"Welcome aboard. This is your induction schedule, your Key Responsibility Areas (KRAs) as laid down & you are good to start from today.”
“You will be closely monitored during your probation period & if everything goes well, you’ll be permanent in the organization.”
“This is your appraisal rating. As per our expectation, you are at X level and hence this increment in your current CTC.”
“Since the project is winding, we regret to inform you that your service is no longer required with effect from XYZ.”
I can go on with this list. These are some of the generic conversations by an HR professional with his/her employees. Please note that these are handpicked to suit the content of my article. Exceptions are always there & hence the hope for possibilities and making progression.
Let me begin by asking this question to the leaders of the organizations that decide to have an HR. Why do you hire an HR? What according to you is the role of the HR professional? Here I am referring to a bigger consciousness and not just an answer on the superficial level like to support, to take care of routine activities, manage employees, their life cycle, build culture etc. etc. But what is the essence of HR according to you? What is the true essence of this profession with a name so profound & impact? Whatever the deemed KRA of an HR professional is, is it in line with what the role truly embodies? I leave you with this question to brainstorm & reflect upon with integrity & honesty. And if you truly understand it’s essence, then reading my thoughts below will serve the purpose. Otherwise, it won’t. So, before scrolling down, do ask yourself if you really want to.
Human Resource Management to me is very deep and comes with lot of responsibilities. It’s not just mandating/dictating policies/rules for people to follow or accept; but it is something that elicits the true potential in an employee. HR professional’s responsibility is to nurture, inspire & draw out the genius in the employee. It’s not about taking the short-cuts & compromising due to our own shortfall & lack of courage. To me every HR professional is a coach who acts as the bridge in supporting his/her employees to the next level of growth & development.
But what do we do when confronted with challenges and day to day routine work? We compromise on quality and just take solace in being a support function. Honestly, support function is the veil with which we cover up our own gaps & blind spots as HR. We expect our employees to follow things that we don’t completely own. We expect employees to be what we aren’t. We expect them to endorse to cultures that may not be conducive to their growth & development. The defensive counter answer that we have to this is: “Management expects this from us. Our role is such that nobody believes in our value addition, our contribution can’t be measured etc. etc.” But let me ask you, do you really believe in what you do? Do you take pride in your profession? Are you creating or living the default role of an HR? What’s your value proposition?
The value that is perceived by others is just a reflection of their thoughts around what value you bring. And you have the power to control their thoughts by your action. If you really serve them from a place of genuine service, it will connect & reflect. A leader’s value is mirrored in an organization. An HR professional has the power to influence decision making & change the way HR is looked upon.
Expectations is the root of all problems. What if expectations are replaced by agreements of thoughts not only with employees, leaders of the organization but also with self. The value that we show as an HR professional is what is perceived by others. So, do you want to be just a support function or powerful leaders making a difference to your Organization? You have everything in you that can shape the course of the organization. You have the power to hire appropriate talent, elicit the goodness in your employees, be role models for your employees to look up to, be empaths who genuinely care for the employees, give them the psychological safety that they long for, the trust that they want, let their dreams fulfill, let them find fulfillment in their work, let them not long for engagement programs but be engaged in their work because they love it, let them be who they are because that’s why they are working for you, to live their life beautifully, happily & stress-free; living in the expression of their highest self.
An employee having deeply fulfilling career, loving relationships, nourishing me time, a sense of purpose & contribution to their bigger aspirations & causes will always be productive, contended & fulfilled. And an HR has the power to do that. Powerful HR leaders can lay that path for others to see & get inspired. How you do this, is simply by asking yourself a powerful question: Am I ready to detach the limiting belief that I hold about my own profession? If the answer is yes, you will shift from a place of scarcity to abundance & possibilities.
I know challenges will be there and are there but tell me of anything beautiful without challenges & obstacles. The quote goes, “Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.” What is required is just desire, then intent & commitment. Embrace your true power HR, embody the essence of your role before its too late. Before you take care of your employees, do take care of yourself.
Ah! Intense it was! I am still processing...
