Several years ago, long-time friends and family got together over the holidays for a good meal. Grown children were back in the nest, and we enjoyed the repast reminiscing about days gone by.
The conversation, however, drifted into a discussion regarding what we remember as the most upsetting or painful interaction we had with our parent/child. For example, one son mentioned his father yelling at him across a blackjack table, "If you're not going to play RIGHT, don't play at all."
What emerged was that every child had a painful memory that the parent had no recollection of doing. Similarly, parents held on to a moment of regret that did not even register as important to the child.
An HR manager who has served an organization for a significant period of time has likely had many a difficult conversation with his or her work "family".
It would not be surprising that many of these managers have held on to memories of painful discussions they have had with some of their current employees.
However, if the discussion with our friends is any indication, it is likely those employees are not hung up on those past interactions.
The theme of the 2015 SHRM Annual Conference was "tHRive". If today's managers want to truly thrive, they'd be wise to let go of those interactions that haunt them. They are not as important as one would believe.