When people tell you that you shouldn't take your work home with you, what they don't realize is they may be telling you to leave the best part of yourself at the office. They think they're telling you to forget about the emails for a while, to not worry about the next day's to do list just yet, and to allow yourself to be really present with your friends and family while you're outside of the office.
While well intentioned, what most people don't get when they say this is that you are successful at work for a reason. You have a set of skills that allow you to lead, problem solve, communicate, deliver on expectations, and meet deadlines. These are the skill sets that make you great. They give you confidence and set you up for success.
These are the same skills that you need in your private life and in your personal relationships. Your challenge here is to leave the work tasks behind but take the rest with you.
Communicate so you can be heard and so you can understand.
When you're at work, you likely tell people what you're thinking. You seek clarification on things you don't understand and make sure that what you're saying is understood, too. Without clear communication, businesses break down.
Personal relationships can break down for the same reason. Poor communication. Of course, it is more vulnerable to communicate things of a personal nature. It feels more risky and tentative and you might lose the confidence you're used to having at work when talking about things.
Good communication is good communication, regardless of setting. Think about how you communicate at work and use those skills when talking to the people that matter.
Tailor your message based on who you're talking to.
You know there isn't a one-size fits all way of communicating. You know that you would talk to someone nervous about expenditures differently than you would to someone who is comfortable with financial risk.
Professionally, you are in tune to what people need to hear to get the job done. You know their concerns and priorities. You address them transparently so they can be assured that their need is met. You're aware of the people who just want to hear feedback directly from a straight shooter and you know the people who need to be reminded of their contributions before hearing that they've missed the mark.
When you apply this same awareness of people and what they need to your personal life, you become more aware of them and are more in tune to their needs. You're immediately more present for them and your relationship is set up for success.
Be clear on expectations-yours and theirs.
No deal or project can be successful without clear expectations. If you don't know the requirements for a task, you are only set up to fail. When it's clear what is expected of you and what you, yourself, need to perform the task, everything functions efficiently.
Relationships work the same way. When you know someone's wants and needs and are clear about your own, you're both set up for success. Transparent communication reduces the insecurity that can sometimes creep into relationships when things are vague or undefined.
Acknowledge success without ignoring things that need attention.
People stop performing if they feel like their contributions aren't recognized or appreciated. Laziness takes hold when no one calls out standards that are being missed.
If you don't appreciate your loved ones for what they add to your life, they stop showing up. Successful relationships are given attention regularly and consistently. When this standard slips, the relationship fails to function as successfully as it can.
Perceive obstacles to success and act.
The most successful professionals usually excel at one important thing: they anticipate potential obstacles to success and they act immediately and swiftly.
This holds true in personal relationships. When you perceive a growing distance, brewing conflict, or unmet need and address it immediately, you are setting the relationship up for success. You're communicating that the relationship is valuable to you and that you are invested in its success.
Sometimes, to be as successful personally as you are professionally, you just have to bring your work home with you.