As an HR Professional, exposure to conversations centred on an employee’s experience of his/her work situation is standard. More than 90% of the experiences relayed are not pleasant experiences. Employees mostly speak from a place of anger or hurt. Their only option, despite being miserable every day, is to stay because they need the income rather than finding other employment. Attempts made at that point to try and steer them in a direction where options are more, are met with great opposition.
So as HR Professionals our first action is to hold the emotion, creating a space where people can be heard, but mostly where they can hear themselves. Because it is when they empty themselves of the agony and pain that they can hear themselves and be receptive to possibilities other than the terrible options and then they can be open with us. Creating this space and holding emotions is challenging and requires that you be fully present, because allowing the sharing to turn into venting can change the course of the conversation to the point-of-no-return.
We are in the business of people and everyday, we get front row seats to the miracle of human discovery. We get to feel the warmth of victory on our faces as much as we get to taste the bitterness of failure. When we recognise and appreciate the wonder of people, we get more than a front row seat, we get to step into the arena and experience the victory, the failure and everything in-between. In the arena everything is up close and personal and at times I want to step out. In the arena, I personally become undone and get the opportunity to marvel at who I am. In the arena I find that I am because we are.
I love what I do even on the bad days. I love that I get the honour to step into the arena every day with different employees and that, at times, I get to raise my fist and give a knockout to the many oppositions. The greatest honour however, remains standing in the arena and hearing the thumping of the heart, the shallow breaths and feel the knockout blow an employee delivers to an opposition that seemed impossible to defeat.
I am the cheerleader in the arena of life, and I wear my uniform and poms-poms with pride as I get to witness and live the biggest battles and get to celebrate the greatest victories as well as get to be there during the greatest defeat.
P.S. There are more cheerleaders like me around, so do not be too afraid to step into the arena. We have your back.
Another P.S. If you are an HR Professional and you are not proudly wearing your uniform and swinging your poms-poms, you might just be missing out on one of life’s greatest opportunities.
Stay committed to your growth.
Till the next post …