Home > Communication, HR Profession > You mean to tell me…

You mean to tell me…

Maybe it’s just a new bout of crabiness but WTF, HR community? Are we really that clueless about asserting ourselves in the workplace that we get excited when David Ulrich (albeit a recognized expert) tells us that we need to become “Credible Activists”.  This is just a fancy term for “speaking up.”   A lot of what’s hit the HR blogosphere (e.g. HR Capitalist, HR Observations, etc.) over the last couple of days points to this topic.  And there is a lot of giddy excitement around it.  Give me a break.  Are you telling me that the concept of sharing your opinions openly and not being afraid of contributing to business dialogue is something new to this community?  It’s like everyone was just waiting for someone to tell us this…to give us permission to be more visible in the workplace.

My lord, we really are further behind than I thought.  Or am I just running with the wrong crowd?  I don’t mean to burst everyone’s bubble – it’s a good concept and it’s one people should adhere to.  But it’s one that should be innate at this point.  It certainly is in all other business functions.  I make damn sure it is with anyone that I hire for my team. 

Maybe I’m over-reacting, but can someone please help me feel a little more optimistic about the state of our HR union?

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  1. December 3, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Excellent post! HR pros need to have their own opinions about how to make their organizations successful – and share those opinions with their colleagues on the leadership team.

  2. Jeff Struve
    December 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Charlie: Daves article points out the obvious….too many in our profession dont speak up! Why do we continue to hear folks talking about HR getting a seat at the table? While there are many of our peers who have been at the table for quite a long time, the vast majority in the HR ranks are still hiding under that HR Or Personnel Rock of administation and tactics.

  3. December 3, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Charles, don’t hate.

    Also, I had no idea who Dave Ulrich was until this morning. So that should make you feel good.

  4. December 3, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Charlie:
    You are absolutely correct in saying it should be an innate part of the job. Unfortunately it isn’t. Over 10 years of teaching certifcation classes I am continually amazed at the number of passive HR practicioners. They don’t want to make waves. It is what prompted me to tweet the other day “If the meek shall inherit the world, then HR people will be major landholders.”

    Although speaking up is a big part of leadership or leadership training, many HR people don’t get that training. Many have come into the field through non-business roles, many starting in clerical positions. Others come from social work backgrounds and are heavily inclined to be confrontation or conflict avoiders. Who knows the reasons. The fact of the matter it is reality as I spoke about in my post.

    • December 4, 2009 at 8:53 am

      @michael love your “meek shall inherit the world” tweet. love it. can those HR people sho aren’t already acting this way be taught to do so or is it a losing battle? is it simply that it is the meek who are attracted to the profession? how do we stop the cycle? thx for prompting the dialogue.

  5. December 3, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Charlie, I’m with you, man. I mean, why is common sense so uncommon. Ulrich has good ideas, but c’mon, let’s do this thing.

  6. December 3, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    @sharlyn right. it’s not that we don’t have the ideas…we’re just apparently not sharing them…exasperating.

    @jeff i think you’re on to something with this “hiding” concept…i have to think about that some more.

    @laurie i love it that knowing what ulrich has to say has never been important to you…and yes, i need to work on that hate thing.

    @frank right on. and if you’re not doing yet, you probably never will…

  7. Dawn Hrdlica @dawnHRrocks
    December 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    ooohhhh–I’m feeling the rage brother. I’m thinking some of the Dave Ulrich posts came from my tweeting from his event on 12/3. I get you–no doubt. I’m on your side. Truth is though—-the state of the HR Union is not so forward thinking outside the blogosphere. No–that is not the right way to put it….

    I think there are many, many good HR folks who want to be humane and business saavy and are forward thinking. What is stopping them….

    Fear and ignorance.

    So, we can spoon feed info (and that includes Ulrich info–which is really pretty good) and get the message out to those that are listening and tired of being afraid.

    The state of the HR union could be better—but there are more of us than them in the wings who just need a little push to get out on stage…..

    Feelin’ me?

    • December 12, 2009 at 11:07 am

      i’m picking up what you’re putting down. i think you’re right about there being more of the right stuff out there…we just need to find ’em and keep ’em. thx

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