How to be positioned for a strategic HR role

Thoughts and ideas from Teri Aulph
How To Be Positioned For A Strategic HR Role

Strategic human resources is becoming an imperative for every successful organization. Expectations are being elevated and a seat at the table is available for the taking. The question is…are you ready?

Getting a seat at the table requires HR professionals to leverage their strengths to become strong capable business partners. They should be able to understand and confidently step into the space where HR plays a major role in driving the success of the organization.

Here are seven ways to overcome HR’s perception problem and get a seat at the table.

  1. Start with self-awareness. Ask yourself, “What do I bring to the table?” Use your career journal to document your successes and opportunities for improvement.
  2. Build authentic relationships with key decision makers. Everyone needs a coalition for support. Build a coalition with the leadership team, organizational leaders and HR team. Your coalition will provide a resourcfor organizational agility, partnership, and additional perspectives.
  3. To become successful, focus on the success of others. Your power will always be in how you support the success of others and the organization.
  4. Strengthen your professional presence. This has nothing to do with expensive clothing, haircuts, or fancy cars. What creates your presence is how you carry yourself. It has everything to do with authentic and approachable confidence, paired with true empathy and compassion.
  5. Listen. Listening is the most critical skill you must have as an HR partner. More importantly, listen for understanding to hack your inner voice who is planning what you will say next. Don’t be afraid to share your voice, but always remain respectful of others’ opinions. If you are a focused listener and learn to ask the right questions, you will be equipped to make the best decision.
  6. Increase your circle. The “decision-making” table can extend into your life outside the business. Find ways to get involved in local charities or community organizations to increase your circle of influence and gain access to other ways of increasing your expertise.
  7. Words are a form of action, use them wisely. How you frame your messages can mean the difference between failure and success. Less than ideal information should always be delivered with grace and empathy. Be sure you never tell employees how they should feel. And be hyper-aware of your own emotions and body language. Listen.

Human Resource leaders sit in the proverbial catbird seat in the organization. More than any other group, they have the opportunity to work consistently across the top of the organization. This provides a dynamic platform to influence decision-making, relationship management, and strategy. Everything they touch leaves their fingerprints in indelible ink that creates the thread that adds color to the fabric of the culture.