Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of HR Bartender. Can you believe it?! It seems like I just started it.
I can’t tell you how incredibly grateful I am for the opportunities writing HR Bartender has afforded me. The people I’ve met and the conversations I’ve had are wonderful. All things that never would have happened if HR Bartender didn’t exist.
In addition to the great friendships, blogging has reminded me of some key learnings as a manager. So for my blogging anniversary, I wanted to share with you my takeaways:
Be human. This might sound obvious but being a manager can be a lonely job. We sometimes know information we just can’t share. The person we have lunch with on Monday could be the person we’re firing or laying off on Tuesday. To deal with this, it’s easy to throw up a shield. Writing HR Bartender allows me to share my stories and a piece of myself. As managers, we have to remember to share what makes us tick as well.
Don’t forget where you came from. I started my career as a HR generalist and spent several years as a recruiter before becoming a consultant. But I still remember what it’s like to do a benefits open enrollment. Or the knot in my stomach when I had to tell someone they were losing their job. While what I do today is different than back then, I don’t want to forget where I learned the ropes.
This also applies to communities. As business professionals, we have colleagues, associations, and groups that help us succeed. It’s important to support the people who support you and your success. While the way you show that support might change over the course of time, being able to express thanks to those who have helped you speaks volumes.
Learn to say no. This is a toughie. We all want to say “Yes” and “I can do that.” The reality is sometimes we might not be able to. We might have a personal commitment. It may not be in the budget. Or the request doesn’t align with our business. It’s better to say no than to say yes and do something that doesn’t make sense for you. Every time I say yes to something and I know I shouldn’t…it’s a mistake.
Atta boys are important. In our companies, we’re always saying be specific when offering recognition. And I still believe that. But an occasional “nice post”, “great job”, “love your blog” can be valuable. Those handful of words could be just the encouragement someone needs when they’re having a bad day.
And when you’re on the receiving end of recognition, learn how to take the compliment. It might be easier to act modest but it can also come off as disingenuous for someone to say you’re doing a good job and the reply be “Yeah right, who cares?”
Don’t believe your own hype. I’ve been fortunate to be recognized by others on lists, rankings, awards, etc. And I truly appreciate each and every one. But guess what? I still have to do the laundry, pump my own gas, and cook dinner. I am thankful Mr. B cleans floors, mows grass and takes out the garbage. Seriously, the accolades HR Bartender has received only make me want to work harder and write better. As managers, we need to take the recognition we receive at work as a challenge to continuously improve.
I’d like to offer a special thanks to you, the HR Bartender community, for your support. You might not realize it but the things you’ve said, written, blogged, or tweeted have helped me grow along the way. I lift my glass to you. Cheers!