The Personal Life Clashes with Productivity
For the last 12 months, I have been trying to buy my first home. My wife and I decided it was time to find a place we could truly call “home.” 10 months ago, I entered into a sales agreement to purchase a property. It was a dreaded short sale, and I knew going into the agreement that I would be spending a lot of time waiting on the bank to approve or deny the sale of the property. However, if we could get it approved, we’d be purchasing a home at a great price while interest rates were at historical lows.
To date, I’m still working on this sale. Ever since I entered into that contract agreement, I’ve felt less productive. Part of my drive to complete work is lacking. Don’t get me wrong, as I still finish all of my duties and tasks because it’s what I was hired to do, but a lot of the enthusiasm that I used to have is missing. I still love what I do, but the stresses of this real estate deal have been a major distraction.
I’m using this example because for a lot of us newer leaders, we don’t always think about what is happening with our direct reports outside of the workplace. Too often, we assume that because someone under our management isn’t performing, it’s because they “have a bad attitude” or “they don’t care.” It’s time to step back and ask this question: What does the big picture look like?
Does this individual have a personal problem they may be dealing with? Are they behind on their mortgage payment? Did someone they cared about pass away recently? Did they leave the coffee pot on at home? As leaders, we need to be understanding in these situations. It is our duty to accommodate, but also help the individual refocus at the same time. We may be in a position of power, but we also serve those who report to us.
The lines between the career and the personal life are blurred. Our personal issues follow us to the workplace, and our work issues are a main topic for the dinner discussions at home. Remember this the next time you’re presented with a challenge from a direct report. You’ll have a better outcome, and it should happen much more quickly instead of reprimanding the individual.
I want to hear your comments. Did you have someone with a personal issue that affected their productivity? Did you personally have a situation that affected those around you in the workplace? How did you overcome it?