“Would you talk to us about how we can achieve work/life balance?” she asked while looking at me with eyes desperate to understand the secrets of life. I was sitting in a small conference room at the local university with a group of MBA student mentees and as I glanced around the room the other women were silently nodding their heads and leaning forward, anxious to hear my answer.
I looked out the large conference room windows at the snowflakes lightly falling from the sky and sighed. Instead of giving them an answer, I asked the following questions:
- Why do you believe you need to have work/life balance?
- Who is telling you that you need work/life balance or that you currently don’t have it?
- What is your definition of work/life balance? In other words, what does work/life balance look like?
The answers surprised the women because, unanimously, they each believed they needed better work/life balance because someone else had told them they needed it. In many cases, it was a co-worker who had judged them lacking in work/life balance. For a few of the women, it had been a family member. In all cases, the person judging them and proclaiming them to lack work/life balance was a female. Read the complete ForbesWoman blog post.