Are your work and personal personas poles apart? Here’s how to align them to benefit you.Aug 02, 2021
Working nine to five
Interestingly, I have found that for many people I coach, they feel competent in their professional life. They’re on it, are decisive, have confidence in their ability and go for what they want. Yet when it comes to their personal life, their colleagues might well not recognise them as the same person. They tell me they lack confidence, have low self-worth, no one seems to listen to them, they feel incapable of decision-making and generally feel a disorganised mess.
It’s surprising how there can be so much disparity between their work and personal life personas – that such an incongruence can seem to exist. It got me thinking as to how core competencies and skills in the workplace can be transferred to our personal lives; if we think about it, we already possess what we need to work through life’s challenges, but it requires some mindset work and flipping the narrative in the way we are thinking about the situation. The competencies we bring to a job, are equally transferable to our personal lives, we just might not think of it like that…
Time cannot be stopped, fast forwarded or rewound; the passing of time is a given. It is what we call on the Winning Edge, a ‘lighthouse’ – that immoveable situation that you can do nothing about. Just as a vessel needs to navigate around a lighthouse, so too do we need to intelligently navigate around the lighthouses in our lives e.g. the passing of time, the weather and so forth.
Effective time management is actually the ability to effectively manage ourselves and our commitments within the time frame we have available to us rather than managing the time itself. Have you noticed how you can find or create the time to do the things you find pleasurable and enjoyable? The desire and determination we find to achieve a task or objective is driven from within. Taking responsibility for our own actions and what we do or don’t achieve in the day is essential to the effective use of the time we have available to us.
So, in the workplace, we may stick to routine hours, or a schedule, or a Trello or other such organisational charts, so why not adapt this for our personal life? It doesn’t necessarily have to be so regimented but there is room for some kind of organisation to your personal time. The great Zig Ziglar once said: “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days.”
I often hear people say things like: "My friend is amazing. She's one of those people who can cram so much into her day. I don't know how she does it. I just don't have the time to do all she does." Really? Does the friend exist on an alternative reality? No. Quite simply, she gets things done and prioritises according to her values. Some people are busy being busy without achieving much. Others have a sense of purpose and achieve their goals. Which are you? It's the same 24 hours and none of us have a Tardis or time machine. It's all within your capability.
If you are able to be effective with your time management in the work sphere, it is possible to be the same at home. The question to ask is, is time management more about ability or desire?
Evidence seems to show that when everyone understands and buys into the company’s vision, results change dramatically for the better. Effective leadership is about creating that vision with those around you and gaining the buy-in to achieve that vision and team success.
As a leader, it’s important to gain the trust and cooperation of your team, to ensure you're open and authentic in your communication and that everyone knows the reason for the common goal and what part they all play in achieving it. The same can be true in a home-setting. If you have open, and honest communication with your partner and/or family, that everyone gets their voice heard, this surely oils the wheels of communication and helps to create harmony.
If you think you have the perfect holiday destination for all, if you think moving house will benefit the family, if you want to give up your salaried job and start your own business, meaning a bit of belt tightening being required by all, how can you use effective communication to gain agreement? It’s important to gain an understanding of everyone’s Mental Maps – to see what their perspective is of the proposal. If you’re effective at doing this at work, you can transfer that to your home-life. As Dwight D. Eisenhower said: “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Lead from the front. Communication is key.
Understanding what the individual drivers and characteristics are, is fundamental to helping others motivate themselves. Creating and having a sense of purpose is essential to motivation. If you gain an understanding of the characteristics that drive personal success and excellence in both yourself and in others, you can effectively and ethically use it to motivate both your colleagues, and those in your personal life.
If you have teenagers at home who only seem motivated by getting up to check their phone, what might float their boat outside of that tiny screen?
If your partner only seems interested in chilling at the weekend, with no interest in necessary DIY, seeing friends, or exercise and fitness, how can you persuasively engage them to try something different?
Again, it comes down to Mental Maps and understanding what motivates them, what are their values, and what will ensure they start thinking outside of the box when it comes to weekend activities?
