Healing. It’s a gift. In my life, I have experienced mercy and grace which has allowed healing to take place, mostly in myself and in relationship to others. The ability to offer such a gift to others has no monetary price tag, but I know it comes at a cost.
When I have given a road for healing to others, it’s not always what I might want to do. I defer to being bitter, angry, vindictive or self-righteous. It’s my nature, and I don’t think I am alone in that. I have a right to be hurt. That person was callous, egotistical or just plain wrong. And now, the relationship is damaged. This damaged relationship is now impacting situations, workflow or other relationships. The impact of this problem is tension, a rift or brokenness and it is far-reaching and, for businesses, costly.
As the week’s events between SHRM and HRCI have unfolded, I kept coming back to this idea of healing. HR professionals know that we are often (if not always) called upon to mend relationship and change the course of brokenness in the workplace. We converse with the injured parties; we bring our affirming communicative skills to bear on the situation; we coach the parties to seek resolution. We recognize that there really can be someone in the wrong, but that does not have to be where the situation ends. Now that error is seen, what are we doing to mend it? We push for repair and then growth to learn how to deal with similar facts in the future.
SHRM and HRCI feel a little like Mom and Dad fighting. This week, I have felt like the kid from the marriage watching, listening and being heart-broken. I love both of my parents. I have demonstrated allegiance to both sides and expressed love equally. Just as in most divorce situations, Mom and Dad’s individual needs and wants have evolved for some time. Both sides are looking back and trying to pinpoint when the complimentary paths diverged. And regardless of fault or blame, they are now dealing with the gap that has widened between them and their expectations of each other.
The kids in a divorce situation want to help. They want things to go back to how they were. They want healing. For us, as HR professionals, we must not choose sides but appreciate each side independently of the other. It’s not our job to fix their relationship; these two sides consist of big girls and boys who can and should find their way to common ground for the sake of the professionals they serve. Just as kids often cannot fix mom and dad’s relationship, we find ourselves heartsick observers.
What we can choose to do is be a conduit for healing as opportunity strikes. Share with each side how we feel. Maintain the integrity of our roles as HR professionals. Continue to be proud of the growth and accomplishments we’ve achieved that both sides have afforded, whether PHR/SPHR/GPHR certification or volunteer leadership positions in SHRM. We have been cared for by both organizations. Let’s return that care back to the two sides that are in need now.
Again, healing is a gift. It’s not a wussy, feel good sentiment, but a willful decision with measurable results. That kind of decision ought to be the type that we’re already used to making as HR professionals. Listen up, Kids! There’s a problem. Mom and Dad need us now.