myHRproblem: How can I manage my senior Stakeholder?

myHRproblem, agony aunt for myHRcareers HR networking and professional development community in LondonDear MHRC,

I’m an HR Business Partner in a large company and have a very difficult senior stakeholder I need to establish a great relationship with to be successful in my role. She is often dismissive of HR and sees me as an admin function. I want this to work as I’ve been newly promoted. Help!

Robert, HR Business Partner

Dee Jas, resident agony aunt for myHRcareers. myHRproblem by myHRcareers community.Hi Robert – I think we can all empathise at one point or another with your predicament! I would first reflect on what makes them difficult, and why that touches you in some way. Often there is a clash of beliefs or values that lead to a tricky relationship, so some early reflection can be beneficial in how your approach the situation. As an HR Business Partner, you need to have the courage to challenge, and so this is probably a moment where you need to summon that quality – there is no escaping an honest conversation here. However, done with assertiveness and tact, this can be productive as you seek to share how you’re feeling, your intent in building a great relationship and where you can offer more than an admin service. Think more widely as to how you can influence here – are there key priorities that you can help her with? Can you invest in other relationships with her team to build your profile? My own experience has told me to go where the energy is in the initial stages and build momentum, using that to influence more widely and become connected to key pieces of work in your customer area.

Hope it helps !