I know what you’re thinking: how can my family possibly boost my wellness at work? They don’t work with me; they don’t know the first thing about my job, how can they help me be more productive, enthusiastic, engaging and energetic at work? The truth is, they can. When you are successful with your family first, their support, love and energy help you become a happier person and this becomes reflected in the work you do. In the 70s and 80s business people like you and I could neglect our family and still succeed at work. It came at a price, but we could do it. However, in the 21st Century, the new entrepreneurs are actually more successful with their family first and ironically these same people outperform everyone else in their work life.
Here are 4 tips I would like to share with you when it comes to family:
1. NEVER PUT WORK AHEAD OF YOUR FAMILY – especially your children. This reminds me of a friend of mine who confided in me because he was very upset that his daughter was moving out of home. He told me that she’s going to university and she’s moving into a flat with some friends and she’s really excited about it. And I said, you should be very happy for her; it’s an exciting time in her life, think back when you were starting uni? He said, yeh, I know Sam, but when she loaded up the suitcase in the back of her car, I just felt that she wasn’t just excited about going to her new apartment, she was more thrilled to be leaving our soul-less home. My friend was heartbroken because he had no bond with her to keep her coming back because she had no connection with him. Her permanent impression of him was the father who never arrived home in time to read her a story, or tuck her into bed. Or was too busy to go bike riding with her. He is a very successful person with lots of money in the bank. But let me tell you, he would give it back just to have that connection with his daughter. And you can’t buy that.
Which leads me to the next tip:
2. GIVE FAMILY YOUR TIME – not just your money. Going shopping or watching TV does not count as quality time. Talking and really listening is how you develop a bond. If you have kids, have one-on-one time with each child. Spending one-on-one time with each of your kids lets them know you value them as a person and builds a bond. So if my friend was doing that over the years, do you think his daughter wouldn’t come back and visit him?
I spend Saturday afternoons with my daughter: it’s Daddy-Daughter time. Do you think that when she’s older she’s not going to remember, Saturday afternoon: Daddy-Daughter time? It’s wired in her: I need to see my father.
One very simple thing you can do to really connect with your family is:
3. TURN OFF THE TV. One thing we do in our family is instead of turning on the TV on a Sunday night and instead of watching a movie, we take turns to stand up in front of each other, in the lounge room and talk about something that happened to us in the week or something we are excited about that’s coming up. It’s a chance for each of our kids to stand up, boost their confidence and engage.
4. TURN YOUR PHONE OFF WHEN YOU GET HOME.
A lot of people in sales fall into this trap. They feel that they have to be on call 24 hours. They don’t want to miss a call. But customers do not expect that. They expect to deal with someone real.
A sincere voice mail fixes that! Something along the lines of:
“You’ve called, Sam Makhoul. If my phone is off, it means I am spending time with my family or serving another customer. But rest assured when I do get your message I will call you back and give you my upmost attention.”
I guarantee that the person will leave a message because they will see ‘Hey, this person is real and he cares for his family. I respect that.’