I had a session with my personal trainer bright and early the other morning. Things were going relatively well until we headed for the preacher curls. Ugh. I don’t like preacher curls. When I said I really didn’t feel like preacher curls, I was promptly informed that fitness had absolutely nothing to do with feelings. So, I curled.
And so it goes at the gym, as it often does in the workplace, feelings get into places where they have no business (pun intended) being.
I attended a Human Capital Strategist (HCS) Certification course last year and, all of the valuable information aside, there is one comment that still sticks with me today.
Let me set this up for you.
We were in the midst of a case study developing human capital options for a business in distress. We evaluated the business environment, strategic direction and tactical challenges. We discussed key leadership roles, incumbent competencies and necessary skills and made informed human capital recommendations (we did our homework) based on the needs of the business.
It was time to present and our group spokesman (was it me? I can’t remember) started off by saying, “blah, blah blah, and so we feel blah, blah, blah.”
The analysis we conducted, the pros and cons we weighed, and the solid, fact based recommendations we made didn’t matter. In fact, nothing before and after the “we feel” mattered. Those were the only two words the instructor latched on to and said (something like), “That’s the problem with HR, they are feeling all the time.”
As HR pros, as women, and as leaders, we feel too much (or speak as though we do) and it gets in the way of our influence and our effectiveness.
In a Computer World article, Career Watch: How Women Can Get Ahead, Selena Rezvani, author of The Next Generation of Women Leaders discusses how women can get to the top in the workplace. One point she makes is:
Women executives communicate in a specific way. They use emotional intelligence to read people and situations, but they don’t use emotions when making a case for something. When building your argument or making a case, said the executives, keep things fact-based, not innuendo- or hearsay-based, using phrases like “The data shows..” and “The facts are…” rather than “I feel….”
She is addressing women executives in this article, however, this is superb advice up, down and across the organization.
So, tell me, how do you feel about that?
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