Travel for work, family life clashing

April 27, 2015
Filed under: Coach's Corner — Tags: , , — jonimar @ 6:46 pm

Q:  The travel my job requires is creating conflict with my wife, who has a demanding leadership position in addition to all the responsibility for our five- and eight-year olds when I’m away. How can I make peace at home and still be a top performer?

A:  You’re not alone. Roughly 70 per cent of Canadian households have two income earners trying to balance career and family. With time pressures, competing priorities and conflicting obligations, more than half of all employees report that the demands of their job interfere with their personal responsibilities. Here are some ways the other half succeeds:

Create a compelling family vision together. Check in regularly to ensure you are both on the same page, on track, or need to revise. Openly weigh the potential implications of new assignments, travel or roles.

Isolate the items where you compete and complain. Have an honest conversation about collaborating on them for a win/win/win. Keep in perspective that you are both on the same team for the sake of the entire family unit not just your careers.

Borrowing from work, intentionally define roles and responsibilities. When couples slip unconsciously into traditional gender roles these unspoken expectations can create misunderstanding, disappointment and resentment.

The division of work does not need to be equal, only feel equitable. Delegate anything below your position at work. At home, hire out household tasks so you are free to spend quality time with your family.

A great leader regularly checks in with an employee to avoid disengagement. A great spouse sets private one-on-ones with their partner or risks relationship burn out. Feeling taken for granted when giving your best is demotivating.

Reprinted from The Province, April 19, 2015.


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