Talking Emotional Optimism & Heart Leadership with Claude Silver

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Talking Emotional Optimism & Heart Leadership with Claude Silver

Welcome to another exciting episode of All About HR! This is the series for HR Professionals and business leaders who want to future-proof their organization and learn about the latest trends & insights from industry experts, CHROs, and thought leaders. 

What can HR do to promote kindness, empathy, and leadership from the heart? In this episode of All About HR season 2, we talk with Claude Silver — Chief Heart Officer @ VaynerMedia — about what emotional optimism and true heart leadership are all about. 

Claude is an experienced HR coach, mentor, and leader whose mission is to instill empathy and kindness in the culture of an organization. 

In this episode, we’ll discuss: 

What it means to be a Chief Heart Officer 

How to lead and act more from the heart  

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The impact of emotional optimism on leaders and organizational culture

Watch the full episode to discover the role of HR in building a psychologically safe environment where all employees can thrive!


Claude Silver: True heart leadership to me means leaving someone better than I found them. You know, Maya Angelou has that wonderful quote: People will forget what you did. People will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel. That’s how you make someone feel. I think that’s really it for me.

Neelie Verlinden: Hi, everyone. Welcome to another episode of All About HR. My name is Neelie. I’m your host. And for today’s episode, I got to sit with Claude Silver. She is the Chief Heart Officer at Vayner Media. And we had a beautiful conversation about leadership from the heart and emotional optimism, so I cannot wait to get started. But before we go to the conversation, as always, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel, hit that notification bell, and like this video. Let’s welcome Claude to the podcast.

Neelie Verlinden: Welcome to another episode of All About HR. 

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Neelie Verlinden: Hi, Claude, welcome to the podcast. How are you?

Claude Silver: I am doing well. Dag. Hoe gaat het? 

Neelie Verlinden: Heel goed. Dank je wel! En met jouw?  

Claude Silver: Very good. Thank you very much. That’s all the Dutch I know. 

Neelie Verlinden: Well, I think that’s already a very good start and a friendly way of starting a conversation. A very good basis.

Claude Silver: Yes, I always think it’s good to know how to say hello, or thank you in any language, most languages, you know. I’m glad you could understand what I was trying to say in my broken Dutch.

Neelie Verlinden: I did understand it, Claude. Great pronunciation, well done. So before we are going to really dive into our conversation, perhaps you can start by telling our listeners a little bit more about yourself as well as Vanyer Media.

Claude Silver: Yes, of course. Of course. Oh, my name is Claude Silver. I am the Chief Heart Officer of Vayner Media. Vayner X is our holding company. We’re located in New York. We’ve got roughly 1800 people now. A lot of people. We’re a full-service agency that really believes in following consumer attention. So where their attention is, that’s where we’ll go. We’re founded by Gary Vaynerchuk, who’s not only a phenomenal boss. He’s also a social media guru. And I’ve been at the company for eight years unchanged. I’ve been doing this role. We created this role six and a half years ago. Gary and I created it. I only have one job description, and that is to touch every single employee and infuse the agency with empathy. So that is mine to figure out every day how to do that, how a scale that. Each and every conversation is different. I can’t imagine doing anything else. This is the best career for sure. My life’s work really is this. And I really love being a part of the community not only of Vayner Media, of course, but the community of people in the world of HR leadership, people that are really looking to change an archaic way, an old way of doing things.

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Neelie Verlinden: Beautiful. Absolutely a beautiful, Claude. And I mean, I have read many of the posts that you share on LinkedIn. And I’ve also seen you speak in various videos, and I have to say that this message about the heart and the heartbeat, as you beautifully said, it really transpires in everything that you put out there. So yeah, I find that very inspiring. Now you have been with the company for about eight years, I believe you said, and then around six and a half years, you created this role. And it was created for you together with Gary. How did you come to create this role together?

