Your personal life, like your business, is something that is built up over years of cultivating, habits, investigating your own values, and making int
Your personal life, like your business, is something that is built up over years of cultivating, habits, investigating your own values, and making interpersonal connections. Many people think of their personal and professional lives as separate, and they like it that way; maintaining a distance between these aspects of one’s life can allow a person to minimize stress and maximize focus.
However, lessons learned and connections made in your personal life can be incredibly useful in your professional life. With discretion, it can be productive to allow the two to mix and to use all the resources you have at your disposal in your life as a whole.
Most people have a professional persona that, while it is hopefully authentic, differs from the version of themselves that they present in other areas of their lives. This is to be expected; there are certain occasions that merit casual behavior and others that require the focus and discretion of professionalism.
However, this does not mean that the issues that arise in family and peer dynamics are absent from the workplace. On the contrary, there are many parallels that can be drawn from professional life to private life.
By the time you have reached a professional level in your career, you have likely dealt with all manner of people, and not always in a professional capacity. The parallels you draw can be simple: maybe you have a coworker who reminds you of your younger brother, or a client who recalls your high school track and field coach.
The bottom line is that human interactions bear a lot of similarities to each other across social contexts. One of the most important lessons you can draw from your personal social and professional history is how you respond to various situations. How have you handled conflict in the past? How have you dealt with the dynamic between a superior and an inferior, whether it was in the workplace or in a college fraternity or sports team?
Personal preferences and passions
When you network, people are looking to connect with you. This does not mean simply pressing a button on LinkedIn, but actually forming a human bond of some sort. How do you let your personality shine through while maintaining an air of professionalism and respect?
Think about what ignites positive emotion in you. Being in a good mood, being motivated, and being passionate are all ways to bring your best self to your interactions, and engaging with others’ preferences allows them to access and offer their best selves as well.
This does not mean that you have to talk to everyone about your favorite musicals or television shows in order to prove to them that you are a multi-dimensional human meaning. It can be as simple as making sure that you make time for these activities in your own life so that you fill your reserves of passion and take that passion to work with you.
Enjoying things also teaches you to derive value from your experiences. This is one of the best abilities you can offer in a personal or business relationship. If you make a habit of deriving value from your experiences and interactions, people will see that you are there to offer and demand the best from everyone involved. A fulfilled person is seen as a trustworthy person, because they are unlikely to try to take from others to fill their own voids. If you know what you want, you can help others become what they want to be – or at least find the home where they will become that person.