Has anyone ever told you that mixing your professional and personal life is a bad idea? I’m sure this bit of advice might be familiar to you, and to a certain extent, it is true. However, there is no way around the fact that the strength of your marriage affects your leadership at work. Read on to learn the five common qualities of effective leaders and loving partners that you can apply for a happier home and more productive workplace.

Building Trust

Transparency is key to earning the trust of your spouse and team. If you are a part of a marriage that is built on lies and deception, don’t be surprised when this atmosphere of distrust follows you to the office. If you want to inspire confidence in your leadership ability, earning the trust of your team is step one. And if you can’t earn the trust of your partner, do you think you will be able to earn trust as a leader at work? I don’t like your odds.

Accepting Criticism

No one likes to be nagged by their partner, but the best way to improve your relationship is to accept feedback, be it positive or negative, and use that information to improve yourself. Instead of getting upset when you get criticized, be thankful that your partner is honest enough to tell you how it is.

Would you rather they say nothing about a problem, potentially turning what could be a brief squabble into a relationship-ending argument? An inability to accept criticism at home could easily affect your leadership at work. The best and brightest leaders are willing to accept their shortcomings. If you don’t admit your faults, your team will lose confidence in your ability to lead. Accept criticism in your stride to earn the trust of your partner and continuously improve your leadership ability at work.

Effective Communication 

An inability to communicate is a leading cause of divorce and a glaring weakness that affects your leadership at work. Speaking your thoughts and ideas does not guarantee your words will elicit the desired effect from your spouse or team members. If you have ever sent a text to your partner that caused a fight due to a simple misunderstanding, you know the meaning of your words can easily get lost in translation. To be a strong communicator at work and at home, ask yourself, “How can I explain this issue in a way that the other person can understand and relate to?” The impact of word choice cannot be overstated, so choose your words wisely.

Delivering Praise

When is the last time your told your spouse how beautiful or handsome they are? An ability to communicate praise in your marriage affects your leadership at work because your team also thrives on praise and positive feedback. If you neglect to remind your partner of the things about them that you adore, don’t be surprised when they start to feel neglected and unappreciated. And if you don’t praise your employees for their qualities, you can look forward to decreased workplace satisfaction and employee morale. There are few things that excite a person more than a genuine compliment, so build up your spouse and employees at every opportunity if you want a happy marriage and productive team.

Active Listening

Great talkers are high in number, but great listeners are few and far between. An ability to actively listen to your partner with empathy and understanding is not only a key to a fulfilling marriage but also affects your leadership at work. Be aware that both your spouse and employees could struggle to find the best words to express their thoughts and feelings.

Engage eye contact and ask follow-up questions such as, “Are you saying ________?” or “What do you mean by ________?” Asking questions will avoid misunderstanding and show the other person that you care about their feelings.

Now What?

What you experience at home has a tendency to follow you to the office, so apply these concepts today if you want to be an effective leader and loving partner. You also might want to check out this article which will show you five ways to build stronger relationships at work and at home.

I would love to hear what you think, so please comment below with your thoughts about how marriage affects your leadership at work!

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Featured photo credit: Happy bride and groom on their wedding dayvia Shutterstock

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