We all need to feel of value. We all gain that sense of value in different ways. None of them are wrong in themselves but the meaning we give to situations can have a profound impact on how we operate with others and how we feel about ourselves. Understanding what motivates us and how different styles of behaviour can impact on others allows us to make a choice. We can choose to continue as we are or to take steps to change things.

Many people are motivated by their need to be of use. Their sense of who they are and sense of self worth is dependent on being needed. Indeed many people fear the time when they will no longer be needed by their children or their work.

Many of my clients feel that they are totally indispensable to their staff and clients yet leave their partners and families feeling alone and ignored. There appears to be a very different sense of what is important at work and at home. It is the source of great distress and heartache to partners and families. The clients focus far more time and energy on their colleagues and clients, partners feel hurt and rejected.

As the client returns home they are met with the outpouring of frustration and hurt and a cycle of destructive behaviour becomes entrenched.

Clients who are in a long term relationship feel their partners are making demands which they cannot meet because their work is important; indeed it is what supports the family. Tension and difficulty are compounded by poor communication and harsh words.

Clients who are not in a long term relationship feel lonely and unsatisfied so turn to work to fill the gap. That is fine in the short term but when work finally ends the success is empty without anyone to share it with.

So where do you focus most of your time and energy?

How often do you find yourself making excuses to your family because you had to work late?
If you had to choose between working late or going home to your partner which one usually takes priority?
When did you get on with work late into the evening or at a weekend rather than meeting friends or taking time to find a relationship?

For a moment think about your life. Imagine yourself at the end of your life looking back over the years. Imagine how life will be if you carry on behaving exactly as you do now. What effect has it had on your relationships? Have you enjoyed a wonderful passionate and satisfying relationship with your partner? If you have children how has your behaviour of now impacted on them? What legacy are you leaving them? Do they feel loved and a sense of closeness to you? When work finished what were you left with? What was left when you stopped being the professional you?

Now think about your ideal life.

What is really important to you? Who are your true priorities? What needs to change for you to achieve the life you aspire to? What legacy do you want to leave?

If you take your partner or your children for granted you run the very real danger that you will loose them both. Take a long hard look at how you behave and what beliefs are underpinning those behaviours.

How ever indispensable we may think we are at work, the reality is actually very different. If you were to be carried away tomorrow, if you were run over by a bus or whisked away on a magic carpet, life would go on. Oh there would be a few awkward days where your colleagues had difficulty in understanding your filing system and your diary but even the best loved and respected are soon replaced. The ripples in the pond quickly disappear without trace when you throw in a stone. You are far more likely to leave a lasting legacy when you involve and train your team and you manage strategically, sharing your vision and developing leadership systematically so that your immediate presence is not actually needed.

If you suddenly became unavailable tomorrow how would your work team manage?
What information, skills, understanding, contacts would be missing?
How much of your time do you spend managing strategically?
What succession management do you have in place?

Is it time to change your focus? To think how you can be dispensable on a day to day basis but indispensable as a strategist and as a role model and mentor. Working hard and smart and creating a fantastic family life in the bargain. This is one time when you can have your cake and eat it too.

Author's Bio: 

Gina Gardiner is one of the UK's leading Leadership Coaches.
Gina supports people at individual or organizational level to develop confidence, leadership and people skills. Gina is the author of two books “Kick Start Your Career” and “How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively and is also a Neuro Linguistic Master Practitioner and a qualified coach.
To download her free management ecourse......graduatesolutions.co.uk