Self-Care Tips for HR Professionals in the Wake of Increased Violence that Spills into the Workplace

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self care tips for hr professionals after violence in world

Self-Care Tips for HR Professionals in the Wake of Increased Violence that Spills into the Workplace

In the wake of the horrific violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, human resource professionals are likely to face increased challenges related to rising tensions and fears.  The workplace is not only a window to what’s going on in the world, but what happens in the world spills over into the workplace. Employees may be more opinionated and anxious about what could happen next as racial conflicts are no longer simmering underneath the surface. Strong feelings and emotions often lead to people being on edge and expressing their beliefs without any of their normal restraint.

As a result, dealing with increased employee clashes and challenges will become the norm for many HR departments. Now, more than ever, it is vitally important for anyone dealing with these employee challenges to take better care of their own health so they do not end up absorbing the stress of those they interact with each day.

Here are six tips to help HR managers and executives tap into their intuition and take better care of themselves through the emotional turmoil:

  1. Pay attention to your intuition, especially related to employees your gut tells you could be potential firecrackers. Human resource professionals typically know, on some level, the people who are difficult to deal with and the most likely to explode or express themselves in an explosive manner. Rather than waiting for something to happen, it’s important to listen to your gut about this (even if it tells you that one of the less likely employees may be a potential issue). Seek those individuals out and let them know that your door is open if they need to talk.  Taking this preemptive step could stop potential conflicts from developing with others.
  2. Don’t try to change people’s minds, attitudes or beliefs.  Everyone has the right to free will and their own viewpoints. If they’re going to change, they must decide that they want to change.
  3. Watch out for collateral damage.  People who feel the pressure of racism, gender bias and any other forms of discrimination are likely to speak up now more than ever. Guide them as much as possible, but remember: you are not responsible for what is going on in the world.
  4. Stay aware of who and what pushes your buttons.  It’s easy to absorb the energy, fear and anger of others, and it is extremely important to notice what triggers you. Staying centered allows for you to notice when you need to step back and to take a break.
  5. Intellectually distance yourself by focusing on the differences between you and stressful people.  Appreciate yourself for being able to stay calm and your ability to not get pulled into every issue.
  6. Adjust yourself to being empathetic and not sympathetic.  Empathy gives you the balance to be able to objectively view a situation without taking on the emotional load of sympathy. When you operate in sympathy, it is easy to start to identify with what is going on and to carry around the belief that you should have known about potential conflict before it developed.

Intuitive Strategist Sheree Franklin works with individuals and corporations. She is a career columnist with Black Enterprise and the author of Intuition: The Hidden Asset Everyone Should Learn to Use. To learn more about Franklin’s book go to

Sheree is also a practitioner at Holistic Health Practice at One East Superior, in Chicago. Her practice includes one-to-one coaching as well as corporate speaking events, workshops and facilitation.  For more information go to


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I N T U I T I O N - The Hidden Asset Everyone Should Learn To Use