One of my standard, and quite lame, HR jokes is that if it wasn't for human nature I'd be out of a job. The point being that people behave in such peculiar ways that sooner or later the HR team is going to be called upon to resolve a problem.
But what happens when the human nature piece is alive and kicking in the HR team?
The quality of my professional relationships, for me, represent the most important aspect of my work. Yes I have leadership responsibilities across the organization and within HR; but first and foremost I am a leader of the entire team that works for my company. Guess what? That whole group of people are human. If we lose sight of this most basic, yet often overlooked piece of the work puzzle, we're failing before we even get started. Awareness of even the most simple issues and common courtesies go a long way, particularly when you have several thousand people all working in the same building.
Revenge Is So Tempting
Part of our responsibility to our organizations as HR pros is to resolve some of the most difficult employee relations issues. When those issues take bizarre twists and turns (as has been known to happen on occasion!) it is often only HR that bears the brunt. Sometimes that gets very frustrating.
Let me say it again...bizarre and manipulative employee behavior can get very, very frustrating.
Ultimately, despite being human ourselves, HR can not afford to be tempted by the power and influence delegated to us and misdirect it towards anyone. We simply can not. Thus, the challenge for us when feeling oh-so-human is to reach out to our colleagues who understand the unique pressures we face on behalf of our organizations. Leveraging social tools to connect is one way. Plus there's always that old-fashioned gadget called a telephone that also works pretty effectively.