“How are you” is how we try to start most interactions in a VBL environment. Not, “How did your meeting go?” or “Did you finish that project?” Obviously, every so-often we have the quick walk by someone’s desk to ask if they can send something over or double check on the status of a report. But, on a whole – we start with the “How are you” question.

And for those of you trained to automatically give a run down of their work status when a superior asks how you are, adjusting to this aspect of a VBL environment is intriguing and exciting. For the first few months when people asked me “How are you?” I would tell them about what I am working on only to have them respond with, “But how are YOU?” And what began to emerge was a blurred line between your professional life and your personal life.

Most of us assume we are to have two different versions of ourselves. The “at work” version and the “at home” version. Where did this mentality come from? Were we brought up being told that we could be our “silly self” at home but needed to buckle down and be serious at school? Regardless of how we stepped down this path, I now recognize that this blurred line is creating healthier relationships and helping me become a stronger leader.

A person’s personal life will always trickle into their professional life, so why not embrace it? We talk of different realms of a person – Mind, Body, Spirit, and Emotion. If these four are not being activated and exercised by a person (in or out of the office), they are not in a position to ignite their full potential. With support for these four aspects of one’s life we are helping to ignite human potential and help our associates be the best they can be.

So the next time you ask, “How are you?” do you really want to know? Do you really have time for the answer? Will you really emphasize the “you” or will you be ok with them rattling off their to-do-list? It takes intention and time, but you will build stronger relationships with coworkers and build a stronger brand for yourself.




Danielle Aaronson

Danielle Aaronson

Danielle’s mission is to inspire leaders to make intentional choices that move them to positive action. She speaks at conferences, management summits, and leadership programs as well as facilitates efforts with executives and senior leaders at organizations seeking to influence their culture. Her mantra, “be the change you wish to see in the world” has allowed her to strive every day to be the best she can be and help others recognize the potential they have to make a positive difference. @deaaronson

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