There are so many opportunities for People Voodoo all around us every day, as a networking event this week demonstrated.
Let me set the scene. Imagine if you can, a group of professionals coming together for a networking breakfast.
If your experience of networking meetings is anything like mine, then this conjures up an image of pinstriped people milling around a conference facility. They are desperately trying to juggle a cup of tea (or coffee, let’s not tar everyone with the same tea bag) and a plate of danish. With their spare third hand (?), they greet other attendees who are just as keen to finish the small talk, glean nuggets of wisdom from the speaker and rush back to the day job.
Luckily, although all networking events are equal, some are definitely more equal than others. Some have broken the mould and feel more like a gathering of friends, keen to catch up on more than the superficial niceties. These events lead to lively debate and sharing of ideas and experiences. Less battery hen and more free range. In short, more humane and enjoyable, so I attend them when I can.
At this weeks’ event, a lady shared the following:
“It can be very frustrating doing this job. You have to wear so many hats and the business expects you to drive initiatives that the leadership doesn’t even buy into. You regularly need to deliver bad news too. You’ve got to be a very special sort of person to be in Human Resources (HR). It can be very lonely.”
So what was your reaction to this? Was it humane?
The Cambridge Dictionary defines humane as;
“Showing kindness, care and sympathy towards others, especially those who are suffering”
www.vocabulary.com goes a step further;
A humane person is one who shows great compassion and caring for others, including animals, and who tries whenever possible to alleviate another’s suffering.
Well, I’m not perfect, so I’ll be honest and admit that in my head I judged her. Luckily I do People Voodoo, so I get better every day at overcoming that, and I started asking myself some important questions.
- Is she struggling or suffering in some way?
- Does she appear to have the knowledge or resources to help herself?
- Is everyone being kind and compassionate towards her?
- Is she being kind and compassionate to herself and others?
- Do I have the skills and resources to help?
- What is really going on here?
- Is she ready to accept help and change her situation?
If you know someone in this situation and you want to do some People Voodoo, why not start with “I’m sorry you’re having a hard time”.
That might then lead on to some open and honest discussion about why this is happening and how to address it. You might be able to help but you might not. People Voodoo isn’t about doing it all yourself it’s about facilitating progress, and the first step is to want to take a humane approach.
People Voodoo is for people who want to be humane with themselves and others. The opportunities are everywhere.