I keep wondering how deep our professional role gets into our skins? Do we change hats often or we prefer keeping the same hat everywhere? Our different roles might have different names in particular, like: Professional, Parent, Friend, Sibling, Spouse etc. but does the fabric of comportment change? Do we realize where to draw that line and cross it when need be?
I’m an HR professional and for me it is all the same, well almost, in every role. I have to be patient while listening to an employee and I’ve to be patient while dealing with any of my personal relationship. Although I would not deny the fact that yes, in personal relationship the expectations run two ways. Even I have the right to expect from the other person but same cannot be said about the professional relationship where I’m playing a role of HR.
While it holds true in any profession, but especially in HR, there is a responsibility on the shoulders to be always smiling, always listening and being compassionate about your employees. And believe me this job is something I love doing, however tough it is or it sounds that it is! An HR’s role is so precious, it can make a mindset change, break a misconception and destroy negative feelings, if performed diligently of course; yes *conditions apply is an usual factor J.
If I have to speak about my own self, I think I’m an HR 24*7: while dealing with my 2 year old, or my spouse, my in-laws, parents, friends or peers and employees. Every human being that I meet in the day is an employee of a kind to me, or let me put it this way, every employee that I talk to is a human being at the end of the day and that’s the key word- human being! A human being is a human being after all. The characteristics do not change by changing the name of the role. And a human being is to be tackled in pretty much same manner, be it on professional grounds or a personal one.
That said, I’m not denying the problems one can face for not changing the hat while off the professional hook. But wait a minute this happens only when the point of view doesn’t change. Like if I’m an HR Manger in the office and carry the same role to my family, I might not be appreciated for the authority I would show and demand a professional decorum at home, come to think of it, how funny it would be if I’m asking my house help to sign in-out time or talk to my daughter in terms of appraisal cycle when she goes demands some goodies J
The case in point here is: the characteristic of the role does not change; all that should change is ways of executing that character that is applicable and suitable at the work place. Taking the above examples: I would not ask my house help to sign in and out time but I might as well, very politely yet assertively, ask her to follow a fixed time routine. I would not talk to my daughter in terms of appraisals but I might as well show her a way to behave as a good human being to achieve brownie points J