Reflect on the Positive

Before I started this blog, I really loved my previous life. I had so many things going on. I could write for the SHRM Blog a few times a year, come home at night and relax, read some other HR blogs and think, “I can do that.” Then, I decided to do just that. I’ll tell you what. This is more work than my previous life. I thought this would be easier.

In order to try to make this thing easier, I have started reflecting on my day. I reflect on all of the interactions I’ve had in hopes of drawing some kind of inspiration or wisdom to share with you. I try to think of those gruesome, roll-up-your-sleeves sort of stories from the HR trenches that I could share to help my fellow HR pro’s and current and future leaders. I’ve found myself looking for all of the negatives. What were all of the things people did wrong and how could I weave a story that would make it all right?

I realize that I am bringing a lot more negativity in my life than I really need. I was looking for all of the things that went wrong instead of focusing on all of the great things that went right. So today, I’m going to share one of those good moments that make me get out of bed every day to do the kind of work I really enjoy.

I got a phone call from one of my leaders, today, and he started off by saying, “John, I had a little situation and I need your advice.” As he proceeded to share the first few bits of information to set the scene, my first words were, “Are you kidding me?” (Well, it may have been a little more colorful, but my mom reads this and I don’t want to swear in front of her.)

I then sat back and listened to the rest of the story. I won’t bore you with all the juicy details, but when he got to the end of the story and asked me what I thought, I just sat there for a moment, in silence. A little smile came across my face and there was a sense of pride that welled up inside of me. I replied, “I don’t have much to say or any advice to give because you handled this about as perfect as it could be.”

This scenario had every bit of “right” that could happen on what could have been a very lousy situation. And it all happened because people did the right thing. They didn’t need to open a policy manual or hesitate on addressing the poor behavior of a high performer. They did what made sense and what was just. From the C-suite down, they all came through.

Now, I could take some credit for some of the behaviors because I had just spent some time with the team talking about meaningful feedback and how to address conflict. I could take some credit because I shamelessly share my blog with the teams I support, and I know they read religiously, and assume they picked up some good nuggets here and there. 

But, I also realize that 97.8* percent of the time, people want to do the right thing. Maybe they need a little reminder from their HR guy on some ways to approach the right thing, but they still have to take action. It makes me feel good that I work with a great group of people who value doing the right thing.

Not every encounter in a day in the life of an HR person is a bad one. As a matter of fact, 68.3 percent* of all HR interactions are positive, but those kinds of stories don’t always sell papers. 

Take some time to reflect on all of the good things that happen in the day. You just may find this job is more enjoyable and engaging than what you hear and read. I know stories like these make writing these posts easier. 

*Facts based on the experiences and insights of John P. Hudson and Associates, LLC. Contact me for more amazing stats. 

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