Claude Silver: Yeah. So you know, when Gary and I met, I think it was pretty obvious that we both had a very similar love and passion for people. We saw a lot of possibilities for people that see the glass full, not only just half full, and that’s probably why we hit it off and why I started to work with him in the beginning. And as I was working there, in my first year, he had me going to other offices and going and checking in on people, making sure people were doing well, they were feeling good, they were feeling seen. And so, upon my year anniversary, I realized, oh, I no longer want to do advertising. All I want to do is spend time with people. It’s natural for me.  I’m, you know, I’m a player. I’m a coach, I’m a mentor. I’m just me. And I told him, thank you so much. I love this place. But I no longer want to do advertising. And he said, Okay, well, what do you want to do? And I said, I only care about people, I only care about the heartbeat of this place. And one thing led to another, and we didn’t have an HR division. I had never done HR in my life, but he felt that I could scale him, which is a huge honor and he knew that I would take care of the people as he takes care of them. So we created the role. He said Chief Heart Officer, maybe because I said heartbeat, but really, you know, seeing humans as heartbeats rather than employees is where we’re coming from, taking care of them holistically, because a person’s life doesn’t start at 9 am when they walk into an office or when they turn on Zoom. Their person’s life started maybe three hours ago, two hours, you know. And so really taking into account the human. 

Neelie Verlinden: Wow, beautiful, and I think we’ll talk later, Claude, about how you were actually touching the people within the company as well. But first, I wanted to take a moment to talk about your role as Chief Heart Officer. I have to say, when I saw that title, it immediately sparked my attention. And it made me wonder what does the heart represent to you as Chief Heart Officer?

Claude Silver: Yes, yes, yes. So for me, you know, our hearts are our central operating system. Without our hearts, we are not here. In any organization, even if you’re creating AI or robots all day, you need human beings. There’s a consistency here. Human beings have hearts, human beings are the heartbeat of any single organization. So for me, you know, keeping people’s hearts at the top of mind, top of my heart is what’s really, really important and remembering that each and every conversation we have, or leaving our heart prints our thumbprint on that person, how do we want to enter into that conversation? What kind of energy do we want to bring when we come onto the screen or walk into that room? These are all things that I think encompass energy, and they encompass self-awareness, and they encompass emotional intelligence, and they encompass the messiness of human beings. And I enjoy that. I enjoy it all. I’m just as messy as anyone else, you know, I’m a human. So you know, we go into workplaces, and we’re so used to kind of like covering up who we are, don’t get too close, I’m not gonna get too close to you, you don’t get too close to me. Like this, we block our hearts. And that’s not working anymore. It’s just not working anymore. And especially with the pandemic and coming out of the pandemic, with the generation Z that’s coming up, like they’re loud, and we need to greet them in a different way. And by greeting them in a different way, by being more open, authentic, vulnerable, and full of gratitude and humility, I believe they will greet us the same way. And I believe that is what will lead to great success and ROI in business, but more than business, also in life.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, absolutely. You know what’s funny, Claude? When I hear you speak about the heart and about energy, it reminds me of a conversation I had the other day with somebody. And he was telling me that actually, we have three brains as human beings. And our first brain is our heart. Our second brain is our gut. And then our third brain is what we call our actual brain. And so a lot of things first happen and we feel them first in our heart or in our gut, and only then comes our third brain, our actual brain, so to speak.

Claude Silver: Isn’t that wild? It’s just wild, which is why we always say, Yeah, I feel it in my gut. This is the right decision. I feel it inside. So right decision.

Neelie Verlinden: Yes. And you know, something else that I find fascinating as well is that when a baby grows inside a mother’s womb, the thing that develops first is actually its heart. So the heart develops before the brain starts developing. I thought that was super interesting as well.

Claude Silver: Love that. And even to take that another step forward, which is the origin of the word courage is cour. C-O-U-R, I believe. Cour, which meant heart, way back in Latin times. So courage means heart. I mean, it’s all there. Everything’s connected to this heart.

