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Hard Hat, Soft Hat

October 23, 2014

How would you describe your work ethic? Or better yet, how would your boss or a coworker describe them? Strong work ethics keep a company thriving whether you are a sole proprietor or an employee. They also act as a moral barometer keeping you focused, performing well and meeting company goals. Think of having great ethics as being the ultimate team player. You’re respectful, easygoing, dedicated and have a positive attitude. Sounds like you, right?

Plus great work ethics are like putting on a hard hat every day. Literally speaking, in some occupations hard hats are worn for obvious safety reasons like a steel beam falling out of the sky. However, you’d not show up for work just because of something really lame like the sun is shining. Or maybe it’s raining and you enjoy jumping in mud puddles. Either way, that would be like removing your metaphoric hard hat of work ethics and letting the beam fall on your head. Ouch! Take off your hard hat a few times and you may find yourself taking a number and waiting in the unemployment line...unless you’re jumping in mud puddles that day.

No worries though, because you’d never let that happen. You’re a star employee. You respect your peers and are dedicated to supporting company goals for the benefit of everyone. Besides, trustworthy is your middle name. Oh, and need I mention, no one has ever heard you say “that’s not my job” because a growing, thriving organization is important to you. Therefore, you firmly believe it’s the end result that’s important. Not how, or whom, achieved it.

Dickens, now that we know how strong your morals are and how deeply rooted your work ethic is, noting, of course, you wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize your employment I only have one question. It’s not a trick question, but I’ll give you a hint anyway. It has to do with the time when you’re not on the clock. Ready? Okay, ask yourself how tenaciously you wear a soft hat? Dickens, a metaphoric soft hat should be worn 24/7/365. In short, always. Why?

Because that’s the hat you wear when interacting with others. And when aren’t we face-to-face at some point with strangers, family and friends, or our significant other? Our soft hat has the unique ability to meld with strong work ethic yet simultaneously represent compassion and understanding in our personal relationships. Think of it as a conduit for the golden rule channeling through you. When your soft hat is on you not only have all the awesome qualities of wearing your hard hat. But you also have a softer side, such as being a friend a friend can count on, listening when someone needs to talk, giving a hug just because, compassion for the ones you love and kindness and empathy toward strangers.

We wouldn’t do anything to risk our job (wearing our hard hat), but forget the same morals and ethics apply when it comes to our committed relationships. Consider this: at work you are respectful, honest, supportive and trustworthy. Why change when you’re off the clock? It’s almost like seeing some folks at a restaurant. You can always tell the ones that leave their manners at home because they take advantage of the situation by being demanding, expecting special attention and then leave a huge mess. Something I’d venture to say they wouldn’t tolerate at home because they’d have to clean it up themselves.

Am I suggesting you treat your marriage or committed relationship like your work? Not at all, I’m suggesting you treat it better. Ask yourself: Do I respect our relationship enough to call if I’m going to be late, or just figure it isn’t important? Do I wholeheartedly support their dreams and goals, or am I too wrapped up in my own? Do I offer our relationship open and honest communication, or keep secrets? Am I kind, thoughtful and compassionate, or cold, distant and unconcerned? Can they count on me, or do I make empty promises? Odd isn’t it how we’d never jeopardize our job and then go home and jeopardize our relationships by forgetting to keep our soft hat on. Remember it takes a hard hat and a soft hat for a relationship to grow and thrive.

Can you imagine...getting your wiggles out?



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