Now that Valentine’s Day is over, do you need to think about your relationship to work?

I started to think of the Valentine’s day/work connection when I heard an interview on the February 13th CBC Metro Morning show. In readying for Valentine’s Day, a doctor was speaking about the scientific physiological basis of love, attraction and sustained bonding. He noted that you can differentiate between the chemical changes experienced with first attraction, when ‘love hits’ (increased dopamine and reduced serotonin), and the chemical changes at play that sustain a relationship after the first attraction subsides and continued bonding needs to occur (increased oxytocin and vasopressin).

How might this apply to work?  When you first seek or are successful at landing a new job, you are within the spell of the law of attraction; symptoms include glee, energy, and fixation.  What happens after that phase subsides?  How do you continue to nurture the work relationship so that bonding occurs?  How do you identify and avoid the activities that may progress to make you dread going to work?

While most managers will start their jobs with a vision of the difference they will make, it is easy to get bogged down with the myriad of adjunct tasks related to organizational bureaucracy and accountability; often organized as standing meetings with no transparent or concrete outcomes, or regular reports that no-one reads; or to be challenged or to struggle with the complexities of dealing with people, especially when success in your job requires that you manage them.

The doctor interviewed on Metro Morning did not prescribe what to do if the chemicals for bonding were not flowing as they should.  As a Management Coach, however, can provide some guidance for you to consider, among others:

  • Reading the review of Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (it is one of the ‘forever’ books on my bookshelf).  It provides perspectives and tools on how to focus on your vision, your most important roles, and managing yourself and others to plan and achieve team goals
  • Using the Johari Table Prioritization Tool to identify and weed out the tasks that are unimportant and not urgent
  • Using the Meeting Planner Tool to organize meetings that your employees will not want to miss
  • Learning the 5 Key Practices to Managing Yourself  to help you draw on resources within yourself or available from others


The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.

John Ruskin (quote from Career-Success-For-Newbies)

We may not be able to choose all of our preferred tasks to do at work. However, find enough of those that you can accomplish with a level of meaning or quality that help to make you the person you wish to be.