Neelie Verlinden: So something else that really struck me when you were talking, Claude, is that yeah. So in a way, this is obvious when we think about the heart and its importance, and it goes way back, as you said, as well. But when we then look at the workplace, and what’s happened there is that over the years, we’ve definitely covered up our hearts, and we’ve blocked off many parts of ourselves as well. We didn’t really show ourselves in the workplace. I do think that has become a little bit better in the past two years because I think we saw a lot more of our colleagues and their personal lives. Also, partially thanks to working at home and we saw their kids, and we saw their pets, etc. But back to that moment for a second, when you actually first entered the HR space because you didn’t come from an HR background, you had this beautiful vision and idea of how you wanted to touch people’s lives as a Chief Heart Officer. What were you thinking when you first entered this HR world and you saw what the, well let’s say, norm was there?

Claude Silver: Yeah, well, remember, I’ve been an employee for a very long time in my life. So I have interacted with HR departments before, so I was well aware of the fact that I never really felt taken care of by an HR department. I really don’t think they had any use for me. I wasn’t a troublemaker, but I still could have used someone leaning in and checking in on me. So that was very apparent that I was going to do the exact opposite of what I believe HR departments generally were known for. And that meant I was going to be open and available and lean in on what I believe is right, which is emotional intelligence, which is being self-aware, not being afraid to share things with myself or about myself, trusting first, letting everyone get a taste of who we are, before they go into the deep end of a role. All of the things that are just the opposite of what I had done in my life because I feel like we have these wonderful people in front of us that are so filled with inspiration and innovation and creativity and uniqueness and diversity, and we only scratched the surface, okay, only just do what your job description says, that’s all bye bye. And we’re missing out on, you know, 75% of the other side of this person. So I love the fact that even at Vayner, you know, we want you to have a side hustle, you do a side hustle, great, it’s only going to add and contribute to your energy, your curiosity here, they’re going to dovetail together. And I also firmly believe that in order to create trust, you must create psychological safety. You must make people feel safe so that they can connect authentically. And once that happens, which happens in a blink of an eye or takes a week or takes a year, then you can have trust, and with that sky’s the limit. Once I trust you, you trust me, we can do things together. We don’t have to be afraid of failure because I know you’ve got my back, and I have your back.

Neelie Verlinden: And can you maybe share, Claude, with our listeners who might be thinking now, Okay, but how do we go about creating that psychologically safe environment? Can you maybe share a few things that you did at Vayner when it comes to creating that environment?

Claude Silver: Yeah, of course, of course. I mean, I think the first thing is recognizing that we’re always going to be passengers with other people. And that, to me, is what empathy is all about. It’s showing up with compassion and kindness, and either asking to be invited or accepting the invitation to be invited to a conversation and not pushing our beliefs, not judging, just holding space for someone to put into this magical space, whether it is sadness, tears, joy, they just got engaged, they have a new puppy, they just won a great account, they got a promotion, whatever this space is, but to neutralize it. It’s not about Claude; I don’t have to have the answers. This isn’t what’s right, what’s wrong. This is literally creating a place where you can say whatever it is that you want to say because I trust you. And I know it’s not going to be about Claude fixing anything. So creating that safety is incredibly important. And you have to be willing to say, you’re not, you’re not the hero. This isn’t the Claude show. This is the Neelie show. This is The Bob show. This is the Angela show. I’m here to be of service to them. I work for 1800 people. I work with 1800 people knowing that, you know, it’s all a collaboration, and I’m not the smartest person in the room. 

Neelie Verlinden: I’m kind of lost for words, Claude, here. I’m going to pick up my document for a second because I was freewheeling a little bit. But what I’d love to talk to you about as well is a bit more about leadership from the heart. Now I saw that you mentioned somewhere that you had been given an extraordinary platform to share why kindness and empathy, and true heart leadership are needed in today’s workplaces. Now, maybe we can start with why do you believe that things like kindness, empathy, and leadership from the heart, why are they so needed in today’s workplaces?

