Rip off the Band-Aid and Have the Hard Conversation: Michael

Rip off the Band-Aid and Have the Hard Conversation: Michael

HR leaders have difficult conversations, around an incredible range of topics “It would just be easier to say, we don’t want you around than to say, hey, I need you to wear a bra to work.”

Welcome to True Stories at Work, where we discuss the best things about working in Human Resources. The people, the stories, and the things that happen at work that we didn’t know even about… workplace confessions!

I’m a recovering HR executive, certified coach, and business school professor who knows that THE BEST stories happen at work, from heartbreaking to heartwarming, from hilarious to outrageous.

In a past role, I was a member of a magical HR executive committee, pulled together by a Group Purchasing Organization to represent a variety of members from each region of the country.… and I loved going to the meetings to connect with them, learn what they were doing, and hear their great stories! Today, you get to meet Michael, who was a member of that executive committee.

You will get to hear his journey into and out of HR. As an attorney, he shares “The importance of ripping off the Band-Aid and having difficult conversations, even when they are uncomfortable” and even when they don’t go as planned.  “It’s actually hard to do the things when you’re in the moment and experiencing it as a human as well”

He shares a story that demonstrates the impact that subtle, non-verbal behaviors can have on feelings and perceptions “even if I’m not saying it, or even if it’s not intentional, simply the, the chair I pick is sending a message.”

The approach he took to teaching people how to treat his HR team, and how he reinforced  “that HR is not just a punching bag”.

Micheal shares a great practice to keep your leadership team connected to the people in your company who are impacted by your decisions “It’s easy to start thinking about people as simply numbers or FTEs as opposed to remembering that real people are losing their jobs, and those are having real impacts on their life.”

At the end, you get to hear a workplace confession, something that happened at work that never made it through the doors of HR. This one is about me… a director sharing a story about me that he wanted to confess on my behalf, how generous!

Curious about how to improve your skills with difficult conversations?

Here are some links to get started:

How to Handle Difficult Conversations Gracefully | Psychology Today

Things to Do Before a Difficult Conversation (HBR)

How to Create a Strong Culture (

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

Let’s talk about your people strategy

Tell a story!

Make a Workplace Confession

Haiku for Michael

Michael knows that growth,

Requires difficult words to…

Be shared with kindness.

#HumanResources #Podcast #TrueStoriesAtWork

#Career #Culture

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