Home HR: How to Get Through a Holiday Weekend

by Frank Roche on July 1, 2010

in Communication, Cool, Engagagement, Humor, KnowHR, Writing

You may be off from work for a couple of days, but that doesn’t mean you can put those HR skills on the backburner. If you’re spending the long weekend with your extended family, you may need to pull in a few strategies you learned in the boardroom. Here are a few go-to HR solutions for some potential scenarios this Fourth of July weekend.

Situation 1: Trouble in paradise
A genial day at the beach has rapidly degenerated. With two feuding in-laws, a crying child and a stubborn grandmother who insists on going topless, you’re concerned your public disturbance may alert the attention of authorities.
What you’d like to do:
Pretend like you actually belong to that nice, quiet family sitting to your right.
The HR solution:
Solve one problem at a time. In this case, grandma’s indecent exposure may take precedence. Tackle the feuding in-laws the same way you’d handle a hostile meeting—take a break. Encourage the two to take their argument to another part of the beach, or enlist one of them on an ice cream mission to appease the crying one.

Situation 2: The unexpected guest
Your 30-year-old son shows up at your annual family barbeque with a surprise guest—a bubble-gum popping 19-year-old who’s barely wearing enough clothes to be allowed inside of a shopping mall.
What you’d like to do:
“Accidentally” spill some ketchup on her so you have an excuse to give her an acceptable change of clothes.
The HR solution:
Exercise some self-control. And don’t just judge a book by its cover. Try to look past this less-than-pleasant-surprise and instead focus on other elements of the situation—like your sparkling conversation skills. The main idea here is to keep your cool and conduct business…err…barbeque as usual.

Situation 3: Fire emergency
An evening activity of sparklers in the front lawn goes awry when somebody accidentally lights the picnic tablecloth on fire.
What you’d like to do:
Run screaming into your neighbor’s yard and duck under their porch.
The HR solution:
Before you do anything, take a deep breath. Then assess the situation. Look around the yard. Is there anybody near the flame? How big is it? Will your fire extinguisher do (you do have one, right?) or do you need to call 9-1-1? Safety is the most important thing. And being prepared in advance for these emergencies will help you focus when the real pressure is on.

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