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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!

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

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

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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