Nice Things

Recent events are prompting some adventurous turns in my career path and the scenery is lovely this week.

The HR job can be a rough one if you like to be liked. Much like the look on the possum’s face as the car bears down on it with its headlights glaring, employees look aghast as the HR person walks into their department.

It doesn’t matter that there hasn’t been a layoff, or that you have quite a lovely and positive relationship with those employees. In tough times, HR can’t help but represent the glaring headlights of potential reduction.

But this week, even though it’s tough times, I’ve heard some Nice Things. These are Nice Things that more HR people should strive to hear. And if more of us heard them, fewer of us would be grousing about the elusive “having a seat at the table” – whatever that means.

Upon hearing that I’ll be leaving soon, I’ve heard Nice Things like: “You made it fun”, “We’re COMFORTABLE with you”, “You understand the business so well”, “We trust you”, “Everyone wanted you at our meetings – it made them better”

These are indeed Nice Things. But, more than that, they are the essential skills of HR professionals who truly help organizations- and their employees – thrive. These are the things that get you invited to the “table”.

As I decide what to do at these forks in the path ahead, I’m excited about doing more of what prompted these Nice Things to be said. I’d like to help other HR departments and their organizations discover the power of healthy employee engagement and smart business. There are loads of HR execs doing this well (see and for a look at two totally rockin HR brains) and I hope to learn from them as I go.

After more than 14 years in the best job I’ve ever had with the best people I’ve ever worked with, I’m considering the independent path. I’m Uncommon Consulting at, I bought an Uncommon desk off of Craig’s List, and I’m ready for an Uncommon experience wherever the path – and the scenery – takes me.

Now let’s talk about you…

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