Claude Silver: Yes, it’s great It’s really such a great question. And I do think it’s a very common sense answer. I recognize that, you know, we need to share this more. People are motivated when they are not in fear. People are motivated when they have a calm sense of being or sense of well-being, a sense of being loved, a sense of belonging, a sense of being seen. When people do not feel seen, or they feel like they’re in the wrong workplace, or they feel very anxious, their cortisol levels shoot up through the sky, and they no longer can perform. So why don’t we do the opposite instead of breathing anxiety and fear into a person or into a culture? Why don’t we breed a sense of belonging, a sense that everyone has a right to be here? Everyone has a right to take up space. Everyone has a right to share an idea. I know there’s a hierarchy in the world. I know, you know, there’re titles and whatnot. And that’s just the way the world is right now. And those titles sometimes prevent some people from speaking up. But we have to create a culture where the titles aren’t the main reason for being at the company. The main reason for being at the company is the collaboration, the warmth, the friendliness, and the innovation that all come together, but it comes together when people are not scared. That’s the thing. And that’s why I think it’s so important to leave with heart. That is exactly why, because it’s already who we are when we’re with our family, or with our children, or with our football team, or we’re out to lunch with our friends, like we’re not like that, we’re like this. So why not continue to be like this and be a vessel for generosity and for love and kindness? We need more kindness in this world and more possibility, you know, so I can go on and on and on.

Neelie Verlinden: I totally agree with your, Claude. And I think when you look at people’s work, at least most of the time, it is taking up such a big part of their lives, perhaps even the biggest part of their lives. And when you look outside of that work environment, when people read the newspaper, or when I switch on the television, there’s already so much fear out there, there’s so much bad news. There’s a lot of fear. I think that’s already being instilled through all these different channels. So if only we could do more of the things that you are talking about. Imagine just what a tremendous impact, positive impact that could have on people’s lives.

Claude Silver: Imagine. Just imagine, yeah? It’s a revolution. 

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, it’s totally a revolution. Because I mean, for most people work is 30, 40 50, maybe even more hours a week. So if we could just make that switch, it would completely change the way the world looks. And yes, I know maybe that I’m a little bit too idealistic here, but I really believe that it will change so much.

Claude Silver: No, no, no, no, I don’t think it’s idealistic. I think it’s possible whether or not it’s possible in my lifetime, who knows, but I think we’re starting, you know, we’re starting the evolution, the revolution, because it has been work-life balance for so long. And the fact is, it’s life. Work is a part of life. It’s a great part of life. It should be a great part of life. You want to go to work and enjoy and celebrate and learn and grow. And you also want your life.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, I 100% agree. This is going to be a bit of a boring conversation if I keep agreeing with you all the time. No, I’m just kidding. But yes, all jokes aside, back to leadership from the heart. Now, what does true heart leadership mean to you?

Claude Silver: True heart leadership to me means leaving someone better than I found them. You know, Maya Angelou has that wonderful quote: People will forget what you did. People will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel. That’s how you make someone feel. I think that’s really it for me, the pinnacle. And so what am I doing in these conversations? How am I entering? And how are we leaving? It’s really important. Yeah,

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, if we try for a moment to maybe give people some tools in getting better at this because I believe this is super important. And not just for those of us who are working in people teams, but for everybody within the organization. I think we can all try to lead and act a little bit more from the heart. So do you have a tip or something we can try to do more of?

