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I feel as though I owe you an apology. It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted here to my blog. And for some reason, I feel guilty about it, even though there are about 8,000 other HR blogs there for the reading.
While I’ve felt as though I should write SOMETHING during the past few weeks, the ideas just weren’t there. And it has been bothering me. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t had more to write about recently. Perhaps it was that my short family vacations distracted my attention. Or maybe it’s that my work has been consuming of my creative energies.
I don’t think either was really the case. Instead. I fell into a trap that I think holds a lot of us back in our careers and lives. When I thought more about it, it wasn’t that I hadn’t had ideas, because I had. It wasn’t even that I haven’t had time to write (although time has been tight lately). The problem was that I didn’t feel that anything I had to say was, by my own measure, profound enough to warrant a blog post. And apparently I had decided that if I didn’t have something profound to say, don’t say anything at all.
I suspect that I’m not alone in struggling with this instinct. I’ve seen it at work several times. After a meeting, someone will stop by my office and share a thought or question about what was discussed in the meeting that I know would have been important to the outcome of the discussion. I’ll ask them why they didn’t bring it up in the meeting and they will reply that they didn’t think it was that important. Or, they’ll rationalize that if it was really that important, someone else would have also had the same idea and brought it up. In other words, they had decided that their question or comment wasn’t profound enough to warrant saying it out loud.
This instinct is one that we should resist. For one, the measure of how profound a question, comment, or blog post is will be determined by others, not by you. Generally, I’m surprised by which blog posts are popular and which are not. It turns out that it doesn’t really matter how profound I think the post is. What matters is whether or not others find it to be interesting, useful or insightful.
So, the moral of this story is that we need to have the courage to share our questions and ideas with others. Even when a question doesn’t seem terribly profound, trust your instincts that it’s probably an important question and that others probably have the same question.
The lesson for me is to write about what I’m thinking about, even when I think it may not be terribly profound. You never know when I might be on to something. And, you can always stop reading when it’s not terribly profound.