A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you

Haters Gonna Hate

Human Resource professionals, especially those who work in Employee Relations’ programs, see it all!  We are exposed to employees’ pride and egos, their ambition and their perseverance.  We see victims, aggressors, observers and doers.  We meet collaborators, competers and accommodaters.  We witness generosity and selflessness, laziness and selfishness.  We observe hatefulness and take notice of unprofessionalism.


While hatefulness and unprofessionalism are hardly inspirational words, they inspired this post!


Recently, I concluded a workplace investigation that despite all the discriminatory allegations, counter claims, and retaliation complaints thrown around, what it boiled down to was there was a lot of hatefulness (feelings) and oodles of unprofessionalism (behavior).


Hatefulness and unprofessionalism…
they have no place in a workplace!


Yet they are everywhere!


Whether they are blatantly standing in the hallways or silently lurking in the break rooms, they are there.  Whether they are worn as royal garments or protective armor, they are carried by us.  Whether they are in the spotlights or clandestine whispers in the ear of employees, they make their way into our communication, our interaction and our work.


What makes someone hate?

I suppose there are lots of “reasons” and I’d be lying if I told you I have not defended my “reasons” to hate others in my past.

I’ve hated a boss, I’ve hated a coworker, I’ve even hated some customers.

But here’s the thing, I didn’t allow my feelings to affect my behavior.

I don’t know why I refrained from doing so – certainly I wanted to from time to time!

  • Maybe it’s because my mother taught me not to or maybe it was because I was given clear expectations by my boss.

  • Perhaps it was because I did not want to get in trouble or it’s possible I just wanted to look good!
  • Maybe it was because I was confident but then again, I suppose you could argue it was because I was not confident enough.


Who knows and who cares?
I didn’t allow my feelings to affect my behavior.




But many of us do!

We think we have the right to behave unprofessionally simply because we don’t like, STRONGLY dislike, or hate another human being.




While at work, we are expected to effectively and consistently communicate with our customers, colleagues, bosses and anyone else who is involved in our work.  What we “feel” about these people should have no negative impact on what we say, how we say it, how much we share, how much we offer, etc.


While at work, we are expected to work WITH others.  Whether it be on a project, activity, or simply within a close physical proximity, our efficient and productive interaction with others is required.  What we “feel” about these people should not matter.


While at work, we are to focus our minds, bodies and efforts on work.  We wouldn’t spend 1/4 of our time conducting personal business from the break room or spend 1/2 of our time practicing for our next music audition.  What makes us think we can spend a preponderance of our time perseverating about how much we don’t like someone, thinking about how we can get them in trouble or encouraging or persuading others to turn against them?  It’s ludicrous – if we want to waste our own resources, we can, but we have no right to waste those of our employer!


While at work, we must comply with our employer’s rules and policies.  Whether we like it or not, we are bound by a duty of loyalty to our employer.  Don’t want to be bound?  No problem…resign…it’s that simple!  Most companies have a rule, policy or standard for work behavior and therefore, we must comply with it!  (And don’t try pointing your finger at the other guy.  Clean out your own closet before you start cleaning out his!)


What it comes down to is this: while at work, we are paid to work.  PERIOD, END OF STORY, MOVING ON!


  • If we are spending time talking about but not talking with the person we hate, we are not earning our keep.
  • If we are spending time avoiding, interfering or otherwise sabotaging the person we hate, we are not proving ourselves worthy of continued employment.
  • If we are spending energy identifying workarounds, switching shifts or projects to avoid the person, requiring others to “mediate” or “referee” our interactions with those we hate, we are proving ourselves useless to our employer.
  • If we decide that our ego and pride give us freedom to break the rules and otherwise ignore our duty of loyalty to our employer, we can and should expect our employer to do the same.  In other words, your employer can and should considering severing your relationship.
Hatefulness…it’s your choice…haters gonna hate.
Professionalism…it’s your choice…demonstrate it or leave.




CommunicationsEmployee RelationsEngagementEthicsForgivenessHostile Work EnvironmentHuman ResourcesLeadershipTeamworkWorkforce Satisfaction

Heather Kinzie • September 23, 2012

Previous Post

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *

WordPress spam blocked by CleanTalk.