Claude Silver: Yes, sure. You can say thank you, you can ask how a person is doing and actually really listen when they say I’m fine. I’m okay. I’m great. Like an okay is not great. You know, listen to people. You can pick up your phone right now and text someone you work with and say I appreciate you or slack them. That’s very easy to do. So these small gestures mean the most. You’re not buying someone a brand-new car. No, you can’t do that. But you can say thank you to three people today. You know, you can hold the door open, you can tell someone that they matter to you. Like these are things that are very easy to do. It’s a matter of you getting past your own insecurities and just doing it. You know, it goes a long way. Hey, I really appreciate you, thank you for helping me over the weekend, whatever it is, but size doesn’t matter when it comes to touching people and creating connections, and sharing love. It just doesn’t. It’s intention and consistency.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s funny that you mentioned that when you ask somebody how are you? Then they say I’m okay, I’m fine. I had a conversation the other day about this with a friend, and we were talking about when you ask someone how was your day, and they say, Oh, it was fine, it was okay. And we were saying like that’s actually just not good enough. It should be: I had a great day or it was fantastic. And I’m fully aware of the fact that we cannot always have fabulous days, and not everything can always be fantastic. But I think we should at least try for it to be better than just okay.

Claude Silver: Yeah, I heard this one quote once that says: You cannot outsource your joy, meaning you can outsource someone cleaning your house, you can outsource someone washing your car, you can outsource not driving and taking an Uber, but you cannot outsource what’s inside here. And no one else can be happy for me and then hand it back to me. 

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, that is very true, Claude. We are going to slightly change tack here because there was something else that I’m very excited to talk to you about. And that is emotional optimism. Because we cannot have this podcast together without talking about this. I noticed that it is the first thing that you say about yourself in your LinkedIn bio is that you’re an emotional optimist. Now, maybe for some, this is still a relatively new or unknown concept. So can you start by telling us what emotional optimism is?

Claude Silver: Yeah, well, I will say everything we’ve talked about already is under the umbrella of emotional optimism. It’s acknowledging that not every day is going to be a bright day. It’s acknowledging that not every conversation I have at work is going to be great. It’s acknowledging that my day starts three hours before I even come to work. And I have children, and you know, people have a spouse and people work out, and there’s a whole life that happens. And sometimes, we bring that into the workplace, and we will get triggered, and we will not be at our best. That’s the emotion, right? So to be able to acknowledge emotion, acknowledge it, not hang on to it, acknowledge it, and then know that there is hope out there, there is another opportunity out there, and the sun will shine again tomorrow. Itt’s a big lift. If a person is not self-aware or not on that self-awareness journey, it’s very difficult to acknowledge emotions, you know, it’s easier to blame people or to be a victim. But when you just acknowledge the fact that may, I had a bad fight today with my brother, or whatever it is, and I’m kind of hanging on to that. And I’m not my best self right now. But I know that once I shake this feeling, I’m going to be much better, and also that there’s support in the world. You don’t have to be alone. I think the big epidemic of the world we’re finding post-COVID is this loneliness that people have, you know, especially since we’ve been at home, and we’ve just been interacting with people on screen or on our phone. And I don’t think that’s how we humans were meant to connect with one another. So emotional optimism is really like emotional awareness, but not hanging on to it. It’s not like, say, I got into a fight with my spouse. It’s not like I’m bad. That fight made me feel sad. So there’s a difference. I am not sad. Claude doesn’t walk around this universe sad. But that altercation made me sad. I will get through it. Nothing stays forever. 

Neelie Verlinden: That’s a very different way of looking at things. No, that is a very important distinction. 

Claude Silver: I think it takes time. And it takes a real willingness to want to, you know, get in the driver’s seat.

Neelie Verlinden: Oh, absolutely. I think it’s always easier to point our fingers at things that are outside of ourselves for some external reason to say that that’s why we are feeling like this or that about something, or that’s the reason why something didn’t really go the way we were hoping it would go. And I think that for most of us, there are still a lot of lessons there that we can learn and that we can learn to look more inside ourselves first before we are going to point our fingers outside ourselves.

Claude Silver: Oh, gosh, all of us, myself included. 

Neelie Verlinden: So how does one become an emotional optimist, Claude? Where do you start? Does it start with self-awareness you would say? 

