Are your personal and work lives blended?

Blending work and life
Blending work and life

This morning as I was catching up on my e-mail, I ran across a blog posting by Keith Ferrazzi called What’s Your Take on This Controversial Topic from Never Eat Alone? In his post, he is asking for input on whether you should blend your work life and personal life, or not. In his book, Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi advocates for a blended life rather than balancing and separating your work and personal lives.

Personally, I believe a blended approach to work and life results in a more cohesive team. As supervisors in the Air Force, we were strongly encouraged to know about our troops and their lives. We were encouraged to know about their personal goals and interests so we could work to weave their goals and interests into the organizational goals and mission.

While I no longer supervise anyone in the workplace, I still feel it is important to know about those who I work with. As an instructional technologist, I can use their interests and goals to personalize instruction for them. I also take Ferrazzi’s advice about giving freely. I regularly find resources and share them with others based on their interests. This type of sharing is possible only if you get to know the interests of others.

The Air Force was all about constant improvement. I was encouraged to look for methods to improve performance. I still continue with this mindset, I want to see the organizations I work for succeed. People tend to perform better or put more into their work if there is a personal connection. If I can tap into that personal connection, I stand a greater chance of succeeding with my mission.

One of the stronger motivators for adult learners is the idea of relevance. If instruction can be relevant on more than one level such as a work, personal, and academic, then deeper learning will take place. Wlodkowski in his book, Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn, explains that introductions are important to establish trust in the classroom. It is about understanding students on a personal level, and it is about others trusting you through your sharing.

My life is tightly intertwined. My work life as an instructional technologist impacts my personal life. For example, instructional methods and strategies have a strong influences on my degree program, and my instruction in the Bujinkan and Civil Air Patrol. What I have learned in my degree program has certainly influenced my work  as well as my instruction in the Bujinkan and Civil Air Patrol. During this weekend, I have been doing work for work, but it has also fed me ideas I can use in my personal life. As you can see, I cannot separate my work and personal life, and I would not want to work in a place where I would have to.

Social media has made the separation even more difficult. Programs like Facebook effectively show off all aspects of your life, if you choose to participate in it. Social media has allowed me to share with family and friends across great distances, and it allows me to participate in their lives. It would a lesser place if I could not share in the lives of co-workers because of the idea of separating work and personal lives.

I would find it difficult to separate my work and personal life especially since I love all aspects of my life and I want to share it with others. What do you think?