A friend of mine Rory, shared this image on LinkedIn with the following caption: I saw being forced to work from home and another lockdown as a “punishment”, however, at the same time, my family saw it as an opportunity to shower me full of their love.“being BUSY” is so destructive!!
As I reflect on this post, I started to create scenarios like:
- While working from home I can prioritize my business appointments – but can I prioritize a walk or a run to de-stress and achieve my health goals?
- I can get to a coffee conversation 08:00am in Durham some 19 miles from home (25min drive) – but can I talk about college applications with my eldest daughter.
- I can commit to attending weekly uninterrupted sessions with my core staff –but is it possible to make weekly commitments of uninterrupted time with my family?
In my last article I shared Kay’s story and wrote about the Dilemma of Returning to Work post Covid. Connecting with colleagues at work by having GROW conversations is important and that is what we certainly need to be doing. We must also remind ourselves that there are relationships outside of work that need nurturing.
Rory was correct in stating that being “BUSY” is so destructive. Are we “BUSY” for the sake of being busy or are we busy because we’d rather not face the dilemma of the upcoming conversations or is it simply just procrastination? Just as the GROW Conversation is important at work, it is equally important in our home lives too. In business we are taught that leadership is not about title, it is about influence. We must use this influence to create relationships and engagement in the workplace. What about using the exact same tool in the homeplace.
As we head back to in-office work, consider the family who are going to miss you when you step out the front door. Your partner could poke their head into the study and ask for help bringing in the groceries or help in moving an item from the garage to make more space. How about your child who idolizes you and draws pictures next to you while you are working, mesmerized by the faces in the computer and what they do for or with you. There were moments you stepped into the kitchen and made lunch and suddenly, the entire family are gathered, eating, and discussing plans for the upcoming weekend.
Yes, as we get back to in-office work, there are magical moments we will miss, and we will be missed by those magical people we call family. As we get back to work and become intentional about engagement in the workplace consider how to be intentional about the engagement in the homeplace too.
Some ideas to consider are:
- Spread love or appreciation verbally or written. This never gets old. If a nice thought pops into your head about a family member write it down and surprise them with a note, or just tell them there and then. Keep it short and simple – I appreciate / love ______ it makes me feel _______ and that is why I value you as much as I do. An example: I love your witty sense of humor it brightens up my day and I value that about you.
- Look for reasons to do something with the family and not for reason not to do something with them. Reframe: We cannot do that because …TO, Let’s do that because. This simple reframing lifts the mood for everyone. As parents if we do this more often, we will be saying I promise we will next time less often.
- Be a contributing family member. Simply put…help around the house. If you partner is the one that makes the bed all the time – when they are in the shower, make the bed. As you leave a room can you leave it looking cleaner or tidier? If yes, then do so. This can mean clearing the mugs or glasses or simply folding the blanket that was on the couch.
These three simple things will increase the happiness barometer in the home, make others feel appreciated and more importantly there is more reason to speak well of you when you are absent from their presence. What you will find is that your influence will grow the more you do this because your actions speak louder than words.
Neville De Lucia is a Business Coach, TEDx Speaker Coach and has a heart for developing the Youth. To work with Neville or to just have a conversation reach out and connect with him here.