{Labor} Relations and this HR Pro

As an HR professional and leader, I have touched just about all there is to touch in day-to-day organizational HR and after being in this game for over 18 years, I have come to the conclusion that I {suck} at labor relations.

Actually, I am pretty good but you have got to know that the very nature of the labor-management relationship can stress the people pleaser in me.

Collaboration, mediation, hold your line, give an inch, negotiation, agendas, partnership, and positions . . .  labor relations can be a running reel of contradictions.

When faced with contradictions in your HR life, what do you do?

Although I may come face-to-face with the desire to go tit-for-tat, it's just not in me to operate that way. I feel strongly about "no surprises" and even when the upper hand is mine, it is not often that I will lead with it. I never walk into a meeting unprepared yet as the ultimate optimist, I believe we can work through anything together - even if that means working to the point of agreeing to disagree.

That's not where my problems arise.

My problems arise when I break the #1 rule of business, human resources <and life actually> and I take things personally. 

You'd think after so many years of being in this game, I'd know better. Try as I might not to, it happens anyway and when it does, I can see it coming like a Mack truck. Thanks to a wonderful support system and creative coping techniques, I get it together rather quickly.

Labor relations. Pshw. My gig is up. You know as well as I do that this really has nothing at all to do with labor - pick a relationship, any relationship at all and the dynamics for me are the same. Relationship is the color of the glasses I see my world through.

Over the years, on request, I've tried to change the color of my lenses, but in the big scheme of things it's simply not happening. Nothing is going to change. I am not going to change.

Don't like it?

Sue me.

Photo credit iStockphoto