In the mental health field, we too often focus on how demands in personal or family life can have negative effects on job performance. This relationship between personal life and job performance can be especially true for high demand, high stress, long hours jobs such as managerial and leadership roles. Seldom does the profession focus on how success in family and home life may enrich managerial and leadership skills. Some recent new research from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia showed that positive experiences and gains from our home life can transfer into more successful leadership behaviors at work. Instead of their family lives detracting from work, the research showed that positive home life experiences can make good managers even better ones.
The similarities between home life and the workplace
The researchers pointed out that skills learned at home- especially those that involve raising children- are transferable and can intentionally apply directly to workplace leadership. Skills such as aiding others to be successful, celebrating successes, identifying and building on strengths, working with others to foster achievement of a common goal, showing respect, concern or enthusiasm appropriately, holding others accountable, setting boundaries, and communicating what needs to be accomplished in relatable language and terms are as important in family life as they are in the workplace. Underlying all this is relationship building- a crucial skill in the workplace where largely work gets done through relationships.
Just like children at home, employees respond best to managers who are empathetic, who teach and guide them, who celebrate their successes and teach from their setbacks. Employees want managers who practice gratitude, communicate honestly and well, and show emotional intelligence in interactions with their employees and with customers. They want managers who care for them, responsibly watch over them, treat them with dignity and respect while expecting reciprocal behavior, communicate the mission and confidently lead them toward its accomplishment.
Lessons learned on the relationship between personal life and job performance
Has the pandemic caused you to slow down a bit? Perhaps, you’ve found yourself thinking about what is important in your life and you’re thinking more about your family and home life? The disruption in life that the pandemic has caused has also provided the opportunity for many life lessons to be learned. This new research is teaching us that lessons learned at home are highly transferrable and can help us be better managers and leaders at work. And without taking another leadership course!
About the Author
Norman Winegar, LCSW, CEAP, NCAC II is the Chief Clinical Officer at Espyr For over 30 years, Norman has practiced in mental health, substance misuse, and EAP settings. He has also worked in leadership positions in both public and private sector behavioral health organizations. An author of four books, he is frequently called on for presentations and as a panelist to share his expertise and experience as a mental health professional.
For over 30 years Espyr, has provided innovative mental health solutions – solutions like our AI powered chatbot, TESS – to organizations operating under some of the most challenging conditions. Espyr’s portfolio of customized counseling, coaching and consulting solutions help people and organizations achieve their full potential by providing mental health support and driving positive behavioral change. For more information on how Espyr can help your organization, call Espyr at 888-570-3479 or click here.
Positive family events facilitate effective leader behaviors at work…
Lin, S. et al
Journal of Applied Psychology
Society for Human Resource Management
How Your Family Life Might Make You a Better Manager
March 9, 2021