How to be a Highly Successful HR Leader - EmployeeConnect HRIS
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hr leader

How to be a Highly Successful HR Leader

This list outlines the basic skills, behaviours and special characteristics to be a highly successful HR Leader. This hiring process enables you to screen the basic standards first and then select in comparison to the outstanding characteristics. Let’s try to understand the outstanding qualities of a highly successful HR Leader. This article touches upon factors like: What made them successful HR leader?. How did they add value to their role? Why do I want them to be part of my team?. How do I recognise high potential HR Leaders?

Listed below are some of the habits of great HR Leaders:

1. A Successful HR Leader need Business Acumen

As an HR Leader, you must be proactive and connected to the business of your organization. You need to be abreast with facts like the last three years’ sales and profitability, know about your customers, have a sense of the growth and decline in your customer database, knowledge about the changing market trend, and knowledge regarding the resources spent on research and development.

It is completely understandable that this is not just feasible for an HR Leader to find out single-handedly all these facets. You need to assign different team members to investigate and provide reports to the entire HR team. Hence the key is to reposition HR in larger organisations so that you as a leader can pique the interest of your team to learn all the facets of the business of your organisation and look for solutions.

2. Only the Politically Savvy shall pass

Harbouring the attribute to thank the individuals who disagree with your opinion, helps in reducing bitterness and thereby creates an environment where disagreement makes everyone and everything stronger. There is a difference between the points of disagreement and the points of conflict. You should ensure that you present yourself as a leading example by projecting the best outcome of disagreements. You can do this by sincerely thanking your critics in public so that it is evident that you are open to receiving different points of view.

3. Make Fear your Friend

Another very important trait of  successful HR leaders is to recall the sense of fear in any particular situation and then think of how to tackle and disarm it. Many a times, the things or situations that we fear most can be easily knocked out. But in order to do so, it is important that you take the first step of directly charging towards it. Taking the first step automatically creates momentum and confidence. More than the actual failure, it is rather the feeling of our deflated ego which magnifies the impact of failure. Hence, you must always run towards your fears and topple them effortlessly.

4. HR Leaders Listen…Actively

One of the traits of a successful HR practitioner is to have an understanding that people come to you in order to be heard. For instance, if an employee comes in to see you and you have heard this problem earlier as well and you have an important phone call to return, you are highly tempted to solve the problem and move on. You may be certainly able to solve the problem at hand, but it would be much more effective if they solve their own problem.  If you solve it for them, they now have a dependency on you and you can be an easy target to blame if your solution fails. As a rule of thumb you must set up a mental time box that helps you to informally measure the amount of time you spend talking. If you cross the stipulated time of your time box where you are talking more than a third of the time, pause at that moment and let the other person take the lead to speak. You need to understand that good HR people solve problems while great ones enable the solution.

5. Restate the Other Person’s Position

Another quality which is an extension of your listening skills is the ability to restate the other person’s point of view. The ability to restate another person’s point of view with great clarity shows respect to the other party and your involvement in the conversation. This quality is also important because it helps you to look for small areas of philosophical overlap. Also, if there is a misunderstanding, it allows the other person to actively clarify his or her point.

Possessing this quality displays your mental agility and confidence, and it also ensures that you are capable enough to synthesize the best parts of the argument into an effective and better solution. The inability to defend your opponent’s position displays a closed mind and the incompetence to analyze the issue.

6: Stand behind the Spotlight

You must always remember that the HR is a support department. If you do not take pleasure and interest in others’ success, you may be missing the point of your profession completely. One of the traits of a great HR practitioner is to be able to identify the very best performers and make them better so that they are motivated to perform even better. Hence it is important to learn to enjoy and appreciate when others receive the limelight.

7. Be a Crucial Conversationalist

As an HR leader you will find yourself multiple times in a position in which you need to convey messages that others cannot or will not deliver. These messages need to be delivered in an unwavering and intense manner. The HR is considered to be better equipped to address such people related issues. As an HR you must be unflinching in your willingness to define desired behaviours and be willing to describe situations which are inconsistent with the ideal state.

8. HR Leaders give People a Safe Place to Fall

Most of the times individuals who are at fault or behave badly or are not performing need a place to preserve their dignity. The best HR leaders understand this and achieve their objective while allowing the opposite party dignity. Hence it is important that when you allow people to an argument or a situation, or even a job with dignity, it usually ends up in a much better resolution and you have won a collaborator for life.

9. Be Courageous

An ideal HR leader should stand firm in the face of fierce opposition, and maintain that this was not to assess blame but to create a shared sense of a negative organizational event. In such challenging circumstances you should not confuse unpopular with wrong.

In conclusion, these attributes are mere guidelines to help in identifying the next high potential HR leader who possesses as many of these qualities and values as possible.

Byron Conway

Content Coordinator at EmployeeConnect