I often hear people say they are different at home and in their professional workplace. It’s a struggle for me to understand this ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ phenomenon. In my opinion, our personal life – be it parenting, spousal relationships, and other family connections- presents many situations that mirror what one could potentially face at work and hence, is a fertile ground for learning the best management lessons. Here are a few principles that apply equally at home and work
At home, we either assign tasks to others or are assigned tasks depending on some division of labour construct. The most frustrating thing once that happens is either we are micromanaging the other party or are being micromanaged. This helps nobody. Let’s start by understanding that everyone has their own styles of accomplishing a task and no single way is the only right way. Different paths could lead to the same destination. For learning, it’s important each of us discover our own paths. Personal relationships are stronger due to this empowerment and it is the cornerstone for building trust. In a workplace, robust teams are built similarly.
Letting go of ego
Realizing that the relationship is more important than our ego is cardinal. At home, we apologize to our spouse, our children, parents and make up because we understand that there are no winners in a domestic dispute. You lose even if you win. Our relationships at work are similar. We should let our ego go.
The lack of it is the single biggest contributor to problems. It’s important to keep an open two way channel of communication at home. My husband and I spend time catching up every day even after a hectic day. We encourage our son to share his good and not so good things of the day as well, before we go to sleep. This helps us recap our day and put forth little things that we can improve for the other one. Similarly, in a work place a people need to communicate transparently about what’s ok and what needs fixing. Bottling up feelings is akin to a festering wound. It can only be healed by open communication.
Solution oriented mind-set
Life is a constant struggle and every day brings new challenges. Having a solution oriented approach always helps. No one at home likes a cribber. We would much rather spend our energy tacking the problem. Not everything gets resolved immediately but at least one tries and is hopeful of a better tomorrow. Next time at work, try and be a part of the solution and you will see the differential impact.
The power of positive reinforcement works magic with children. Secretly, adults are no different. Recognition of a job well done will go a long way in motivating people to harness their best.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you learnt at home that you apply to work. You can subscribe to my blogs to read what more I have in store for you.
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