Is it Really What we Think It is?

Over the past week I have been going through some family issues which
began with a medical emergency last Friday. Everyone we talked to from
our family practitioner to the ER medical team believed that the signs
pointed towards one thing. When the surgeons went in to operate on
Saturday morning, they found an entirely different problem was
manifested in the same environment. Upon reflection we do the same steps
in the HR world we work in.

Every single
day we are confronted with important HR issues and we automatically
assume we have the answers. But what if we were wrong? Consider these

Scenario #1-
One of your department managers comes to your office and asks if you
have a moment. They open the discussion by telling you they have a
problem in the department with Johnny. Johnny just can’t seem to get
with the program and we have to let him go. Do we know why Johnny can’t
get with the program? The problem could be that Johnny has not been
provided with the right training to do they job at the required KPI
level. Or is the problem with the interaction between the manager and

Scenario #2 – Mary
reports to the HR department that she has been harassed by a fellow
employee, is that really the case or is the problem that the way the
fellow employee reacts around people may be contrary to the way that
Mary was brought up. Consider if the fellow employee was of Italian
descent. If you have been around Italians to any great degree you know
they like to show signs of indicating you are part of their inner circle
by hugging those they come into contact with. Is this harassment or a
show of cultural tendencies?

Scenario #3 – Your
talent management staff is in the process of interviewing for a high
level position in your company, and comes across a candidate who on
paper looks like the perfect candidate. The right skills, the right
education, the right career progression. But your staff member says that
through the entire interview the process the candidate never looked at
the recruiter directly. The recruiter rejects the application and the
candidate because of it. But what if the reason was that candidate was
brought up in a culture where direct eye contact is considered to be a
sign of aggressive behavior? If this is the case does this make them a
bad candidate?

In each of our scenarios
above we have looked at everyday scenarios within our global workplace
which indicate one environment when they could mean an entirely
different actuality. The same thing occurred in the hospital over this
past weekend. Everyone based on the symptoms  believed we had one
problem when we had something entirely different. A separate condition
which can and does simulate the same signs. Do your HR decisions recognize the possibility that the symptoms of your workplace problems are actually something else, that while related to your original conclusion mean something entirely else?


Daniel Bloom & Associates, Inc. assists organization’s with the creation of empowered change strategies which are customer centric, organizationally aligned and quality based in your organization.


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