Claude Silver: Yeah, I mean, I think most things do start with self-awareness, I really do. Or at least the willingness to learn more about yourself, what makes you tick, what makes you pissed off, and what makes you happy and sad. I just think that’s a wonderful gift that we as human beings can give ourselves. I don’t know if other species can do that. But I know we can. So I think things really do start with the journey of self-awareness for sure. And then, you know, the optimistic part. That’s the part that can catch people up because you can look at the world and say what is there to be hopeful about, what is there to be optimistic about? There are wars, there’s this, there’s that, there’s this, there’s that, there’s gun violence. However, I think for me, I have found it to be easier for me to be in this world when I have hope and possibility inside of me. So I can see the beauty of the small things. I can see the joy in my children’s faces, I can see the flowers bloom, you know, rather than just seeing all of the terrible things, so you have to be willing to see some of the joy, some of the good, and not everyone is set up to do that, and that’s okay. That’s okay. But you have to be willing to know that inside of a dark place, you’ll always find the light. The light always exists. You just have to look for it. 

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, there’s no darkness without light. I think, Claude, the two always go together. I’m convinced about that. Let’s go back to the company for a moment, to the world of work. How have you seen emotional optimism impact organizational culture and well-being? 

Claude Silver: Yeah, it’s a really great conversation, actually. Because where I work right now, we really put so much focus on the person. And we put so much focus on trusting the person and wanting the person to embed themselves within our principles but bring their own spin to it. So, for example, I may define empathy as this, you may define empathy as that. There’s a crossover, but they’re not identical. So the first thing is allow for a lot of inclusivity. We want diverse thoughts at our table, right? And we empower people to bring their diverse thoughts and who they are to the table, right then and there, if we can also have people feeling like they can share their authentic self, who they are, and not be afraid that they’re going to be attacked right there. And then you can bring your emotions, you can bring your emotions to work if they feel safe, if people feel safe. And if people in the workplace feel like cool, okay, you’re bringing your emotions, but I don’t need to take care of you, right, because everyone’s got their own stuff. But I feel like if we continue to share with people, look, we trust you, we want you to bring your real self to work. That’s how we’re going to get great, great, great creativity out of you, whatever it is, and we are always going to find an answer to a solution. There will never be a day that we don’t have some kind of answer to whatever it is you might be going through. That’s the optimistic part. That’s the possibility part. But it requires people doing some of the work, you know, showing up requires people to show up. So it’s within the water stream over there.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah. And how would you say that emotional optimism enables leaders?

Claude Silver: Oh, that’s a good question. The thing about leadership is it can also be very lonely. And I think emotional optimism tells you that you don’t have to go at it alone. You know, if you share, if you know what you’re going through, and you choose to share, you don’t have to go through it alone. And I do think the more leaders come together and have their own jam sessions, think tanks, sharing different ideas and points of view and whatnot, it makes for a less lonely feeling. Because sometimes you know what they say it’s lonely at the top. So sharing the possibility and sharing vision is extremely important for leaders, getting people on the same page, and knowing that you’re not alone. And then also sharing the possibilities of what can open up when we all come together. And that’s where I think emotional optimism can empower leaders because I think leaders think that they have to come into work and don’t get too close to me. I’m a leader, I’m in charge, you can’t get close to me, and I’m not going to get close to you. And that’s just from the dinosaur age.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, I believe that leaders also often feel that they need to have all the answers and that they’re not allowed to say I don’t know. So I think there’s something so powerful about a leader that’s able to say, sorry, guys, I don’t know the answer necessarily, or that is able to be vulnerable and say I’m not having a great day. I’m not feeling well because of this, because it shows people that managers are leaders, but they’re also human beings. And I also believe that the trust element and part of building trust between a manager and the team members can also be super powerful. Anyway, all this to say, Claude, that I think that was a great answer. So how would you like to see HR be more involved in all of this, Claude?

