aparna sharma

Seven (7) Must Have Traits by a Successful HR Leader | Aparna Sharma | Consulting Editor | The People Management

aparna sharmaBeing a Successful HR Leader is no joke. It requires years of dedication while working with different kinds of people, unlimited passion towards making a change and relentless effort for growth. HR leaders are extremely vital to ensure development of employees and organizations. Remarkable HR professionals can be found at various levels, whether they are an entry level recruiter with a passion and zeal to recruit top talent, a training manager who has a drive to enhance employee skill-sets or a Chief HR Officer (CHRO), who strategizes and manages human relations across the organization.

If you are also looking to become an exceptional HR leader, here are the top 7 characteristics that you can aim at developing and honing:

1. Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence. It is a skill that 90% of top performing leaders possess in abundance. Great HR leaders are highly aware of their temperament, their leadership style and also the impact of it on others and the organization. They also have a clear and accurate image of their strengths and weaknesses. Constant introspection enables them to harness their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. Great leaders do not favor themselves over anyone else, but treat issues with utmost neutrality and follow an unbiased approach.

2. Passion
Be it any level of the organization, if HR professionals do not have a genuine interest or a relentless passion for the function, the entire cause gets dissipated. Great HR leaders are passionate about what they do, about the people and organizational values they work towards developing. For great HR leaders, their job does not just end at finding the right talent. The job actually starts from there.

Passion for nurturing, growing and developing employees at various stages, having a sense of understanding of human behavior are all skills, HR leaders acquire as a result of their passion towards their field.

3. Empathy
Empathy and compassion lie at the core of the Human Resource function. Empathy is a must-have characteristic for forming successful human relationships and bonds. For every problem that arises within the organization, HR professionals need to be patient to understand it in its entirety. Empathy helps HR leaders listen intently to what employees have to say, before jumping to conclusions or providing solutions. Successful HR professionals try to understand people by putting themselves in other’s shoes from a neutral perspective.

4. Humility
“I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.” – John Ruskin

Fast rising HR professionals are great human beings who believe in forming deep connections with those around them. They are extremely humble of their own achievements and profile, which is why they manage to garner a lot of respect in the business. Successful HR leaders keep their egos at bay and never let personal opinions, judgment or experiences cloud their thoughts. They always have time for others and they offer an open and safe space for others to enter and share their issues.

5. Lifelong Learners
Great HR leaders never stop learning and networking to keep their skill-sets polished and updated. They work hard to keep themselves abreast of the latest developments in the HR field. They do this not to compete but because they are passionate to find out what is latest and explore ways to align the business goals of the organization accordingly. They are always ahead of the game, be it latest HR trends, products, processes or technology. They keep a variety of tools handy that can help them educate themselves and keep learning. They are always trying to find ways to improve their own effectiveness.

6. Clear Communicator
Great leaders are the best communicators. Be it through their words or their body language, successful HR leaders always ensure that they communicate clearly and are absolutely transparent in their interactions. They make sure people are well aware of their expectations which is why they are always fair in expression and conduct. Successful HR leaders are always in constant communication with their colleagues and peers, and always ready for a conversation to clear things if necessary. They know how to balance the art of communication and they make sure they share their thoughts and ideas regularly, not only to inspire others but also to keep things crystal clear and confusion free.

7. Positivity
HR professionals are being presented with challenges every single day. And these are challenges related to people, their behavior and expectations, an equation very difficult to crack. Great HR leaders know that they cannot expect to have a happy and motivated workforce unless they exhibit a positive attitude themselves. They do this by remaining positive and upbeat when things go wrong.

Great HR leaders are known to find solutions by staying positive throughout and creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace. The best HR leaders will stay positive even in the worst situations, and emerge with the best solutions. Such positivity helps them embrace failures and deal with them appropriately.