How are you influencing those who matter to you the most?

It was my intention to write this week’s blog on influence and leadership within an organisational context.

However a remark by my eldest child yesterday about ‘not waving her off on her way to school anymore because I am always Tweeting instead’ has made me change my context.

As a family, we have a limited time with each other in the mornings before heading off on our separate ways to school or work. And during this period I chose to spend some (well, a good portion, if I am honest) of that time on social media.

Her remark made me question how aligned was my action with my core my values and the messages that I were communicating.

As a parent I have a huge influence in shaping my children’s values, beliefs, attitudes and which in turn shape how they feel, think and act. I have always advocated that mothers (and fathers) are ideally placed to be prime role models for their children.

I had to question the example that was setting. Were I in the workplace with a handful of my staff for 40 minutes, what would I be doing? Chances are that we will be talking, catching up, exchanging stories and engaging in conversation.

So why is it different at home?

Where we lead and influence is not restricted to the boardroom or workplace, it is within us wherever we are and whoever we are with. Getting caught up in the responsibilities of our work can sometimes mean that we forget about those closest to us. This may result in losing sight of the needs and values of our families as we channel our efforts and energies on leading and influencing others in this competitive world of work.

Her comment was a stark reminder to ‘how am I influencing those who matter to me the most?’

Never mind the boardroom, this will be question for debate at tonight’s dining room.

Are the demands and pressures of work affecting your family? How do you maintain your core values  and align your actions to those that matter the most when the going gets tough? Love to hear your perspective

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About verawoodhead

I help professional women, aspiring leaders and managers to get ahead, progress their careers, be confident and successful by developing their leadership skills and capability...through coaching, mentoring and skills development workshops. Connect with me on Twitter @verawoodhead
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6 Responses to How are you influencing those who matter to you the most?

  1. David Goddin says:

    Hi Vera – timely post as this was the topic of debate in our house last night!

    I’m not averse to hopping onto Twitter when say the kettle is boiling. You know, those times when you are just hanging around with nothing else to do. Opportunistic perhaps but not that controversial surely? Well actually even that small act was making a statement that if I have a minute to spare that I won’t spend it with the family. Not what I intended or desired.

    Sometimes we need to fail or make a mistake to realise where the right boundaries are and to adapt accordingly. It’s valuable learning but needs someone else to hold us accountable.

    I think in the leadership context that is the question for leaders – who will hold you accountable with regards to your values & actions so you can keep to your boundaries.

    • verawoodhead says:

      Thank you David for your comments. Sometimes no one will come forward to hold us to account. Not our children because the behaviour has become embedded and may be perceived as the ‘norm’? In the workplace, staff may be reluctant, feel that they don’t have the status / authority to do so, may be cautious of repercussions…
      Holding a mirror up to oneself is not an easy thing to do…and that’s where effective coaching comes in

  2. Kate GL says:

    I too have found myself contemplating values and the impact that being glued to a screen, rather than being attentive to the people who matter, has on those around you.

    I think the point is important within work, as well as at home/with friends. How many of us have sat in a meeting while a colleague has scrolled through messages on their Blackberry or tapped onto a screen while the conversation flows, or a presentation is made? Worse still, how often have you been that person? It is common practice, in many organisations, for people on large team conference calls to be checking their emails and responding, whilst listening on their headphones, speaker or handset; it’s easy to do when you can use mute to hide the noise of typing and nobody can actually see what you are up to. However, It is discourtous to others (who have probably spent hours preparing their presentation or plan); if you can afford not to concertrate on what is being said, perhaps you should ask yourself whether you should be a party to the meeting. If the subject is of no interest or importance to you, why are you there? I think we all need to reconsider how we communicate (both in and outside work) and be mindful of the impressions that we create.

    Bad habits can start in one location and spead to elsewhere in life so very easily…

    • verawoodhead says:

      Thank you Kate for your comments and agree that ‘bad’ habits such as those that you mention seem to be getting more prevalent. Like you I notice that people tend to do several things at the same time rather than focusing on just 1 thing. I see this increasingly in children / young people who will be listening to music, texting, watching a screen, reading…all at the same time!
      Managers, leaders, parents..have a role to play in laying down the ground rules for engagement and be consistent in this

  3. Oh so true – and at the end of the day the question is:

    What’s the reason that you are working so hard for in the first place. The answer will come back to your choice of personal values and I expect (having met you) that at the top of these will be the value around your family.

    The important thing which you have clearly achieved is to be able to recognise it.

  4. verawoodhead says:

    Thank you for your insightful comments Carolyn. You are correct that my family comes in the top 3 of my values and priorities. So does making a difference and a positive contribution and my health ( exercising) All of which are time consuming and sometimes there is conflict with priorities. Being aware of this is a start

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