Looking Past "What" to Consider "Why"

"Where oh where did my Blackberry go, where oh where can it be?"

The climate in my organization right now is one where the loss of any information device is not a good thing. As you probably surmised from my opening line, I did not know where my Blackberry was. I opened my purse to plug it in for the day and it was not there, it is always there, where could it have possibly gone? Thankfully, by the end of the day it was back in my hands.

Where was it? In my daughter's clubhouse behind the couch, tucked safely away with her animals. When I realized that, I was relieved and shared the news. A number of times I heard the comment, "I sure bet she's grounded."  When I got home, I asked the kid if she took mommy's little computer. She said that she didn't know I was looking for it, she didn't want me to use it. Message sent, message received - loud and clear.

Did I ground her? I sure did. How? I called her over to me, got down on the floor beside her and gave her a nice, long heart hug.  In the process, I grounded myself too.

So, what does this have to do with HR? I have many conversations with supervisors and managers about appropriate discipline. About how to respond to an incident. About not bringing down the hammer every time. About not doing it just because you can.

My advice to them is to look past what happened to consider why it happened and above all, don't forget, for a minute, that there is a person on the other end of the equation.