(Editor’s Note: This series is brought to you by our friends at Capella University. Capella is an accredited online university dedicated to providing an exceptional, professionally-aligned education that puts you in the best position to succeed in your field. They offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees as well as certificate programs for human resources and business professionals. Enjoy the post!)
One of the most common terms associated with human resources is business partner. In this role, HR needs to play the role of ally. That doesn’t mean always agreeing with every idea or suggestion. It means doing what’s in the best interest of the organization. Even if what’s in the organizations best interest is change.
The pace of change facing business today is phenomenal. It’s hard to believe, but over the past decade, we’ve seen the emergence of Facebook, YouTube, the iPhone and iPad, and self-driving cars. These innovations have changed the way we do business. In turn, HR has to monitor, propose, and implement changes to the talent side of the business by using their business partner status to consult internally.
But, there’s no way HR can be effective as a business partner and consultant if they don’t know how to manage relationships. The first step in any change effort is buy-in. Getting key stakeholders to listen and buy-into new ideas involves trust and positive working relationships.
And, it involves always asking the question, “What do you want to do?”
When communicating with others, it’s important to find a way to communicate on the other person’s level. If they like talking about the numbers, then that’s the best way to get their attention. If they prefer to have long conversations after getting written proposals, then you know what you need to do.
Being an effective internal consultant is about building relationships. It’s about understanding how and when others want to communicate, then giving them information in that format. Notice I didn’t say it was about telling people what they want to hear. We can’t always control the message. But we can do our best to deliver the message in the right way.
P.S. ICYMI, check out the previous posts in this series on HR Success competencies: