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Bedroom lessons from the boardroom


Many people have had the fortune of being taught several management skills through formal business education - or other means like books. It is interesting how we associate such knowledge and skills with boardrooms, political caucuses or meetings.

MANY people have had the fortune of being taught several management skills through formal business education - or other means like books. It is interesting how we associate such knowledge and skills with boardrooms, political caucuses or meetings.
Yet these are not just management skills, they are life skills that we ought to take with us wherever we go. Many of us are guilty of compartmentalisation of knowledge .
In my time of reflection on why we seem to be experiencing many life challenges in our generation yet most of us are more educated than our forefathers, I concluded that we don't always show up with authenticity in our daily lives.
We show up as different people in different situations. For example, at work, we are aware of the rules, the expectations of our employers and relevant knowledge we ought to have.
We know who is at the top of the organisation and they also know what we expect from them. We often do not have a problem yielding and conforming to what they expect, whether it be in the form of the organisation's code of conduct, reporting lines or the company policies. Most will apply their well-educated self on how to deal with challenges and conflict.
Since we have more men in these corporate roles, I will use them as examples. Their willingness to follow procedures searching and applying latest research is different from how they behave at home.
There, they opt to rely on dormant beliefs and practices or, worse, ineffective actions like overriding everyone's opinion, demand respect for bringing a bigger fish for dinner and then wonder why everyone is not cooperating or at worst just disengaged.
When studying organisational behaviour, we learn how employees are more engaged when they get an opportunity to shape the outcome of decisions in their work units. They may be least knowledgeable, but they will respond positively to the opportunity to be consulted in the decision-making process.
So, how can it be that when we get home we disregard our spouses' or children's opinions, or worse, simply ignore their state of being by just walking in and out of the house without checking how they really are?
Some men are known to spend much time roaming the streets of their cities, taverns, golf courses, friends or even unspoken places and very little time with their own families. How can they really claim to understand their spouses' and children's needs, be they emotional, physical or any other, if they visit their homes and live somewhere else after work.
I suspect there is scarcity of clarity of expectations and rules in other places where we live, resulting in this personality replacement, especially in the kitchen and the bedroom.
I urge men and women to be conscious of their actions, especially when trained or educated in a particular area. Let them not wait until they are experts in that field nor worry about what they don't know yet, but rather begin to apply that knowledge.
Learning and using plausible decision-making approaches can save your marriage from unnecessary disagreements, arguments or disengagements. After all, this will gain you some extra respect from your family.
The next time you notice that you are not celebrated by your spouse as you are by your PA or colleagues, remember what you learnt about disequilibrium at school, it is an indication that there is something wrong with the system.
So, open your management tool box and start restoring the system to its optimum balance. Even politicians know this, that is why they spend loads of money in discovering what their constituencies want and how to get them to celebrate them in good and bad times. You may not need an expensive consultant to help you out if you know how to apply what is in the knowledge tool box.
Khabza Mkhize

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