Indulge me in a quote from the book, He’s Just Not That Into You. This book was my Bible after my divorce and I was thrown into mid-thirties dating (that is another adventuresome story for another time):
Cut your losses and don’t waste your time. Why stay in some weird dating limbo when you can move on to what will surely be better territory? Don’t want to hear it? Fine… But please don’t be surprised if he dumps you or continues to drag you through a completely unsatisfying relationship.
What does that have to do with HR?
I had a conversation with a CEO-type person I respect and he gave me advice on how to handle a situation with a coworker. No melodramatics here…I just needed a little navigational advice.
Ultimately I was advised if I wanted to get through to my coworker I should forget the “relationship building” angle and just get to the meat of my point. Time is money = and this gal ain’t got time for a Lifetime Moment. This was practical, relevant advice that I will likely heed. However….
Isn’t it all about the relationship? Always. Since we are human. And we cry. And we laugh. And we don’t very well differentiate between turning on and off emotions at work vs. life? After all isn’t work/life one now. Craig Fisher, guru from Ajax Social Media (@fishdogs) called his network “Prof-ersonal” . There is no line anymore.
So, just like “if a tree falls in a wood and nobody is there to see it, did it really happen?”, I would ask, “If you try to build a relationship and no one cares, does it really matter”? Is the common HR “let’s build relationships” fallback always the proper fallback? I say no.
I’m a fan of building relationships to advance HR business ops because we only have influential power. But if others don’t roll that way, and their non-relationshipy style seems to get things done, should you care? Seems some of your effective C-Suite does not care nor do they have to. So just like He’s Just Not That Into You, should you HR Rockstar, cut your losses, quite wasting time, and get out of that weird, corporate, relationship building limbo?
If it keeps you HR strategy from advancing and puts your program in a perpetual limbo…..may you should get a new “fallback”.