Tag Archives: HR professionals

A Fresh Breath

The Easter and Passover season is a time for personal reflection for many. How do you renew yourself from a professional perspective?

The Easter and Passover season is a time of personal reflection for many, as well as a time for renewing one’s spirit and celebrating cherished ancient traditions with family and close friends.  In this same vein, I’ve been reflecting on the question of “renewing one’s spirit” from a professional perspective.

Getting a “Fresh Breath”

 On Sunday mornings, I enjoy listening to “Sunday With Sinatra” on the radio.  Recently, they played a clip of “The Chairman of the Board” chatting with the audience in between songs. In the clip, Frank Sinatra was talking about how, after singing his huge hit “My Way” for many years, he got a bit burnt out on the song.  But his audiences always asked for it, so he kept singing the song.  Then one day, he got what he called “a fresh breath,” and it was as if he was singing the song for the first time again.

As an HR professional, you often have to do the same thing over and over again — such as training new supervisors on exempt/non-exempt and overtime pay issues, for example.  You have to “keep singing the song,” even when it has gotten a bit  old for you.  What can you do to “get a fresh breath” and keep going? Continue reading

Is There Anything Better Than …?

Has it been a “long winter” in your workplace the same as it’s been in mine?  

Do you get as much satisfaction from making job offers as the American Idol judges show when telling participants they've made it to next round?

Here in the northeast US, the blooms of spring can’t come soon enough for most of us. While this is true every year, this came home to me the other day when I realized that even the most even-tempered, easy-going, always-a-smile-on-their-face-and-a-kind-word-for-all people in the office were sniping at co-workers and generally walking about with forlorn looks (or worse). Despite the fact that Punxsatawney Phil has guaranteed the early arrival of spring, it sure seems like everyone can still use a few encouraging thoughts.

For my part, I thought it might be a good time for some reminders of the best things we get to experience as HR people … Continue reading

Teachable Moments

Sitting in church last Sunday, I observed two quiet, almost-unnoticed scenes of parents instructing and guiding their children, and the children responding beautifully.  This caused me to reflect on the “teachable moments” that come along in our working lives every day and every week — and to wonder how often, in the head-long rush to “get things done” and “move the ball forward,” we see and capitalize on these moments with those we are formally or informally responsible for developing and mentoring in our organizations.

Quiet Instruction (Preparing and Supporting)

Before Mass began, a woman stood at the lecturn quietly instructing two teenage girls.  Only a few soft words were spoken, as she demonstrated how to open the book of readings and then return it to its place — clearly referring back to prior instruction Continue reading

In Thanksgiving of Mentors

The First Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon G...

Image via Wikipedia

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’ve been reflecting on people from my past professional lives for whom I am deeply grateful, mentors all.  As is the nature of relationships, some I had the good fortune of knowing and working with for many years, while others I knew closely for only a short time.  Whether our time together was long or short, each has had a lasting impact on me personally and professionally.

What Is A Mentor — and Where Do They Come From

The dictionary defines “mentor” as: Continue reading

Halloween Special: Cast of Characters That I’ve Known

In honor of Halloween, I thought I might keep things on the lighter side and walk down “memory lane” a bit, recalling notable “characters” from my years in the working world — or at least situations in which our “best and brightest” thinking didn’t exactly shine through.  Have you known characters or situations like these?  Please share your stories … and we’ll enjoy a (kind-hearted) laugh or two together (all in good fun, of course)!

Characters

. . . Mr. Plant, I Presume: the sales executive who spotted his boss airport and, because he owed him some data that he didn’t have, decided to “hide” … behind a potted plant (yes, this is almost too cliched to be true — but it is)

. . . Just Doing My Nails: the HR person who was so relaxed, she regularly did her nails in team meetings — complete with bag of manicure supplies spread on the table, cotton balls between each finger, etc., etc., etc.

Continue reading

What Nurses Can Teach Us About HR (Courage and Compassion)

From the title, you might expect this to be a post about service to others (i.e., what nurses do), as an analogy for HR’s service to employees and managers.  While there are any number of comparisons between nursing and HR (perhaps fodder for future posts), my focus today is on another aspect of HR, actually: hiring the right people (and letting go of the wrong ones).

Minor Surgery, Major Comfort

I had the occasion to have a short stay in a hospital recently for minor surgery (everything went very well; thank you kindly).  As it was (fortunately) my first overnight spent in a hospital, I was keenly aware of the type of care I received.  I was struck by the fact that, to a person, everyone I came into contact with seemed incredibly “at peace” with what they were doing — i.e., caring for patients, controlling pain, prepping for surgery, etc.  I’m sure that each of the nurses, technicians, doctors, etc., had their own personal struggles and hardships that they carried into the hospital that day.  Yet, once the “lights went on” and they were interacting with patients (in this case, me), all of those struggles vanished, as they made me feel like I was their only patient, and all of their efforts were going toward meeting my needs.

It was quite a humbling experience, to be candid — i.e., to see a team of people working together, in this case to prepare for, carry out, and help me recover from, surgery.  They each seemed to go about their jobs with a certain  Continue reading

You Twitter? Really?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

I have a confession to make.  I’ve recently become a twitterer.  It’s true.  I never thought it would happen to me — but it has … and I’m loving it! Even more amazingly, I’ve found that I’ve become somewhat of a Twitter “evangelist” — spreading the good word about Twitter to professional friends and colleagues far and wide. (Life has a way of surprising you sometimes, doesn’t it?!?).

Preconceived Notions

It turns out that preconceived notions are, well, preconceived notions.  When I first heard about this thing called “Twitter,” I thought it was just about the shallowest, most useless thing I could imagine.  I mean, really, who could possibly be interested in getting minute-by-minute updates on the doings of their favorite celebrities — where they had lunched, if they just took the dog for a walk, etc.?  It’s true: Twitter does have a huge number of fans who use it for this purpose (which I still think is one of the silliest things going).

Continue reading