Balancing Act: Not being emotional without losing your passion in HR

Sarang Brahme
3 min readMay 5, 2024


An HR article rarely catches your attention on a Sunday morning, although curiosity brings a new perspective. When Mphasis CHRO Ayaskant Sarangi mentioned in the ETHR article that “Building the ability as an HR professional to not be emotional and yet be passionate is a fine art,” it stayed with me.

Reflecting on a scene from Munnabhai MBBS, where a young student expressed her desire to join the medical field because she’s good with people and can empathize with them, I noticed a similar sentiment among students aspiring to join HR. In my interactions with college students, many express their interest in HR because they believe they’re good with people and aspire to be in management.

It’s great to be good with people, but being in HR is so much more than that. I think in business, everyone needs to be good with people since people are the business. In such a volatile and ever-evolving market, HR is also about being brutal while making change decisions while simultaneously building empathy towards people in a way that businesses continue to trust the HR function to balance people and business needs. That’s the very reason passionate HR folks take on the challenge of sustaining this “business” function of people.

My 2 cents on how can we be unemotional yet passionate in the HR

  1. Building a team and not a family: Unpopular opinion: A business is about constructing teams with a common purpose, combining and complementing their skills and competencies for a mission. In today’s world, most individuals are on a tour of duty — yes, they can work on multiple projects within an organisation. Still, it’s not akin to a family where organisations are obliged to care for everyone, regardless of their value addition. I believe HR plays a critical role in creating a workforce that continuously adds value by embracing change.
  2. Passion comes from strong beliefs and values: It’s a passion for making people and businesses successful together! Passion often stems from beliefs and values! As an HR leader, one needs to coach and guide business leaders on leveraging people as a source of creating opportunities through investing time, money, and effort! Of course, some opportunities turn into business successes, and some don’t, but they are not binary with people. One needs to identify potential and turn it into business success. This requires building trust, communication, learning, and a long-term vision. Imagine doing this without a passion for people and business!
  3. Emotional Intelligence: Beyond being a buzzword, Emotional Intelligence (EI) is critical to building and managing empathetic and robust relationships with people. It also needs to go hand in hand with being open, transparent, and able to deal with difficult situations. In fact, EI is required most under challenging conditions, as that’s when you are most vulnerable. How can you strike a chord with a business leader to influence/convince them to make a difficult decision or deal with an employee being let go? Both situations require practicality and coping with emotions.
  4. Deep Business and Market Understanding: To influence the right decisions without sounding emotional, which may be interpreted differently by business leaders, yet maintaining a passion for what we do, HR needs to have a deep understanding of the impact people may or may not bring to the business results. It’s about the fit of a human in the business, environment, and team. A deep understanding of the business and market helps you set aside emotions and communicate in a language that both business and people understand.

Mind you, “emotions” are a human asset, and that’s what drives passion and outcomes for people. It’s all about managing and balancing emotions without losing the passion. No other function in the business understands human emotions more than HR; ultimately, that’s why we are superior to robots.

As with everything in the world, balance makes human efforts successful for businesses. Business is people, and people are the business!

Blog Idea Credit: This Article is by Ayaskant Sarangi.



Sarang Brahme

Employer Branding Leader. I write everything about HR, employer branding & life :)