Tag Archives: Roles

What Have Those Fockers at Work Gotten You Into?

Exploring Work Family Roles…

You’ve probably thought about who your work wife or husband is, now it’s time to consider the rest of your work family.

Here’s a fun look at some of the work family roles I’ve encountered… which one are you?

Work Parent (can be a man or a woman): This self-appointed adult supervisor is process oriented, control driven and strives for predictability. The Work Parent maintains impossibly high self-standards and isn’t shy about evaluating the performance of other family members.

Older Sibling (may be young or old): Older siblings see tasks and the emotional tensions that accompany them as separate and distinct. These go-with-the-flow work family members find great humor in how others internalize work issues and respond to perceived slights.

Younger Sibling (may be young or old): While the younger sibling often worries about being taken seriously, they are most comfortable when the family is together, happy and having fun. In some ways competing for attention, the siblings share a special bond and often share a private laugh at how the rest of the family acts.

Family Pet (can be anyone or any role): The family pet, while loved, is a productive outcast whose view of the world simply doesn’t align with the rest of the team. CAUTION: If you don’t know who the family pet is in your work family…. IT’S YOU!

Crazy Aunts & Uncles (mid to senior level): Crazy aunts and uncles will conjure up occasional moments of focus and lucidity. They’ll lay down the law and enforce the rules one minute and in the next, they’ll switch to an unrelated topic and break the very rules they’d set.

Disconnected Grand-People (can be any age): Unquestionably successful, the results of their efforts are all around them. Their big-thinking habits and unrelenting drive have made it difficult for them to relate to the rest of the family, causing them to seem disinterested and bored.

So which one are you? Or are there other roles I’ve missed?

Regardless of the role you play, you and your work family are in what Robert Di Nero (Meet the Parents/Meet the Fockers) called, the Circle of Trust and you don’t want to leave that circle, because once you are out…

Stay in our inner circle by sharing your thoughts and insights directly with me at jeff@jeffkaplan.com.

-Jeff