You can be your own friend or your own enemy. Why I say this is because, you hold both the power inside you. The power to create or to break. Many a times, I held back because of fear of rejection, fear of humiliation, fear of uncertainty, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being accepted etc. And what did I get after doing this is nothing but limited access to my potential. While doing this, I only worked from the zone of excellence & not the zone of genius. The first step is sometimes daunting. The desire may be strong, but the intent gets stronger only when we commit. And commitment comes only when we move past our fears & take the step however stupid, tiny or humiliating it may be.
I am sure there are many like me who has immense creativity, immense empathy for people, powerful vision; but is scared to play full out. In the veil of obedience & acceptance we compromise on our freedom & the ability to just be YOU. It takes courage to be vulnerable & accept who you are. It takes courage to step out & confess one’s limiting beliefs. Once you confront your limiting beliefs, own them, accept them & decide to work through these, your world changes. As Rich Litvin says, “High performance is a mindset & not a skill set.” Today, I truly understand the true meaning & impact of it.
I was always looking for that leader who would inspire me to action, whose work would be so profound that I would want to follow naturally, whose mission would be so large that the legacy would inspire people for ages. The intensive made me think through this thought. Some of my insights are:
1. How beautiful it is to bloom into the person that you truly are meant to be?! Finding your zone of genius is profound.
2. Never be that giver who gives at the cost of one’s own freedom. Adam Grant in his book Give & Take says that givers are either successful or unsuccessful. I realized I was that giver who gave at the cost of my freedom.
3. If you can see gold in your shadow, you can make the best use of something you think works against you.
4. Never hold back. Learn to speak up for yourself. There’s nothing wrong in letting the world know your gifts. For years, I perceived this as bragging or boasting. My limiting belief! But at the intensive, my friend coaches made me realize that there are many people out in the world who would benefit from my gifts only if I let them see. Hiding that & not speaking will not serve me & them as well. So, shout out loud.
5. The beauty in being you & showing up from that place has its own power. While doing this, you may polarize many people, but that’s OK. You will attract your kind of people into your world.
6. Learn to be OK with NO. NO simply means Next One. The more NOs you get, the more experienced you become.
7. Say no to people, things, thoughts that drain you out of your energy. It’s not your obligation to keep them/these. You have a choice to cut them off.
8. Create space for 10 out of 10 clients. Filter your clients to serve what your true vision is.
9. My castle my rules. Not the other way around.
10. All along my life I consciously didn’t allow money to enter my life. Limiting belief again. I thought service had nothing to do with money. But, I realized free service equates to taken for granted service. So, charge for your service value as you see it. Only when you value your service, others will. Money, service & commitment has significant correlation.
11. Confidence is an outcome. More actions you take, more confident you become.
12. Your thoughts create your world. So, be careful.
13. You have everything within, only if you dare to see it, feel it & own it.
14. The vision may be daunting, but remember, a tiny step is all that is required to get closer to it.
15. Self-love is very important. If you can see the gifts in others, its equally important to see the gifts in you too.
16. Last but not the least, something that is profound: You don’t have to look for inspiration or a leader to follow. The leader resides in you. You need to own that leader, master the gifts that you have, take actions & follow your dreams. You never know who you might inspire on the way. Leadership is creating leaders & not followers.
It took more than three decades for me to understand all these. But I am glad that I could do it & not spend the rest of my life in regret or in an unknown space of unawareness. I am on a mission to empower people, in particularly HR professionals who have immense power to influence decision-making & impact organizational change. I deeply feel for people, have great empathy & the creative genius in me enables me to see the gifts in every other person. Even in a broken piece, I can see possibility, light & abundance. My gift to the world would be to transform how people see themselves, in particularly how HR professionals are seen, how they show up & empower them so that they can create the ripple effect in their own world (both personal & professional).
Leaving you with these introspective questions: What's your light-bulb moment? What impact would it have if you acted on that insight? What action are you going to take & when?
P.S. Sharing some of my insights from #RichLitvinIntensive that I recently attended at Los Angeles, USA. Few insights may resonate ditto because that's an insight, a learning, my way of absorbing & processing. Rich is one of the renowned & acclaimed Coaches worldwide. Also, in the picture are Rich Litvin himself, Lea Ann Mallet, Allison Crow, Jim Latimer, Adam Quiney. Just google their name to know about the depth of their creation & work. My AHA moment with them!
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals