This HR Director's Day: A Far Cry From Leading

I am not sure what you call what I have been doing lately but I am sure it's a far cry from leading.

When I look in the mirror and see Miss Office Shiva staring back at me, I know it's time for to regroup and take a close look at how I am managing, leading and working because this is an entirely inefficient and ineffective way to run a department 

iStockphoto

iStockphoto

The questions begin to flow.

What am I holding onto that I should delegate, what conversations need to be had and what expectations need to be set, and what am I doing that can be clearly be done better by someone else? Where am I building in unnecessary delays? Are we, as a department, setting priorities, focusing on what's important and all heading in the same direction?

The questions continue.

In the positive sense of shedding old habits, is it time for us to change direction or to toss decisions we've outlived or outgrown? How do I get out from behind the desk? Could we possibly need more staff? Do I have the right staff? Do I have effective feedback and communication loops in place?

The questions never end.

What should I be seeing and what should I be hearing that I am not? What assumptions are blocking progress or what problems am I avoiding? If you could write a message to me on the white board, what would it be?

Bringing The Best Minds Together

I recently participated in training on "Creating Labor Management Forums to Improve Delivery of Government Services."

It's a mouthful.

It's an Executive Order.

It establishes a new direction for Federal sector labor relations the redefines predecisional involvement (another mouthful).

It's a good thing. 

Now, I am not going to talk about the Order itself other than to say that, at it's heart, it's all about discussion between equal parties. It's all about bringing the best minds together to solve problems.

There are two key points the presenters made that I'd like to share with you because they are basic, core, things-we-should-have-learned-in-kindergarten types of things. 

These are two key points each of us would benefit from applying to all of our interactions with colleagues, peers and leaders:

Don't assume. Don't assume that mistakes are intentional. Don't assume that because something didn't happen the way you had expected it to that it didn't happen at all.

Inquire. Inquire don't challenge. Inquire don't fight. Inquire don't assume. Circling back to the bullet above . . .

You do these two things in your very next interaction and I guarantee (yes, guarantee) that you will be presently surprised at the result.

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