I agree with your post and think this is very relevant to the message we will be sharing with the ND SHRM Conference on Thursday…especially your comments on the importance of relationships.
I cannot emphasize the importance of relationships enough, and not the cheesy, shmoozy, “I want everyone to like me” kind of relationships, but real relationships; with some trust and some candor and some common ground. I think that one of the key challenges facing HR professionals is the nature of their relationships with those outside of HR.
HR professionals and HR teams need to become part of the business, and in too many organizations they are something apart from the business. They are the “touchy-feely” people, or the compliance cops, and not a part of the everyday business of the business. I think that this disconnect is as much about personal relationships as it is about organizational charts or seating arrangements.
HR needs to become more relational in nature. Screw the tired lamentations (that is my fancy word for the day) about how to get the “seat at the table” and becoming more “strategic” and invest aggressively in building your social capital. Meet people. Ask good questions. Listen. Really listen. Take notes. Follow-up with people. Stay in touch. Find ways to help. Find more ways to help. Repeat. Forever.
None of this is about being popular. All of this is about being valuable. If you are an HR professional or leader, go meet people.