Cliques-R-Us

separated_from_group_400_clr_9554I was an overweight, shy, only-child who moved every other year. I attended 11 schools from K through 12; tough to build friendships.  In college, I made a very deliberate decision to change who I was, I lost weight, found a sorority with like-minded sisters, and learned social skills I’d not learned before. I then was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Marine Corps, and left that sad child behind. I don’t get intimidated often, but when I do, it is usually the “mean girls” from high school that flip my trigger.

What do I mean by “mean girls?” Well, hopefully the Rachel McAdams stereotype has grown up to be less overt, and more caring. Honestly, if she didn’t I think she will struggle in today’s workforce. (more…)

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges (…or the VA)

redtapeWe have yet another political catastrophe on our hands.  Those veterans who gave us our freedom have been duped by the bureaucracy – red tape – of their own government.

It reminds me of an email I saw once, with pictures of funny headlines that were actually mistakes.  This one was more profound than they probably realized….

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges 
      (And the tag line was….You mean there’s something stronger than duct tape?)

Bureaucracy – red tape – is created by layers of leaders, mounds of paperwork, and a lack of real dialogue.  When real dialogue is neither encouraged nor rewarded, we end up with a culture of silence.  Those who need to know never hear what they need to hear. And yes, culture and bureaucracy are stronger than duct tape.

We certainly have an abundance of examples of how a culture of silence can damage an organization. (more…)

Let’s be brutally honest…

hr director gossipFast Company has a very cute article, “Brutally honest versions of your job titles.”  I smiled through “Brand Ambassador = Professional Conference Attendee,” and “Social Media Strategist = Person with the Twitter password.”   I suppose that since I do not work in one of those professions, I could chuckle a bit, understanding the subtle poke at their work.

Then I came to “HR Director = Gossip Coordinator/Instigator.”  Aw no – that’s hitting below the belt.  That is the antithesis of everything that anyone in Human Resources hopes to be.  Our world revolves around confidentiality, and here is a popular business magazine calling us gossips and instigators.  There are a lot of “names” I can rationalize because I know we sometimes fall into the trap – Party planner, Evil HR lady, and “oh oh, here comes HR – someone’s gonna be fired.”  But not “gossip.” (more…)