Aug 13, 2009

Love her like your employee

I treat my workers better than my wife. I treat my neighbour better than my wife. I treat my car mechanic better than my wife.

If I have something serious to bring up with a colleague - a complaint, a suggestion, a ThatPissedMeOff - I do it strategically. After many leadership trainings, I know better than to assault someone unprepared at the water cooler. I count to a high number and get control of my emotions, find a quiet place, butter them up with genuine compliments, present the issue in as non-threatening a way as possible, and give them a way out. I do it compassionately and deliberately to lead to resolution, better relations, and a win for all.

So why would I not treat my wife - the woman I love most of all - with the same regard and respect and delicacy? Why does the criticism lash out when she is most vulnerable and least receptive, instead of quietly supporting her during her tough time then quietly helping her work through it later?

Next time I'm about to lash out or retreat into silence or any unhealthy communication, I'll use this as my litmus - would I treat my emploee this way? If it's not good enough for the woman who sells me honey, it aint good enough for the woman who is my sweet honey.

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