The Silent Trap.

The work week starts and I’ll bet you do things in a certain pattern that has little variation. It’s great to be organized and have methods of doing your work. It keeps you efficient and allows you to perform.

The problem that creeps up on all of us ever so silently is complacency. Most people don’t even recognize that they’re trapped. We continue to do things the same way and never think that stagnation occurs. How many training sessions state that people won’t make change happen because things have “always been done this way”?

The other side of this spectrum is change. There are countless articles and books on being a “change agent” or some other catchphrase. If change was normal and regular we’d never have the need for the term “out of the box” because it wouldn’t seem like an anomaly. Doing something different takes effort and energy. It’s not easy and never has been.

Staying stuck in an endless rut is a real concern. HR is a master at this because the nature of the majority of what we do is to reduce variation. There’s no consistent reason for this, but it has become the traditional way to practice. We seldom shift in any dramatic way when it comes to our systems. We may edit or tweak things annually because we’re “supposed” too, but it’s insignificant. Most people strive for comfort themselves and want the environment around them to be comfortable as well. This isn’t wrong, but it is narrow.

Being UncomfortableI like being uncomfortable. I really do. I don’t like to stay in the same patterns if I can avoid it. Please understand that I think that being uncomfortable is a personal choice, and I try to keep it in how I approach life. I’ll travel different ways to work, order an entire menu over time, and other little things that keep things new. I also surround myself with others who are comfortable in being uncomfortable because I learn from their diverse perspectives and outlooks on many different areas of work and life.

There is so much that can, and should, happen in HR. We have a natural playing field because people are fluid and moving. They may seek stability personally, but when you work in HR, you work with a vast array of humans who are all different and unique. This is one of the main draws of the profession that keeps me energized and passionate. The idea that you can encounter another person who is distinctly different than you every day is fascinating !!

Do your systems have cobwebs? Have you taken a risk and blown something up in how you practice HR? How is your department, role, approach designed? Do you know . . . or do you just follow the same steps you ALWAYS follow?

If you keep doing things to be comfortable, you will miss the variations that are occurring all around you. It’s not that you’re negligent, you just won’t see the changes because they will fall out of your line of sight.

This next week be intentional and do something uncomfortable. I don’t know what that is, but you do. If you consciously do this on a regular basis, HR will remain alive and colorful for you. Isn’t that better ??

It’s time to act because the trap will silently grab you if you don’t.

 

5 thoughts on “The Silent Trap.”

  1. Great post Steve! I love the challenge – “This next week be intentional and do something uncomfortable.”

  2. Another great post – and another one that needs to be taken to heart by so many leaders out there. Thanks, Steve!

  3. It’s important to keep challenging yourself and your organization to grow and develop. It’s easy to get comfortable with the status quo, only to wake up and find yourself begins the times and struggling to catch up with your competitors.

  4. I agree Steve. Fear of the mystery confines us to the comfort zone of complacency. We should learn to ride on our passions and ignite the fire of transformation within us to feel alive in every moment and to discover the true potential of our abilities.

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