• red-eyed HR in-house coach

HR in-house coach red-eyed moments

Be my HR business partner. Be our HR in-house coach.  Be positive. Be service minded. Be creative. Be the judge, go-between and deliverer of all kinds of news.  Be enthusiastically there for whoever chooses to walk through my door today and virtually 24 x 7. Be pro those HR policies that live more in the imagination of would be applicants than the management minds of todays appointees. Be this. Be that and the next thing. I could go on.

I turned up wearing my HR technicolored dream-coat. A thin veil for those warm mutually magic meetings that moved mountains. A fur cloak for those conversations filled with icy emotions, troubled thoughts and weighty worries blown at me like the thick electro-charged air of the aircon.

When the latter comes our way, we sometimes get caught in a kind of twilight zone. Obligations, relationships, job descriptions laced with professional and personal ethics on the one hand and peoples confidences, frustrations, fears and fantasies on the other. Whilst we can navigate the morning twilight that leads to a brighter day, the other kind sometimes leads to another place.

Who thinks of the ‘human’ behind the ‘human resource professional’? Where do we take our human need to process our confidences, frustrations, fears and fantasies.  We too deserve the clarity and confidence to be more resilient for what tomorrow might blow our way.

HR in-house coach

Wish I had known about Coaching SuperVision years ago. I might have navigated supporting coaching my colleagues through complex, emotionally charged organisation life and political game-playing better. I might not have paid such a heavy personal price. The technicolored dream-coat is such artful camouflage.

Wonder how many truly knew, or indeed cared, about the personal cost to me of constantly being the proverbial Mary Poppins dispensing spoons full of sugar for every kind of organisational medicine that needed to go down. Or the energy it took to encourage & cajole those who reminded me of a 2 year old child who point blank refused to avail themselves to the medicine and instead chose to flick the stuff onto the ceiling goading a next move.

If only I’d known better. My first responsibility was to look after myself. My capacity to support others entirely reflective of my capacity to take care of my own wellbeing.

Had I had access to Coaching SuperVision back then (and to be honest it had not crossed my HR in-house coach radar yet) my own health and wellbeing would have been a whole lot better. I’d have been able to role model other ways of being and offer more options around how to respond. The HR happy bunny would have to deeply burrow away red-eyed moments less often. On the other hand, I’d have missed out on the experiences that may give me some licence to empathise with some of yours.


Shirley Smith

Coaching Supervisor to HR Professionals who amongst other things act as senior HR in-house coach

Bunny rabbit watercolour illustration by Caroline Hulse FRSA at http://www.wallflower.co.uk/abstracts.html or for fab painting lessons at http://www.joedaisy.co.uk/


About the Author:

Shirley is a Fellow of the CIPD and certified coaching supervisor. Shirley is passionate about the continuous development and coaching capacity of HR professionals, Leaders and Change Enablers - taking care of their own resilience & wellbeing in a dynamic world

One Comment

  1. Clare Norman April 5, 2017 at 1:22 pm - Reply

    fab article Shirley. I too believe that in-house HR as well as interim and consultant HR, OD and L&D specialists need a place to take their own stuff, so that they can stay sharp and stay safe for themselves and their clients

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