections and introductions with no expectations of transaction – and yet are then free to ask when we need help or advice
  • It is experimental – no everything works, attendance is highly variable, and the fringes are deep – but that’s entirely okay
  • We all strive for a simpler language, and greater honesty in our personal and business engagement, scathing of the smokescreen of business BS
  • We are not afraid to say it as it is, and frequently do – the community is as much about blogging and “getting it out there” as about face to face interaction
  • It is a living laboratory, where we run out of walls to throw ideas at
  • It holds our anticipation – we never know what is going to happen next

I say openly that it has enriched my life. Thanks for letting me in.

12 Responses to "Day 6: Connections"

I have merely dipped my toe in the water with ConnectingHR so far, but reading that has made me decide to jump in at the deep end in 2013. I thought the group might be just what I was looking for, now I am sure!

Great article Neil. I have just signed up to ConnectingHR as a result of this article. I can see clearly how it will be beneficial to me as someone who wants to pursue a career in HR, and I believe I can also make a positive contribution to the network.

We should be thanking you for being a part of it! You’ve brought energy, poetry, your time and friendship to so many. I don’t work in anything like HR any more but I am still connecting.

One of the best things about ConnectingHR is the breadth of people involved – present company definitely included. I know that if I have an issue there is bound to be someone in the community who can help me find the answer. As your post states, you come to the feast without an HR background, but you have a valued and eloquent voice. You add to the wealth of us all in so many ways. Thank you!

Here’s to more collaboration next year and beyond, it is an absolute pleasure to work with you on the music stuff and to enjoy your company and creativity.

Neil – you rock! Simple. As. That.

I must admit that although I’ve signed up to ConnectingHR I don’t use it as the site or the network as much as I should. Maybe that should be my new year’s resolution

it’s something special

Such a lovely post. I’ve been a part of this network for two years now and I know everything Neil says to be true. I love the fact that it is a gorgeous, messy mixture and not solely HR.
I absolutely recognise the final sentence. It has enriched my life too. In so many ways.
Those of you who wonder about it – come along to a tweetup. You will be welcomed. It isn’t cliquey and you will meet some awesome people. Like Alison and Neil!

All I can do is agree, agree and agree once again, love Twitter, love the #ConnectingHR community for their welcoming openness and generosity, that includes you too Neil. It has been a pleasure meeting you at the Tweetups. X

Well im off the grid for a while and i come back to this! I think its fair to say that CHR has way exceeded my own expectations, not that i had many! My life is definitely enriched through all the connections that i have made. And I like the variety and unstructured nature of it – it is everything that traditional networking, esp in HR, is not. Long may it continue. Great post Neil, thanks for sharing.

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