Do you ever notice that you are better with people at work than you are with your family? At work we are usually more thoughtful and careful.  At home we just say things without thinking much about how we say them or the impact they might have. 

Two things might help:

1. Simply reminding ourselves of who we want to be at home for our family will alter who we are. So, pick a visual reminder, like the front door, and then be the father or mother that you want to be when you walk through it.

2. Think of this phrase with your kids in mind: Everyone is a little bit scared and a whole lot proud.

One of my mentors used this phrase repeatedly as he worked to create a culture that was civil and supportive. It was his way of saying, be careful and take care of people when you interact with them. It’s not that people need taking care of. It just works better when we have that as a context or framework for our conversations and relationships.

It still makes sense.


I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
— Maya Angelou



Was this article helpful? Click here to sign up for more tips from the author-  for free!

Paul Axtell is author of Ten Powerful Things to Say to Your Kids: Creating the relationship you want with the most important people in your life. He and his wife, Cindy, live in Minneapolis and love sharing time and conversations with their 13 grandchildren.