Claude Silver: First and foremost, I think HR is everyone’s responsibility. That’s the thing. So the more other people choose to take care of other people in the workplace and not just relegate to the HR department. I think people would get a better sense of pride in who they are, and that they can help people, that they’re good listeners, and that it doesn’t always get to HR where people think like, oh, it’s an HR town. So I think first and foremost is recognizing in a healthy company. Everyone cares about each other. Everyone will make time for each other. There is healthy competition, but not unhealthy competition. There’s no favoritism, all of that stuff, which look again, we’re humans, so it happens. But that’s the first thing. The second thing is I think HR needs to be remodeled a little bit. I think that there’s been an enormous amount of time and energy that’s been put into HR departments to protect the company, and you know, you’re just being a no person. So at that point, you’re a no person, and you are being reactive rather than proactive. And I think we need to switch that to be HR is partnering with the entire company, and partnering with all of its people. It’s not protecting the company. It’s partnering with it, and that’s very, I mean, partnering is an active word. Protecting is like, oh, gotta protect all the jewels. So I believe that the world of HR will move more into that of coaches, you know, I’m not talking about the benefits and the payroll, that’s obviously different kinds of science to that. But in terms of, you know, HR business managers or business partners, like there’s that element of coaching there, where you don’t have to have the answers, but you’re guiding people. So that’s where I think the world of HR will be changing, and it is changing in pockets. People don’t get into HR because they want to say no, all day, they get into HR because they care about people, they fundamentally want to be around people, and, you know, create change. 

Neelie Verlinden: I love the part there, Claude, where you’re talking about HR partnering with everybody in the company. And I think that goes very well together, with everyone in the organization being co-responsible for HR because it’s partnering and at the same time, collaborating. I really, yeah, I really love that element there. I think that this brings us to the fun part of our podcasts. And this is the part where I get to ask you, Claude, and I’m very curious to hear your answer about what you believe is one of the biggest cliches out there that exists about HR.

Claude Silver: One of the biggest cliches is that they’re people that push paper all day long.

Neelie Verlinden: Yeah, I think that is a big one indeed. And one that keeps existing as well. But I also think that is definitely not the case anymore, at least not in most organizations. The other question, Claude, is that I always like to ask my guests to share an epic win and epic fail with us. So this can be anything can be personal, can be professional can be a combination of both. Whatever you feel comfortable sharing with us. 

Claude Silver: Yes, I’ve had many of both, I would say an epic failure I have is sending a text to the wrong person that we were going to terminate them. And it went to the wrong person, it went to the person we were terminated. And it was an epic fail. It  wasn’t supposed to go to them. It was supposed to go to the person I would be doing it with. And I went to them years and years ago, and oh, gosh, my heart sank. The minute it happened, you know, we ended up still terminating the person. And I ended up having, you know, a good conversation once I got through the intense apology and just the feeling that that other person had towards me. So we ended up having a good conversation. And I do believe the person left on good terms. And I know we’ve been able to help that person in their career, you know, years ago after they left, but epic fail. And, you know, I have epic wins a lot. Sometimes they’re small. Sometimes they’re large. Today, I had a really beautiful conversation with an employee that just lost his best friend to suicide. And we were able to really, I think, meet with our hearts and tears. And that was an epic connection. 

Neelie Verlinden: I’ll call it beautiful. Thank you very much for sharing that. Yes. And this also brings us to the end of our conversation, Claude. I really want to thank you from my heart, really. And I mean, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation. So thank you very much for joining.

Claude Silver:Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure. And I love the questions. Thank you.

Neelie Verlinden: Thank you. And thank you, everybody, for tuning in again to today’s episode of All About HR. I hope you found the conversation as beautiful as I did. And if you haven’t done this yet, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel. Hit that notification bell and share this episode with a friend or colleague, or family member. Thank you so much, and see you soon for a new episode of All About HR. Bye!

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