When you are stressed at work do you ever say "My home is my haven?" And when there is too much going on at home think "I can't wait to get to work so I don't have to think about the problems at home?"
Work and home seem like different worlds. We say we want work/life balance as if they are opposite chunks of matter we can weigh on a scale. Thinking we can totally separate who we are at work from who we are at home is an illusion. Sure, there are some differences. Yet, the common denominator is that we bring ourselves to work, with all our patterned behavior, and we take that same self home. The other common denominator is that work and home are both relationship systems that are powerful influencers on us.
Think about it this way, the original organization we all joined, like it or not, is the family. That's where we learned about fairness, competition, favoritism, truth telling, blaming, consistency, conflict, giving and getting. What we learned in our childhood is hard wired into our nervous system. We layer a new web of relationships on top of the older ones. This is neither good nor bad, like gravity it is just the way we learn.
So why bother even talking about this? If you want to be successful, grow into a high level leader, this information is priceless. Most of the time we can behave in mature, respectful, responsible ways until....and that is what you need to know. When stress hits the hot button we all have a natural tendency to revert back to our childhood behavior patterns that were meant to protect us and keep us secure.
What may have worked when you were seven or ten or twelve will not get you where you want to go as an adult. Yet, the knee jerk tendency to respond to someone who is expressing fear, or anger or sadness is to play out the patterns of childhood and either fight, flee or freeze.
There are 13 common patterns that you can see in every family and in every workplace. In the book "Don't Bring It to Work" you can take a quiz to find out what your basic patterns are.
Once you can name your personal patterns, and usually there are two, three or four that form your major constellation, you can begin the fascinating work of understanding exactly why you took those roles on in your family. Then comes the fun part; and I promise you, once you begin to transform the patterns it is life changing.
So, while you think once you are grown and out of the house you can leave all the "stuff" behind the patterns that got hard wired is waiting there for you to change. The core of great leadership is found in the ability to change oneself and help others also change to a more creative, more collaborative way of being.
Join us in the revolution to become a pattern pioneer and make your life as positive and successful as it can be. This is the time for all of us to help each other get to a higher part of the success mountain and make a difference for ourselves, our families and our work teams. We do bring our inner families to work and it is possible and important to bring the best of the past and let the rest go. An Australian aborigine saying says it succinctly "We carry our ancestors in our hearts and sometimes on our backs!" Time to lighten the load!