As I’ve said frequently, this is conference season. Sometimes I’m at conferences with most if not all of my teammates, sometimes a few teammates and sometimes solo. I’m not shocked by this at all but still felt it was worth stating…
If you teammate is speaking, attend their session (if you can). Personally, I’ve always tried to do this. I enjoy supporting others and I always manage to get an idea or two from the session (even if I’ve seen it before). Honestly, unless I have a conflict, I don’t think about not showing up. On the other hand, I’ve never expected anyone to show up for my sessions. I considered this more of a thing I just choose to do.
Recently, I was the only speaker of our crew at a conference. I figured one might come help me setup but instead a number of them were in there and stayed for my session. I absolutely loved this:
- Many people get more nervous when someone they know is present but for me, they are often the face I go back to as I’m sharing for confirmation/support. A simple notice of a head nod or smile from someone that I respect, does wonders to your energy and delivery.
- I have a big personality. In meetings or general conversations, that can be overwhelming. When I’m speaking, it has a different perception. I want my teammates to see that version of me.
- An increase in shared knowledge amongst our team naturally happens. They hear my views about conflict and understand why I might approach a situation in a certain way.
- Hearing good job from someone after my session is wonderful. Hearing good job from my teammate – well, I feel proud to be delivering to that level.
- As I mentioned, none of this is surprising. Yet, I was surprised when a few people (speakers and attendees) approached me afterwards and commented on how our team supports each other. One highlighted having someone from my team at their table was an honor. Another highlighted how great it must feel to have your team want to invest their time in you. Another commented on how awesome it must be to work as a team. We focus on making a difference for people and organizations. This small gesture simply said “we practice what we share”. I know I said it privately in our offsite but now publicly, to my teammates, thank you!
So if you get the opportunity to sit in a teammate’s session, go. Even if you’ve seen it before, go. Even if you think it might make them nervous, go. Even if you have other stuff to get done, go.
What else is valuable about attending a teammate’s event?