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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Carnival of HR #12

I'm excited to be hosting the Carnival of HR. Despite my best efforts to find a unifying theme for the posts like everyone before me has done, I am chagrined to confess that my best efforts got me nowhere. But that won't distract from the fabulousness of the posts themselves, which I hereby present to you:

"You Are Where You Sit at the Table"
It hadn't occurred to me to actively encourage more junior staff to take more prominent seats at meeting tables, but I'm going to be doing it now that I've read the HR Capitalist's post on the topic.

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"
Were you ever excluded from an inner social circle as a kid? Lisa at HR Thoughts writes about how this behavior can show up at work too.

"How the Great Supervisors Do It"
Invoking Tolstoy, Wally Bock at Three Star Leadership notes, "There are thousands of ways to do a bad job as a supervisor. But great supervisors do the same things in pretty much the same way." Here's how.

"Making Your Career 'Layoff-Proof'"
Fortifying yourself against a layoff "doesn't mean that you hunker down and cling tenaciously to the job you have," says the Career Encouragement Blog.

"Punished by (Poorly Conceived) Rewards"

Ann Barnes at Compensation Force takes on Alfie Kohn's Punished By Rewards and argues against painting all reward efforts with a broad brush of condemnation.

"Rewards Systems"
The Evil HR Lady tackles a different aspect of rewards systems, asking what happens when they inadvertently punish the wrong employees. "As a result of this, people with good potential, great ideas and technical know-how steer clear of (high-risk) projects. Why take something on that could ultimately end up with being shown the door? The people willing to take it on are those who have nothing to lose. As a result, we end up with failures where we could have had success."

"Do you have a WIG ... or a PIG?"
Over at 8 Hours & a Lunch, Deb Owen's guest host tackles WIGs -- wildly important goals -- and PIGS -- pretty important goals -- and makes all the acronyms make sense.

"Does Everybody Hate HR?"
Susan Heathfield at explores whether and why they do. She recalls: "Driving to lunch with a manager, I supported the employee view about the need for HR support. The response was interesting: 'Do they 'really' want an HR Director? They should be careful what they wish for. After all, everybody hates HR.'"

"Be a Leadership Tiger"
Anna at the Engaging Brand explores leadership skills through the lens of Tiger Woods.

"How Will the Future of Work Look?"
"Forget face-to-face communication with your colleagues," says the Work Clinic, taking a look at new uses of technology in the workplace.

"A Second Career -- Is Now the Time?"
And if all this is too much for you, Michael Wolfe at the Career Revolution gives three great questions to ask if you're thinking of switching careers (and then check out his follow-up).

The next HR Carnival will be hosted by Ann Bares at Compensation Force on August 8.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I am not good at negotiating

I am not good at negotiating salary when I'm making someone a job offer. I try to hide it, but the fact is that I fail at the most crucial part of negotiating -- I'm not willing to walk away. By the time I'm making someone a job offer, they're the candidate I want and I want to do what it takes to hire them. Weirdly, I've yet to have a candidate hold out for more money than I want to pay, but I know it's going to happen at some point and I am going to get robbed blind.

To make matters worse, my instinct is to pay people on the high side of what we can reasonably afford to pay, because I want them to be happy with the job.

Does anyone have tips on negotiating effectively from the employer's side? Most materials out there that I've seen are geared toward job-hunters. I need something that comes at it from the evil employer's side.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

great post at 8 Hours & a Lunch

Deb Bowen at 8 Hours & a Lunch has a great post about looking at yourself if you're unhappy with your job, instead of blaming your boss, your company, your parking spot.

next Carnival of HR: here on July 25

I'm hosting the next Carnival of HR on July 25. Send your submissions to me at by July 23. You won't be sorry.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Taking criticism gracefully

If your manager takes the time to give you feedback, looking petulant and defensive and perhaps even outright pissed off -- as someone did to me last week -- isn't going to help you.

It's not that you just have to sit back and take it if you disagree with the criticism you're hearing; you can say that you have a different point of view. But it's all in how you do it, and it's especially in your tone.

Bad: Looking furious
Good: "I'm glad you're telling me this. From my point of view, I've been letting some deadlines on this project slide because I had thought that projects x and z were higher priorities and was more focused there. But am I looking at this wrong?"

Bad: Getting defensive
Good: "I hadn't realized it was coming across that way, so I'm glad to know. From my perspective, it seems like (fill in the blank with whatever your perspective is)."

Bad: Responding with a brusque "okay" and nothing more (this makes it look like you're more interested in just getting the hell out of your boss' office than in actually processing the feedback)
Good: Telling your boss what you're going to do in response, even if it's just to say you need to give it some thought.

Be glad your manager is giving you feedback. Plenty don't bother and just leave you to wonder why you keep getting crappy raises. The managers who take the time to give you honest feedback are the ones you want (assuming they're not crazy, vindictive, etc.).

Carnival of HR #10

I'm late in announcing this due to being far away when it happened, but the Carnival of HR #10 is now up. Check it out here.