Thursday, January 24, 2019

Why You Should Bring Work Home

Someone once asked me, "You know all that stuff you do for your employees? How much of that do you bring home and do with your family?"

To be completely honest, this question totally threw me.

Bring home HR and Leadership Development and apply it to my family? It was such a foreign concept, and then I was like, "Well, why don't I?"

It was an interesting proposition, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Around the same time, I saw a presentation by Marc Koehler, President at Lead with Purpose, where he proposed a Family Vision Board. And I guess the rest is history.

Last January, my family and I sat down with a giant Sticky Note Flip Chart and asked ourselves, "What does our family stand for? What does it mean to be a 'Kropp'?"

I added a few photos of us. Brought out the colorful markers, and we began a great discussion. At the time, my daughter was 4, but she LOVED having input and coming up with her very own personal goal.

I did have to let go of the poster and goal writing being perfect. Instead, I embraced it as not only a great family bonding activity, but a chance to talk about things that really matter.

We wrote down things we believed in, some hopes and dreams as a family, and then we each wrote personal goals down.

And the best part, I let my 4 year old daughter choose where the poster would be hung. She was so proud and felt so important. And all through last year, we referred back to it. If she was not eating her vegetables, we looked at the poster and referenced her personal goal, "I want to be BIG."

It is so much more powerful to say, "Remember your goal about wanting to be big? Did you know that if you eat your vegetables that will actually help you achieve your goal?" Having this vision board totally changed our dynamics. Our conversations did not feel as combative anymore.

There would be times we would be talking at dinner, and my daughter would jump up and say, "Mom, we should add that to the calendar!" Lol. That's what she called the vision board - a calendar.

So fast forward to this year. Right after the first of the month, I had planned to tackle our new 2019 poster. There was such a feeling of excitement and joy around creating our new Family Vision Board. I broke out the markers, and a family picture (literally cut up from our Holiday Card), and some poster board. My daughter was on her iPad on the couch at the time, but she quickly threw it aside and got down on the floor with me where I had laid everything out.

We started coloring and called my husband downstairs to join us. The 3 of us were just going to town. With last year under our belts, we were pros. It was really cool to look at last year's poster and see how far we had come in a year. You could really tell just from my daughter's handwriting. We reviewed our goals and wrote new ones. We realized our focus for this year had changed a little, and so we wrote some new family mottos.

For instance, a few were:

  • We always talk about how we're feeling. 
  • We adapt to new or changing situations and focus on moving forward with a positive attitude. 
  • We respect each other. 
  • We take good care of our things. 
  • We clean up after ourselves.

I highly recommend this activity. I think the next evolution of this will be to revisit our vision board quarterly. I also plan to start having one to ones with my daughter to discuss what is going well in her life, what hurdles might be getting in her way, and to provide guidance and help in any way that I can. Managers do this with their employees all the time.

Why not do this with one of the most important people in my life?

My last HR team used to do "good news check-ins," where we would share one piece of good news from work and one piece of good news from our personal lives. I would love to integrate this into our family dinners. We also used to do weekly "high fives" where we would share specific and detailed feedback with each teammate on something we observed them do that week. I thought this would be so cool to apply at home.

I want to give my daughter all the tools I give my employees.

There is so much that I never even thought to share with her, and it really doesn't take that much effort to do. The possibilities are endless!

You might be laughing to yourself right now and thinking, "Raina, that does not sound fun at all. You're just a little bit weird."

So true! I don't even deny it, but what I have discovered is that a little bit weird can be A LOT AWESOME. And I truly believe that having a family vision board this past year was a game-changer for my family and the individual relationships I have with my husband and daughter. It's enriched them and made our family stronger.

So dare to be a little different, and bring your work home ;)

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