There are some people who spend a great deal of energy trying to separate their work life from their home life. They put their colleagues in a group, and their friends in another. Those who are successful miss a great opportunity to enhance communication when working with a team.
So often I hear people talk about how disagreements within a work group stand in the way of moving an organization forward. Quite frankly, that’s easy to understand. After all, if the only time you spend with your colleagues is around a conference room table discussing the business at hand, it’s easy to become impatient and short with people you don’t know very well. But when the people you work with on a team interact outside of a formal work environment, they begin to develop a trust that can only come from friendship. We are often more respectful of differing points of view when those views are held by our friends.
Rather than spending so much energy trying to separate your work life from your home life, spend that energy getting to know the people you work with on a more personal level. Whether you volunteer on a board or serve on a committee, get to know those you work with. You’ll be amazed how the respect that comes from those bonds will enhance communication in the midst of difficult discussions.