Your (HR) Personal Trainer

I have a regular little HR love fest going on here with Fresh Eyes and MN SHRM 2011, My Kind of HR, HREs Don't Run HR Departments and now today's post.

What the heck, this is an HR blog anyway.

I am taking a page from my daily life and making a connection to HR in 1-2-3 . . .

I hired a personal trainer. Her name is Kami and, for the next six months, her job is to get my butt in shape so I can feel healthy and strong again - strong enough to train for a half-marathon next spring, without injury, and finish respectfully (before the clean up crew comes out and has to clean around me.)

Not my trainer but my motivator 2009

This arrangement has worked well so far - she tells me what to do and I do it. Ah, the makings of a fine relationship.

I've been doing this HR stuff for a long time and have seen as many people succeed in HR as not. If I were an HR personal trainer, I'd train HR pros on the competency equivalent of strength, endurance, and flexibility: development, discernment, and dialogue.

IMHO, the strength of these three competencies is the difference between the successful and unsuccessful and between the successful and exceptional:

  • Development. This is case development, point/counterpoint and building a position or course of action. It's research, letting no question go unanswered, and identifying impacts and influences. It's at the core of everything from advocating for new programs to setting strategic directions.
  • Discernment. Not all information is created equally nor is it weighted equally. It knowing what's important to the development at hand, what can stay and what can go, and the impact (politically or culturally) of including or excluding info or advocating one direction over another.
  • Dialogue. Nothing gets accomplished singularly and this is dialoguing with others via orally and in writing, with body language and through action. If you can't write it or speak it clearly, you will have an uphill climb in influencing others and impacting action.

So, what do you think - if you were an HR personal trainer, what would you train your clients on?