Always Lead HR with Patience and Kindness: Tara

Always Lead HR with Patience and Kindness: Tara

In this True Stories at Work episode, you get to meet Tara, who started her career as a behavioral specialist and found the skills and knowledge transferred nicely into HR. She worked in many industries (financial, tech, and higher ed) and understands that “the work that we do in HR is ultimately about people. The industries are definitely different. The types of people that work in them are different. But, overall there’s a similar thread to humanity.”

We connect around the virtue of patience, except in disciplinary situations “We would go through a corrective action process and it would be first, final written warning, second final written warning, and third final written warning. And I would have managers say, what does the word “final mean if you’re going this far?”

Tara’s early career aspirations were to be an archeologist. However, uncovering a revealing photo of an employee was not a treasure she was seeking when he was terminated after his 3rd “final” warning. “It confirmed was they knew this was coming… but it will indelibly be in my mind.”

We discuss entitlement, and how it shows up in unusual ways across senior leadership “You know, sometimes people aren’t grateful and sometimes people don’t act so well… use their, their trash cans as toilets”.

Tara understands that demonstrating kindness is the most important aspect of her legacy, even in challenging employment situations. After a company closure, she reflects on feedback she received from an impacted employee “If that is the legacy of my career, if that I handled something where somebody came away from a very negative experience and felt that there was kindness in that experience, then you know, then I’ve accomplished everything I need to accomplish.”

We wrap up curious about why “HR people on TV tend to be represented as dull when we actually are amazing, have a lot of fun doing what we’re doing while ensuring that there’s heart in our work?” There are no answers to why our smart, talented peers are projected in media as Catbert (Dilbert’s evil director of human resources) and Cody (the buzzkill in The Office).

In the end, you’ll hear the final workplace confession from my BFF. This one is a childish prank, gone, terribly wrong. A puddle splashing that got her banned from the work site.

This episode is sponsored by Physics at Work: If you’re looking for ways to create momentum and boost performance to achieve your organization’s goals faster…. Physics at Work can help you to define and refine your people strategy. Just reach out to me at or connect on LinkedIn. Because the same laws of physics that drive our universe also drive your workforce.

Stories are what we remember and how we connect, so please share yours with me.

Tell a story!

Make a Workplace Confession

Ask a question+ make a suggestion

Join the email list,

Connect on Linked In.

Join the private True Stories at Work Linked In group to connect with guests and listeners of the show.



Tara’s background as a Behavior Specialist helped her as we work to stabilize our workforce: It’s a New Era for Mental Health at Work (

Simon Sinek: Leaders Eat Last book, and a short video describing the concept What “Leaders Eat Last” means – YouTube,

Dilbert + Catbert and the best of Toby from The Office


Haiku for Tara

Dig deeply to find,

the kindness that we deserve,

as humans who work.

Comments are closed.