Have you ever worked with a team towards a vision or mission by setting SMART targets, celebrating small successes and maintaining great patience when there is a crisis, skills shortage or conflict?
Did you then walk through the door at home and shout at your husband for not doing X,Y and Z properly? Ball at the kids throughout the whole bath/bed routine? Finally, having shovelled down food, of some description, slump in a chair in front of the TV leaving all the things that need doing around you pile up and make you feel worse?
Yep, I've been there too and it's wasn't funny. When all of our emotional energy is given to one area of our lives we tend to have nothing left for the rest.
What if we applied some of the principles of our working lives to our homes?
What if we gave it the same attention and focus?
What if we only gave 100% at work not 150%? (maths people I know it's not possible, just metaphorical)
What if we gave the same importance to our planning, communication and goal setting in our homes?
What if we became the CEO of our home (or Managing Partner)?
1. The Vision and Mission
I love doing vision boards. Just like in the workplace you can create a vision and a mission that inspires and motivates you to live the life you want to live. Get out mags and newspapers, use t'internet and get cutting and sticking.
Even better if you can get the whole family involved. If you know what everyone in the family wants out of your family life, then you can work together to get it. Simples.
Write yourself a mission too. Project Life Mastery does a great blog on this. When I did mine, it really helped me focus on what's important to me and how I want my life to be. Again, even better if you can get the whole family involved, which is my next step.
2. SMART Goals
Once you know what you want, set goals to achieve it.
Don't forget the SMART principles. Above all be realistic. Saying that, your big dreams don't have to be realistic, if you want to fly to the moon, get it down on your vision board but when you come to action you can take now, it might be a more realistic, short term goal would be 'I will research and fund a trip in a rocket simulator by December 2015.' Sometimes a change in perspective or attitude can bring you closer to what you want long term.
If you make the goals realistic and achievable, with a bit of stretch in them, review them regularly but above all action them daily, you'll feel more and more motivated and confident as you achieve them.
3. Team building
Make sure you spend time together that helps bring you together as a team. Go on a rowing boat, go on a long walk, climb a mountain, decorate a bedroom, create a vision board, whatever rocks your world.
Doing things together that involve interaction will help you negotiate, communicate and motivate each other better.
4. Senior Management meetings
Prior to a Team Meeting it's a good idea to have a Senior Management Team Meeting (i.e. you and your partner if you have one, if not sit and plan or find someone you trust to talk over your ideas).
You can discuss where you are with the family financials, 'team' pressures and whether you are on target for your goals or not. It gives you a chance to think about solutions to any problems you are having together.
Genius idea: Divide the labour.
If you are in a 'Management Partnership' (which I hope I am!) do you have to do it all? How can your other half help with the twenty tonnes of school admin, costume for Roman day and little jimmy's party if s/he doesn't even know it is happening?
If you don't go out to work why should you be on call 24/7? If this is happening in your home ask yourself this, How would you feel if your partner took over the washing pile, school admin, organising the meal's for the week? How would you feel if they did it their way? (OMG. My controlfreakitis is bubbling up big time, how about you?!!!)
Sometimes we just need to accept it as done rather than done to our 'standard' (Again, I'm a self confessed work in progress with this).
5. Team Meeting
In his book "The Secret of a Happy Family" by Bruce Feller he talks about holding a family meeting once a week to look at what you've done well as a family, what you could do better and what is happening in the week so everyone understands what is happening for everyone else. It's a really powerful way of getting set for the week. Often, we do it on a Sunday night whilst we are having our tea (dinner, for those south of the border;-)).
However, I have an introverted daughter who prefers not to discuss the issues en masse but will write down what she thinks and how she thinks she can resolve any problems that relate to her. Sometimes she'll join in the conversation at dinner, sometimes she won't, but I don't force her. We've found being flexible in our approach can bring the family together.
5. Agile management
Put as simply as I can, agile management is highly responsive, customer focused and extremely flexible. A monthly 'iteration' is a big team review of the month past, but on a daily basis there is a team 'scrum' to iron out any issues.
In the home, it might be at tea time or at bedtime but talking to the team all together about how their day has been and what is happening helps to keep everyone communicating well. I love it when my youngest says, "So daddy what did you do at work and how was your work today?".
6. Conflict resolution
Being a good manager and great leader means being a role model to your team. It also means that you need a good understanding of the team dynamics and communication styles in the team.
One day when I'd been managing some conflict within a team with such patience and understanding of the different personality types at work and I felt exhausted by the end of it. It hit me that I was giving all my emotional energy to the people in work and little to my own family!! I'd pick the girls up from after school club and found any whining or arguing intolerable.
It was a big wake up call to me. I TRY really hard now to stay calm and patient if my 'treasures' are scrapping. I TRY to listen to both sides of the argument. I ask them how they can resolve the issue, without giving a solution or sanction (unless there was physical harm, that's not acceptable in our house).
I say TRY because this is real life, and sometimes I don't keep it together. I can sometimes end up joining in the shouting if I'm honest, but I know that when I give the same respect and emotional control I had at work to these situations, the girls have a better role model and they tend to follow my lead. So, I'll keep TRYING. (And by jiminy, sometimes they are! HAHA. Love 'em though.)
I've always found it interesting when starting work in a new environment how quickly you have to adapt to it's 'culture'. For me that has meant trivial things like who sits in which seat in a staff room, or who has a break at what time, using which mug etc. But it has also meant deeper things like the work ethic. In one place you worked 'til you dropped, literally. In another you worked the flexi time to your advantage.
At home, you have clear rituals, routines and values so make sure they are helping you get what you want out of life.
Recently, in order to have a good start to the day and a bit of time just for me, I've been getting up earlier to practice yoga. It's only a small change but this routine helps me get calm and focused for the day, as well as giving me a chance to wake the girls up in a positive and loving way instead of at break neck speed with loads of shouting. (Still occasional shouting, but we are getting there!) So think about your family culture and what that means to you.
So whilst, I don't actually run our home like a business, I do believe the principles above adapted in love, humour and with some conscious effort make home life richer, more efficient and working as a team.
What I do know is giving all your emotional energy to the workplace doesn't work. Surely, it's worth a TRY.
I was in senior management and in an office, so that's my experience. Where do you work?
If you work in retail, on a farm, on line wherever, what other principles can you bring from your workplace that we could apply in the home?
I'd love to hear from you in the comments or over on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/woodforthetreescoaching.