Essential Personality Traits for Managing Real-life Interference With Remote Work


The Wave-Makers Program has been an interesting journey. In the first week which was focused on ‘Personality’, I have discovered some of the traits that have been very valuable to me as a leader both at home and at work.

Being a wife and a mom has taught me to show up. I have learned to show up fully for my family and also to be present at work. Being present is a powerful skill that I have mastered through patient practice.

One of the tools that have fostered this presence is anchoring. And as taught by Katja Kolmetz in the Wave-Makers Program, anchoring can help us regain focus in our present environment or task. In order to build resilience in challenging work or life situations, I find my anchor in the idea of a phoenix. I choose a phoenix because it is an animal that rises as many times as it is destroyed.

Breathing deeply is also an anchor for me. I learned this when I was in labor. I was able to sustain a lot of strength by just breathing as much as I could, instead of shouting or getting overwhelmed by the enormous pain. This exercise also reminds me to stay in the present moment and to pay apt attention to whatever task I have at hand as opposed to mind wandering and frustration over thoughts and voices in my head.

Presence means full attention to the moment at hand. While practicing presence, your mind may still wander off to conversations in your head, but like a child, you can always bring your mind back to the present space and time in order to pay full attention and give it your best self. In my journey through life and work, I have understood that all I can ever do is one thing at a time, so I try my best to master skills such as anchoring that help me stay on a task until it’s completed satisfactorily.

Empathy is also a great personality trait that has helped me stay present. This skill allows me to pay attention to the emotions of the people around me, and also to wrap my full emotions around every task at hand. Fixing my emotions on people and ideas that matter to me helps me channel my emotions appropriately. At work, I am fully engaged emotionally and mentally with my tasks, team, customers, and work environment. And this also reminds me not to carry encumbrances from other sections of my life into work.

I always show up with my full self at home, bringing to bear everything I have learned from people, the environment, and books. The tasks and activities at home require my intuition and spirituality, so I have to be in the best state of mind to achieve the most excellent results.

It may be challenging to choose at every moment, what to give your most uninterrupted attention to. Your baby may be crying at the same time your boss is calling (if you work from home). This is why intention is very important to me.

The intention is your most honest reason for wanting or doing something. Are you starting a business for the money or for the idea of being called a “CEO”? Or maybe you’re just really passionate about homeless girls, and that’s why you started a foundation.

Your intention helps you determine your priorities. For me, my purpose in life is to love and care for myself and my family, and also to contribute my skills and talents to meaningful causes. Put simply, the order of my priorities is my family, then work.

At the core of it, I believe that your choice of work is largely dependent on its ability to afford you the kind of life you desire for yourself and your family. So if my boss calls me while my baby is crying, I will hand my baby to a trusted nanny to calm him while I take the call. If there’s no one around, I will calm him while talking to my boss, or ask for a few minutes to do so. If none of these works, it’s sad, but I might have to restructure my CV for a new job.

Of course, this one size does not fit all. Some people are more career-driven than they are family-oriented. But when it comes to remote work, you would want to find yourself as much comfort as possible at the place you work; be that an office or your own home. And in the midst of the challenges of work-life balance, staying in the present moment through anchoring may be the best tool to keep you productive.

I find my anchor in the character of a phoenix. What’s yours?

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