Are you Strategic HR or HR Admin? (Coaching Stories)

Most HR folks struggle to evolve from being a stellar operational executive to change agent. They want to feel like they are making a difference – but even after few years of experience, they get sucked into the whirlpool of complaints, issues and crises that they are always firefighting. And then the salt on the wound is, when during the annual appraisal Senior Leaders berate you for operating at a very junior level, not asserting yourself and not having proper priorities!

Yes, we all know how HR is often at the mercy of the same Senior Leaders, who either have a flavour of the month or don’t have time to approve/review the initiatives or changes HR needs to make.

Today, my client had the exact same issue. She is a Senior professional and was really upset because as she looked back at the past few months of work, she could not single out any contribution that she could feel good about. The emotions she was feeling were strong and negative.

During the coaching, she decided to focus her energy to what she really wanted to achieve in the next month. Once she listed her BIG 4, it was time to break it down to the next step she could take for each of those. She decided to list 2 steps for each of them. One of the ways she decided to tackle delays of approvals/reviews was to assert herself and give timelines for the Senior Leaders to respond within, else go ahead and make the change. Waiting for perfection was more detrimental than moving forward with some tweaks that could be done later.

After she had time to think about that, she decided to block time each day for the next 5 days.

A bigger issue lurked about – one of self-belief. She tackled that by affirming to herself what she expects to be in this role. She came up with this: “I am a change agent committed to making the organisation a better place to work and contributing effectively to the business. I have all the power I need to make decisions, influence others and move forward.”