A Human Resources Guide to Surviving Thanksgiving

As the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaches, most folks are stocking up on their holiday supplies and planning for the big meal.  At the same time, many of us are wondering how we are going to manage those awkward dinner time discussions that can come up during the holidays. Surprisingly, you may find your answers in the HR consulting services industry.


Here are some HR tips for getting through those conversations wherever they may occur:


  • Demonstrate respect for others’ views and opinions. Listen honestly to understand and it’s possible that you will learn something new.  Even if you don’t agree, your willingness to hear them out will go a long way.
  • Know when to end a conversation. If a conversation is becoming one sided, taking too long, or making others uncomfortable, call it and move on to a more comfortable topic.
  • Call out inappropriate behavior. If you are with someone who makes derogatory, offensive, or hurtful statements.  Call it out in the moment.  Studies have shown that people who speak up in the moment feel better and carry less stress forward than those who don’t and then spend energy after the fact thinking what they would have/could have said.
  • Avoid topics that are difficult for you to talk about calmly. If you know that a specific topic is triggering for you, tell them it’s not a topic you are comfortable discussing and stick to it.  If it continues, leave the room.
  • Don’t make it personal. One sure fire way to create a conflict is to make personally attacking statements like “only an idiot would believe that.”  Those will have an inflammatory effect and escalate the conflict.

Whether we are at work or at home, we are going to experience differences of opinion.  As long as those differences are respectful and there’s an opportunity to learn, then all is well.  If they aren’t healthy or are one sided monologues, move on.  Life is too short to listen to that.


Just remember, here in Michigan, if you want to show your optimism, we always have the Lions to talk about. 


Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season!

Kevin Brozovich

Kevin Brozovich


Meet Kevin Brozovich, energetic entrepreneur, people-focused team-builder and HR practitioner-turned consultant. For almost 10 years, Kevin was Founder and Chief People Officer of HRM Innovations, a Kalamazoo-based Human Resources consulting firm many would consider the top in the region. After pulling his hair out making daily decisions about running the business (does it matter where the coffee comes from?), Kevin joined forces with the Rose Street Advisors team so he could solely focus on what he loves most: working with clients.

Interested in more?

Proactive HR