The 12 Important Things That Happy HR People Do Differently

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I always like to surround myself with happy, positive people.

I have enough pragmatism for us all! You should see the people I work with – it’s like one big happy convention every day at work. Which is great for pick-me-ups, but not so great if you’re just having a bad day and need to punch someone!

That’s not to say that everyone is happy every second, but I think when you search out happy people, for the most part, they are usually happy.

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What happy HR people do differently

Here is a list of 12 things that happy HR people do more than non-happy HR people. See if you see yourself in any of these:

  1. Express gratitude – When I let someone know how truly thankful I am for what they do, or did, it makes me feel happy, and I’m sure it makes them feel happy, too.
  2. Cultivate optimism – I start every day truly believing I can accomplish anything I set out to do that day. Not in a naive way, but in a way where I don’t feel anyone is going to put up a roadblock in front of me – except myself.
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparisons – I know too many people that struggle with this one. I’m truly one of those people who feel so happy and excited for others when they find success. I always think that others finding success will have a positive impact on me finding success – so let’s just all be successful together! Too many people think the opposite.
  4. Practice acts of kindness – Just yesterday, I almost let someone cut in front of me in traffic! Oh wait, that probably doesn’t meet this criteria! So, I struggle with this. I like to think I’m a kind person, but I see so many people who are so much kinder than I am. I know I can do better!
  5. Nurture social relationships – This is why I love HR! We are put into a position within our organizations where this is/should be the majority of our job description. We get to build relationships every day, and we are getting paid to do it. Isn’t that wonderful?!
  6. Develop a strategy for coping – I’m a move forward person. This isn’t to say I’m going to forget about what just happened – I learn from it – but I also move forward. My organization needs me to do this. If you take a step back on a Monday, it’s my job on Tuesday to take a step forward and not stand around and gripe about Monday. That’s how I cope.
  7. Learn to forgive – I think my wife would say this is by far my greatest strength. I forgive. I don’t hold grudges. It’s just not something I want to carry around because there is too much great stuff in my life not to forgive and move on. Again, I don’t want to confuse forgiving someone vs. forgetting what someone did. I can move forward, but it just not might be as it was before. That life. But I won’t be carrying around your issues anymore!
  8. Increase flow experiences – Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still. It’s about watching my sons play sports, listening to my son read aloud to me, laughing with my wife as we sleep in on a Sunday morning, hearing my sons’ laugh as they tickle each other. At the end of life, you will never feel like you had too many of these experiences – you will definitely feel like you had too many “work” experiences.
  9. Savor life’s joys – I love laying in bed, with the windows open, and listening to the rain. Or sitting on a perfectly still, calm lake and seeing the ripples of the water. Or watching my sons’ concentrate when they are writing or doing art, and seeing their tongue move around in their mouth, without them knowing they are doing it. And Diet Mountain Dew – that’s pretty good too!
  10. Commit to your goals – Have you talked to someone recently who set out to run a marathon or lose a lot of weight – and they did it!? Talk about happy! Committing to, and reaching, your goals drives happiness beyond that which you can imagine.
  11. Practice spirituality – I’m not a church-goer, but I know there are forces in life bigger than myself. Being able to understand we are just one small little piece of what’s really going on helps put life into perspective.
  12. Take care of your body – It’s crucial to your well being, and I know most of us can do much better than we do, but don’t ever underestimate how important this is in the overall scheme of your happiness. Energy is such a critical part of maintaining long-term happiness, and so is picking yourself up when we hit rough patches. It’s just that they keep making these stupid restaurants that prepare such wonderful food! 😉

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.


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