“It’s tough to read your blog. When you insult and criticize HR, I feel like you are talking to me.”
That’s a line from an email that’s sitting in my inbox. It’s not the first time I’ve received that type of note. It won’t be the last.
I am sympathetic to that feedback. I hear it, and I’ve tried to moderate my tone as I’ve grown as a writer. Sometimes it’s fun to make fun of HR ladies, but I rarely insult and criticize the human resources “industry” without offering advice or a prescriptive solution.
If you don’t like something you read on here, or if you disagree, please send me an email. Offer yourself or your company as a case study. Let’s tell your story.
But please don’t think that I’m writing about you and please don’t take things personally. I don’t know you, but I know that you have better things to do with your time than be offended by my blog!
I’d wish more would take your stance of offering advice or solutions when you criticize our profession. I’ve noticed too many “hit and run” shots at HR lately. Maybe it drives readership but it doesn’t help change things.
Hi Laurie! I haven’t ever been “offended” by your blog, per se, but yes some of the posts are a tough read. Tough reads are a good thing, though!
That said, there are times where I’ll read things like ‘you’re doing it wrong’ on your blog and think, ‘I’m fighting the good fight and doing everything I can to NOT be an HR drone, an ‘HR lady,’ a naysayer, a compliance wonk etc etc…don’t lump me into HR stereotypes!”
I’m proud to be good HR: I don’t buy into everything SHRM tries to sell us, I don’t get trapped in administrivia and kneejerk risk avoidance hysteria, and I try to let good business sense and compassion drive all my decisions. So the more I think about it: yeah, I’m not doing it wrong BUT despite my best efforts, I don’t know everything and you know a lot, so I still love reading your blog.
HR, as a profession, is rife with withering criticism. As such, a centered self is necessary. We The People People have sublime intimate relationships with our employees.
What do couples fight about most often? Money. What does HR do that injects our role into this conflict? Design & administer competitive total compensation plans.
There is a three step antidote that will aid you in quenching the angst.
1. Take a moment to reflect & sustain emotional control.
2. Put yourself in your employees’ shoes.
Or I’m wrong. No Worries.
When someone (let’s say you, for example) makes a generalization about an industry (let’s say the Human Resources industry, for example), and you’re speaking largely to an audience to an audience ensconced in that industry (who fit into the category you’re generalizing about), it’s IMPOSSIBLE not to take it “personally.”
I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t speak you mind or offer criticism. That’s largely why people are reading your blog.
But don’t say “don’t take it personally.” That akin to having an argument with your spouse and saying “calm down.” It’s the absolute WORST thing to say. It only enrages the other party more.
Moreover, saying “don’t take it personally” doesn’t get you off the hook. The person is going to take how they’re going to take it. You can’t moderate that.
Here’s a suggestion for a better close…
I’m not writing about you personally. If you’re offended or hurt, I apologize. That wasn’t my intent. I’m trying to stimulate discussion. So please, by all means, tell me why I’m wrong.
That’s a good writing note. Thank you.