Following the last two conferences I’ve spoken at, I’ve received the following unsolicited feedback,
“You don’t speak like an HR person”
On both occasions, I’ve assumed it was a compliment and taken it as the best bit of feedback I could receive. I hope I don’t look like an HR person either (no tissues in this cardigan baby) but there is always room for improvement.
The serious point here is that language is important. The words we use, the tone we use, the way in which we communicate both verbally and in writing. They matter.
I don’t care what the intention is, if the language sends out a different message. That’s what people infer.
You tell people what they can’t do. Why not tell them what you want them to do?
You tell people what will happen if they don’t behave. Why not tell them what will happen if they do?
We use a whole vocabulary that means nothing to the vast majority of human beings. A dictionary of terms that have been created to make us feel “strategic” as we “partner” with the business to deliver “value adding interventions” to maximise our “human capital” and drive “employee engagement”.
Or instead we could work with you to make this place better, you happier and the business successful.
But then. We might have to explain how.
Which would require us to think. And not produce another strategy document.
Which could prove tricky.
I am not Human Resources. I am human.