You are different at work (and I don’t like you as much)

Funny things can happen when work moves fair and square into the centre of your home life – funny things that trigger awareness and offer new choices!

Mason and his partner Allison have very different occupations, and have had no involvement in each other’s professional lives… Until a global pandemic forced them to share a working space and blurred the boundaries between work and home.

Two weeks into co-working, Allison said ‘I found out something new about you. You’re different at work than you are at home. At work you sound very articulate and authoritative – almost intimidating. You’re not like that at home.’

Allison’s comments rattled Mason, leading him to question if it were true that he was different at work and why that might be the case. His next move was to justify his work persona, giving the reasons why this was appropriate and served him well. (Not surprising because he felt like Allison was criticising him.)

A far better response for Mason would be to consider ‘What aspects of my home self could I bring to my work, and to my leadership, to be more effective?’

How about you? How would you describe your ‘work-self’? And your ‘home-self’? What opportunities do you have to integrate more of your home-self into your work? (And perhaps vice versa?)

For years there has been movement for people to ‘bring their whole selves to work’, with mixed success. The way many of us are working right now, being at home, makes this accessible.

How you show up as a leader as we plan for a return to our usual workplaces is your choice. What choice will you make?

Go Fearlessly