Anyone that knows me personally can attest that I’m an extreme extrovert. But after a few years at home, I started to question if that was really accurate. Oh no, it is! I got to attend two conferences in person within a week of each other: Scrum Alliance Gathering and Techwell. Here were the things that really stood out for me with being back in person.
- I thrive on connections. I truly adore people that I’ve invested in a relationship with. So with each face I saw and the realization that I was actually going to hug them, the tears kept flowing. It felt so good to be together. To feel like the world was a little smaller and simpler, even for a moment. To be able to squeeze a little tighter with gratitude that we still could hug.
- It was the little things in person that you can do or receive. They gave a moment of silence for Jean Tabeka and I could quickly get out of my seat, take a few steps to support a person that I knew would feel every bit of that silence. To be able to feel present for them is important to me. These small gestures are a big way that I help, and they just don’t feel the same over zoom.
- I like to laugh. But I really like to laugh with others. There is something about laughing because you can not only hear someone else laughing but feel it right next to you. I laugh at laughter. And the truth is I laugh WAY more when in person.
- More honest conversations. There is a safety about being at a different location but in person. You are more willing to share a secret, a raw truth, etc when you are not worried about recording or someone walking in the room that you live with. I didn’t realize how many people were filtering some of their biggest struggles and/or that my emotional intelligence is not as great remotely.
- You can run on pure adrenaline but only for so long. I definitely overdid it at the first event. By the next week, I was already making sure I had a plan for more sleep, exercise, etc.
- Surreal moments finally meeting in person people you have talked at length with remotely. I laughed as one person said, “I didn’t realize how tall you are!”. My height seems so known and yet, it’s not for people in a small zoom window. Like you get a chance to meet the person again as if they are brand new, but not.
- Easier to meet new people. Especially for people that you want to help pay forward in various ways (speaking opportunities, etc). I met two people, in particular, Fiona and Christopher that I hope to hear from soon.
- I enjoy being more physical when speaking. I like to use my body to make a point. I like to walk the room while ranting. I like to be inviting when people enter the room. I like eye contact. I just enjoy in-person speaking more.
Most of my work remains virtual but I’m very grateful to have a few in-person experiences again. I’m already looking forward to Agile2022!!!
How was being back in person for you?