Maybe it’s about pushing the bruises – helping them to understand the importance of health and fitness. And the consequences if we don’t prioritise these.
Just as you see the results when your team understands the benefits from upping the ante on their own motivation linked to their achievement, so too could you engender this with those at home.
Have you noticed how successful people are much more effective at influencing others? This is because others naturally want to follow. Influencing is a way of being, and not a behaviour that is switched on and off. In order to effectively influence others, it’s about understanding the common thread that runs throughout the whole of human nature, that we are all inherently selfish. We will always do what sits most emotionally comfortable with us – what behaviour aligns with our values. Once this is understood you can work with others to get what you want, and then others enjoy giving it to you – effective influencing!
This goes hand-in-hand with motivation, and you see this operating effectively in the workplace.
Leading by stature is crucial in order to have a team who respects you. If you think your title alone means people want to do their best for you, then sadly you are never going to make for an effective manager nor leader. By leading from stature, you are consistent, as opposed to being someone whose moods dictate the atmosphere of the working environment. Leading by stature will result in you engendering a culture of transparency and authenticity and giving clear signals that everyone’s opinion will be heard and counted.
With parenting, your children respect boundaries and rules when you have spent time with them, when you understand them, when they understand you and your values. Nurturing respect, as opposed to a: ‘Because I said so!’ stance, garners the results you seek much more easily. If your children respect and understand why you say what you say, they are more likely to do it without too much of a battle. It’s not always a smooth ride but it’s a whole lot easier when they understand why you have the boundaries that you have because of the values you hold.
Just as in business, one of the very few certainties in life is change. It’s such a valuable lesson to learn.
If you are able to lead change in the workplace, how can you open your mind to change and deal with change more effectively to help in your personal life?
Change very often has negative connotations – people are nervous and anxious about changing the status quo, so they’ve a habit of thinking about change negatively.
Is all change good? Not necessarily. Could there be some benefit to change though? Possibly. What are the chances of us seeing the benefits in change if we believe there isn’t any? It’s not very likely… We’re denied access to the benefits that change can offer if we have a habit of thinking it isn’t there – confirmation bias will make sure of that!
If we can understand there are benefits in change, we open our mind to the fantastic opportunities it can offer. By understanding this concept ourselves, we can then help other people to comprehend it to.
For there is no constant in life but change – a lesson I learnt at a very young age and one that has helped me be much more open to all that life can throw at us and offer us.
And when we can teach that to the people around us, it helps them to build their resilience.
If you yourself work on that, others will see that inner strength. You can’t teach this Winning Edge mindset stuff – others learn by seeing the benefits you gain from living life consciously.
This has to be the most important competency of them all. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I?!
The way you think determines your emotions; emotions not logic drives your behaviour. Repeated behaviour creates habits which leads to the results you find yourself in. Results are created not by your behaviour but by your thinking. So, the important question to ask yourself is, when was the last time you thought about thinking?
Effective thinking skills are crucial to your success both personally and professionally - the effectiveness and success of your company or organisation relies heavily on the ability of you and your people to think consciously and to take personal responsibility for their thoughts, feelings and actions, and thus their choices. The outcomes and consequences of their choices thus sits firmly with them. Sometimes, this meets with resistance because it turns the blame culture on its head. But they gain freedom – it’s empowering and liberating to know that we are firmly in the driver’s seat of the choices we make in life.
Research seems to show that less than 5% of our day is spent in proactive thought – so it’s about learning how to manage your thoughts to get the outcome you want.
For anyone to understand that the path they take in life is directly connected to the nature of their thoughts – including how they choose to think about the things they didn’t choose to happen in life, even if sometimes that takes time, ensures great potential – potential to manage their mindset so that they can direct their life.
If only all young people knew the power of their mindset – oh the places they’d go!
Sometimes we underestimate the skills and competencies that we possess and very often when we use them with great adeptness in one area of our life, they aren’t used across the board.
Know your worth, know that you have it within you to be calm, confident and in control. Get the effective thinking skills in check, and everything else will follow.
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