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How Marriage Affects Your Leadership at Work (and What to Do About It)

How Marriage Affects Your Leadership at Work (and What to Do About It)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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