What Kind of Leader Are You at Home?

Good food for thought from one of our emerging leaders!

At work, I’m known as the go to person for helping communicate what needs to be shared – both the good and the bad – with fellow employees, customers, and just about any other audience. Such was the case a few weeks ago when a teammate asked me to review an email she had drafted to share her frustration with another teammate. I made the usual tweaks so that the intended message was clear and direct without being harsh and offensive.

When I sent the newly revised email back over, I jokingly remarked that I needed to learn to take this same diplomatic approach with my husband! She replied that if I ever got that mastered, to coach her on that as well. We both laughed.

But our short exchange made me wonder, why don’t I approach all my relationships with the same patience, understanding, and thoughtfulness that I apply at work? Why do I suppress vocalizing every minor annoyance with my colleagues but sometimes not hesitate to share every critical thought or opinion that enters my mind with my family?

Have you ever considered if you’re the same leader at work as you are at home?

Of course, we all take off our masks and let our hair down around the people who know us best, and hopefully our close friends and family love us despite our shortcomings. After all, we can’t be “on” all the time, and we’re all going to have bad days. But, on the other hand, we’re always influencing, and there’s no one we influence more than our children, our spouses, and our closest family and friends. Consider your responses to the questions below:

  • Would your family and friends recognize you at work, and would your coworkers recognize you at home?
  • Do you handle challenges at work and at home with the same level of patience and understanding?
  • Do you grant your close family and friends the same grace and understanding as you do a high maintenance but highly important customer?
  • Do you seek to serve your family the way you serve your colleagues or customers?

Do you like your honest answers to these questions? If not, don’t be discouraged. The good news is that if we can be patient, forgiving, and diplomatic at work, we’re certainly capable of exuding the same patience, forgiveness, and diplomacy at home. The more consistent we are with our reactions, moods, and attitudes, the more authentic and consistent leaders we will be at work and at home.

Annie Kelley is a public relations and marketing professional who spends her work days helping organizations communicate their messages with impact. Her passion for great leadership was born out of her own experiences working for and with great and not-so-great leaders. When she’s not working, Annie spends her time hanging out with her young child, working on various yard and home improvement projects with her husband, and reading.


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