The Audacity of HR

I love it when an HR professional comes across the social-media-sphere and jumps into it feet first. I love it even more when they go out of their way to parlay those on-line connections into personal ones. And I love it even even more more when they have something to say that’s actually worth listening to. And that’s why I love Chris Fields. He’s a blogger in is own right and working hard to refine his platform and message. So I wanted him to share some of his goodness here…and that’s why today’s guest post comes from him. Read it and then tell him what you think. 

How dare we be so bold? We HR professionals are way too cocky these days; we get so caught up in our own bullshit (wait, can I say ‘bullsh*t’? Oh yeah, this is HRFishbowl!)  We think we’re “all that and a bag o’ chips.” We’re constantly blogging about our accomplishments and experiences – telling you what you should or should not do, simply because “we said so.” Man, we are full of ourselves.

And it’s cool, for the most part. I really don’t mind it. If you can walk the talk, then by all means do so. But where that falls down is when we elevate ourselves from the rank and file. When we lose touch with who we are and why we’re there.

Here’s an example that has never been more relevant: While we’re the ones that execute the lay-offs, create strategic exit plans, and blindside the innumerable poor soul with the untimely pink slip and cardboard box, we’re also the first ones to be so shocked when we end up on the receiving end of a termination. I’m dumbfounded by this.  Do you know how many HR people I’ve heard express their utter distaste for, frustration with, and anger over their having been let go? Of all people, we should be the ones who can shrug this crap off as “just business.” Because mostly that’s all it really is. Until, of course, it affects us…and then it’s personal.

Now that’s audacious. For you to think you are any different than the employees you’re there to serve is simply messed-up. You – of all people – can never take that stance. Maybe we should stop talking about ourselves as if we were a different breed. Hell, we have so many damn Twitter hashtags devoted to our profession that you’d think we were trying to represent the genesis of a new race.

Sure, we’re ’HR’. But we are first and foremost ‘employees.’ That’s where we should start…that should always be our primary reference and point-of-view. And if it is, maybe all the other stuff will fall more cleanly into its place. And maybe…just maybe…we’ll shed some of that audacity.

Image Credit: ⌡K (via Compfight)

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  • Joan Ginsberg

    Charlie said to tell you what I think. I think you’re awesome. #newhashtag #weneedmore

  • http://twitter.com/new_resource Chris Fields

    Joan, thank you so much. Thanks, very kind.

  • Anonymous

    I really like your perspective here, Chris. You are entirely right that HR folks aren’t any different from any other company employee. But as you point out, when it happens to us it becomes personal. It’s unfortunate that, in 2011, we still haven’t been able to overcome our limitations that keep us focused solely on ourselves as some magical exception to the rules.

  • Karin Wills

    Love it Chris! Having seen first hand the attitude of *some* HR pros when on the orgs side of the desk vs the being laid off side of the desk this is a great reminder to us all that what HR pros do is not *just* business. It affects the lives of fellow humans in big ways all the time. When we forget that we get it wrong.

    Great post as usual sir.

  • http://www.catherinemcguinness.com/ Catherine

    Chris: Very on-point advice, delivered with insight and straight down the middle, as it should be. Cathy (catherinemcguinness.com)

  • http://twitter.com/new_resource Chris Fields

    Thanks for the comment. Especially now, she should expect the unexpected.

  • http://twitter.com/new_resource Chris Fields

    Thanks for the comment Karin. I appreciate your support as always

  • http://twitter.com/new_resource Chris Fields

    Thanks for reading and commenting Cathy.

  • Jennifer Payne

    Right on Chris. It truly bothers me when HR folks make themselves less human by encouraging others to treat us differently. That somehow we’re these “perfect” people who never make mistakes, who you can’t speak honestly around. The statement that makes me cringe the most is “Hey, watch what you’re saying…HR is is the room.” Especially when that comes out of the mouth of an HR pro. Sure there’s a balance there, and there are times that we have a job to do that required us to separate our selves and emotions from the task. But c’mon…we’re real people too and shouldn’t act or think any differently!

  • http://twitter.com/new_resource Chris Fields

    First, thanks for the comment. Next, I couldn’t have said it better.

  • http://twitter.com/julieabenedict/status/157281464793305088 Julie Benedict

    I'm a little late to the game but have to tweet this: @HRFishbowl: The Audacity of HR http://t.co/EIGP7Xqq @new_resource

  • Pingback: Best of the HR blogs: 12 great HR blog posts from January 2012 - XpertHR's Employment Intelligence blog - XpertHR Blogs - HR Blogs - HR Space from Personnel Today and Xpert HR

  • http://twitter.com/lmichelelee/status/164388251409465345 Lori Lee

    Very Proud of you @costofwork aka Chris Fields!!! Please read this brilliant blog submission. The Audacity of HR http://t.co/67N5FQt9

  • http://twitter.com/new_resource/status/164405259106656256 Chris Fields

    RT @HRFishbowl: The Audacity of HR #HR #TrenchHR http://t.co/Zja4A9GT #hrfundamentals

  • http://twitter.com/new_resource/status/164405423477227520 Chris Fields

    Newly Listed as 1 of the best of 2012 –> The Audacity of HR #HR #TrenchHR http://t.co/Zja4A9GT #hrfundamentals

  • http://twitter.com/coccohr/status/164406635673026561 Joanna Cocco

    Newly Listed as 1 of the best of 2012 –> The Audacity of HR #HR #TrenchHR http://t.co/Zja4A9GT #hrfundamentals

  • http://twitter.com/terri_rn/status/164442122651582464 Terri Kleinman, RN

    Gr8t post! [email protected]_resource: Newly Listed as 1 of the best of 2012 –> The Audacity of HR #HR #TrenchHR http://t.co/LiBablBj #hrfundamentals

  • http://twitter.com/trenchhr/status/165096318010793985 Trench HR

    Gr8t post! [email protected]_resource: Newly Listed as 1 of the best of 2012 –> The Audacity of HR #HR #TrenchHR http://t.co/LiBablBj #hrfundamentals

  • http://twitter.com/trenchhr/status/165472220066492418 Trench HR

    Newly Listed as 1 of the best of 2012 –> The Audacity of HR #HR #TrenchHR http://t.co/Zja4A9GT #hrfundamentals

  • http://twitter.com/new_resource/status/165492819618840576 Chris Fields

    Greatest Hits (a guest post on HRFishbowl: listed as one of the best of 2012 so far)–> The Audacity of HR http://t.co/tzkEmbKK

  • http://twitter.com/new_resource/status/182969216566169600 Chris Fields

    The Audacity of HR http://t.co/tzkEmbKK