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How HR Gets Invited To The Table — Become A Credible Activist

Source | LinkedIn : By Dave Ulrich

In our 30 years work on HR competencies, we suggest that less attention should be spent on the HR competencies and more on the outcomes they create. One of the critical outcomes of HR professionals demonstrating HR competencies is being seen as personally effective. When HR professionals are personally effective, they are “invited to the table.”

In our recent research with 4,000 HR participants and 32,000 respondents, we analyzed the relationship between the nine HR competency domains (independent variables) to determine which HR competencies helped HR professionals be seen as more effective and get invited to business discussions. Table 1 (below) scales these findings to 100% to help illustrate the relative importance of each of the nine competencies for explaining individual effectiveness. These nine HR competency domains explain a remarkable 83% (overall R2 ) of the individual HR effectiveness score. While all nine competence domains impact HR’s personal effectiveness, Table 1 also reports that credible activist was by far the most important competence in determining HR overall personal effectiveness (19.3%).

(Wondering which of the competencies you most identify with? Learn more about our leadership code assessment here.)

These data suggest that HR professionals need to have a minimum competency in many domains, but their overall personal effectiveness (and invitation to the table) comes mostly from their being a Credible Activist because they are both active and credible.

Credibility and Activism

It is the combination of credibility and activism that allows HR professionals to establish trusting relationships with those they support as well as their HR colleagues. They use the trust they have gained to influence others. Credible activists are respected and proactive. Credible individuals who are not activists may be respected for their insights or expertise, but have little impact. Activists who are not credible may have good ideas, but no one pays much attention to them. The following matrix illustrates this concept:

Credible Activists Influence and Relate to Others

Credible Activists are conscientious about their relationships with colleagues and business partners, and invest in these relationships. They build relationships up, down, and across the organization. They also look beyond the organization to develop relationships that will provide an outside-in perspective to help tackle challenges.

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