A Leading Perspective

Pragmatic insights for the leader in you


Does this country need more HR professionals?

It’s been just shy of a month since SHRM16 took over our nation’s capital but nearly a month is fairly late for getting a “post-SHRM16” blog written.

To my credit, a lot has happened since that time; likewise, I have been mentally occupied so it was difficult for me to write much. But, better late than never and today, I hope this is a worthwhile read for you.

SHRM16 was my 6th National Conference; each year, I walk away inspired about my profession, my career, etc. This year was no different and I have a plethora of ideas mulling about in my head on how to improve things in my professional world.

However, the professional insights I received this year pale in comparison to the personal insights and inspirations with which I carried dearly back with me as I boarded my plane to Alaska.

You see, I am disheartened with the great divide affecting our beloved country. My heart can barely stand to read and watch the news nowadays. Friendships have been stressed or severed, work relationships have deteriorated, and partnerships have been severely strained because of prejudice, bigotry, perceptions, offenses, and the like.

It’s everywhere – you see it in neighbors who are guarded or judgmental, you hear it in the grocery lines, you observe it on the bleachers at your kids baseball game.

I see, I listen and I wonder,

  • “Why are we so committed to being right?”
  • “Why are we so committed to being better or winning?”
  • “Why are we so committed to putting others else in their place?”
  • “Why are we so committed to placing blame?”
  • “Why are we so committed to hurting people?”
I just don’t get it.
Hold that thought…
I, a Human Resources Professional for 20+ years, just don’t get it.
Am I different?
I think, perhaps I am.

As a Human Resources Professional, am I not trained to consider the totality of the circumstances? Do I not strive to identify what is fair and just?

As a Human Resources Professional, am I not trained to collaborate and compromise? Do I not strive to work towards solutions?

As a Human Resources Professional, am I not trained to look beyond stereotypes and assumptions? Do I not strive to consider one’s merit?

As a Human Resources Professional, am I not trained to accept and encourage responsibility? Do I not strive to hold myself and others accountable?

As a Human Resources Professional, am I not trained to protect people from the behaviors of others? Do I not strive to create within my workplace and model kindness and acceptance?

I am!
I do!

And for one week, one very special week in DC, I got to be around my peeps! Oh my goodness, I didn’t realize how much I needed a reprieve from the bad juju of this country until I was in a convention center stuffed to the gills with other HR folks.

We get it!

The positive energy regarding what’s going on in our nation turned me on!

The healthy, value added conversations and disagreements energized me!

The shared concern was comforting!

(Truth me told, I cried in the bathroom with two friends, Julie Stephens-Doyle and Rebecca Briley, and was comforted because they are as worried as I am. It made me feel less crazy, less paranoid, less alone!) Sometimes, you just need to know you're not crazy. @brileyrebecca @hrjas Click To Tweet

But alas, here’s the sad truth…our country isn’t filled with HR professionals!

So this is where you come in…

Find them!
Develop them!
Mentor them!

I believe the values and beliefs of a great HR professional are the cornerstones of a great community.

  • Fairness
  • Collaboration
  • Compromise
  • Acceptance
  • Tolerance
  • Kindness
  • Generosity

So, dear and great HR professional, go forth!  Do your jobs correctly!

Your willingness to model these values and corresponding behaviors in the workplace will be noticed and hopefully, they will spread to people’s homes, neighborhoods, churches, etc.

I’ll leave you with this:
I think we need more HR professionals…or at least more people who act like us. 
AcceptanceCollaborationCompromiseEEOGenerosityHR ProfessionalKindnessLeadershipMediationSHRM16Tolerance

Heather Kinzie • July 15, 2016

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  1. Shaz Wiltowsky July 17, 2016 - 8:25 am Reply

    Thank you for this post. Sometimes in the HR world we do not get the recognition deserved, but most HR professionals are all the wonderful things you listed and all we can do is our best to lead the way, in the most ethical ways!

    — Shaz

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