My blog frequently meets at the intersection of Parenthood and HR. Oh I know, I know…these ARE two very different things…I mean after all, most of our employers are potty-trained.
So when I make the comparison, it’s usually with respect to how I approach and/or handle situations. This can mean that my kids get the HR-version of me or managers and employees can be on the receiving end of my “mom look” (hey, it’s effective).
What I have come to realize is that my greatest challenge in both situations is accepting what is out of my control. Even harder is letting things play out when it’s ridiculously obvious to me how it’s going to end. Potentially badly.
I’m not talking about watching a manager do something potentially illegal without speaking up anymore than I would watch my child run down the lane-way into traffic. However, there are many, many times both at work and home when despite my counsel, a decision gets made that I don’t agree with.
For the record, I don’t say “I told you so”. I mean, what’s the point? It doesn’t change anything, I don’t feel better, and it just pisses people off.
What I have been known to say is “In the future, we can save a lot of time and effort if you just recognize that I know what I’m talking about.” Strangely enough, that still pisses people off. Huh?
If I’m being honest, what I’m really struggling with is my innate need to fix things. I wrote about that before here.
And I AM learning. I don’t step in as quickly, I listen more, I speak less…and it seems to be helping.
However, in some cases…my heart and my head refuse to stay on the same page. In my head, I know that I’m doing the right things – letting go, supporting not leading, and biting my tongue. But my heart…oh my heart, it’s having a hard time with this. It’s crying out that I need to do more, that I can’t just sit there…I need to say something.
In no other situation is this more pronounced than with my daughter. She is weeks away from graduating high school, and then months away from starting off in a new direction which will take her away from home. I’m both excited and nervous for her…I completely support her decision, but also wonder whether she’s ready. And in the middle of this are the normal things that 17-year old girls do that make absolutely no sense and are counter-productive to meeting the goals that have been set. Stuff like making boyfriend priority #1 or deciding that it would be a better use of your time to re-organize your closet than study for your math test.
And so I listen, I provide counsel, and I smile and nod when I all I want to do is cry.
I refuse to step in and take over – after all, most life lessons need to be experienced to be appreciated. But this is really hard to do…I’m literally losing sleep over this. I have family and friends (both with and without kids of their own) that get this, but others that don’t…for some there is this perception that as a parent I should be holding her hand the entire time and never let her falter. People that imply that she couldn’t possible make these decisions and that it’s for us, her parents, to step in. And when we don’t…we appear uncaring.
If only I wore my heart on my sleeve – you would see otherwise. You have no idea what my internal struggles are – please don’t assume.
And so in the realm of HR, there is a similar perception. Where was HR when this was decided? Why didn’t HR step in? HR should never have let that happened. HR doesn’t care about people only the numbers.
There are generally many, many layers to a decision and HR’s involvement and input is only one of these. In some cases, it’s a very thin one.
So, at the risk of being repetitive: if only we could wear our heart on our sleeve – you would see otherwise. You have no idea what our internal struggles are – please don’t assume.