Since leadership is all about relationships, try these tips when visiting your family-of-origin over the holidays. So often and almost like a reset button, you may notice old familiar and sometimes unwanted family dynamics surfacing, not to mention certain topics that should have retired years ago.
It is likewise helpful to keep in mind how we may not realize how our concern over the possibility of such unwanted behaviors may influence subtle changes in our own manner of communicating, thereby unintentionally bringing on the very thing we wish to avoid. What to do?
- When Brother Bob imposes corrective, unsolicited advice, consider a simple “Thank you for sharing that,” rather than a defense, the latter of which can give away a certain amount of self-respect.
- When probing parents seek intimate details of your life that you find somewhat inappropriate, a simple “Thank-you for caring about me and my life. As I put greater definition on my circumstances, I will remember your interest.”
- Finally, infuse statements of gratitude and appreciation early on to set a positive family home temperament whereby you may not need to employ tips 1 and 2.
In social psychology, Bandura offered the concept “reciprocal determinism” to underscore how our responses to others determine whether we promote family harmony or dysharmony, not a whole lot different from those dynamics that go on at work. That’s the quiet power of effective leadership at work and at home.