…or how to gamify your career in HR.
Last Wednesday, as part of the “Experts at Work” events hosted by Richard Goff of The People Director Partnership, we played Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders with a group of Human Resources professionals.
Through our business simulation we gave them a chance to experience what it is like to be a senior HR Business Partner in a large organization. We ‘played’ the role of Hugh Mann, the archetypical HR Director, and helped him navigate key challenges as a business partner, while managing his relationships with other stakeholders, and using influencing skills to achieve their desired outcomes.
In small groups, they had to solve a series of business challenges, thinking about their own behaviour. Naturally, different teams had different answers, so we had a good debate to understand their points of view and how the ‘right’ approach to being a business partner is situationally-driven.
As one participant said, “Really innovative way of learning and getting you to think while making it fun.” Another said, “Fun with real meaning behind it. Lots of learning.”
In between rounds of the game we also explored specific tools to improve business partnering relationships, such as the different advisory roles and influencing. We learned the RECIPE for influencing, and the six styles you can use.
You can find out more about the six styles and when to use them here. We also discussed how great influencing – by strategic business partners — happens when three things are aligned:
- Your personal preference and preferred style.
- What the situation requires: in other words which approach is going to have the most impact?
- What is most likely to persuade the other person: in other words what influencing style will your interlocutor most likely be swayed by?
Take a few minutes to think about this. Or maybe next time you are talking to a leader, have an exploratory conversation before you start trying to influence, to identify these three elements and which approach you need to use.
As “Hugh” discovered, sometimes the best approach isn’t the most obvious.