Feb 10, 2009

Critical Skills for Human Resource professionals

There are some skills that are never taught in HR courses, but once you join the workforce you realise how important all of them really are:

  1. Business Acumen - It's understanding exactly how your organization makes money and what you as a HR professional can do to impact it positively. Business acumen has be the lodestone by which you measure and evaluate any HR initiative. (Even though some believe that the real business of business is to build leaders )
  2. Communication Skills - It is painful when HR people don't get this one right. Written and spoken skills are both critical to being a successful and effective HR professional. It sends out wrong messages about your capability when you cannot communicate an intervention/initiative's objectives and salient points in less than 50 words. Try it. 
  3. Inter-personal skills - Empathy. Respect. Listening. Openness. These are approaches that you are expected to have. But sadly, I have come across many HR leaders and professionals who are egotistical, snooty, pig-headed and totally disrespectful of others. They are also the ones who are servile to higher ups and contribute to the stories that stress "HR is a spineless dictator". Don't be one of them.
  4. Negotiation Skills - When you have chosen to be part of a function that is evaluated by what others do, negotiating goes from a life-skill to a critical to succeed professional skill. 
  5. Learning to Learn 
  6. Consulting Skills 
  7. Marketing Skills 
  8. Sensemaking 
Any others you can think of?

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