Get a Life

By Judith Welles

Blog archive

Get a Life!: Pillow talk

Maybe it’s the election or maybe it’s Valentine’s Day that makes me think about the role of spouses, partners and sweethearts in our professional lives. Certainly the role for Bill should Hillary Clinton become president comes to mind. I heard Hillary say in an interview that Bill would have the role of any White House spouse. He'd be a sounding board, a trusted adviser, but that she alone would “be the one wearing the pantsuits.”   

An article in the Wall Street Journal states that “business leaders experience the same kind of scrutiny, and few say publicly that they confer with their spouses. Yet, it has become increasingly common for them to regularly seek work advice from their wives or husbands.”

One executive said that although he might not always take the advice, he seeks his wife’s opinion because of the chemistry they share, her understanding of him and his trust that their conversations are confidential. He found the advice particularly helpful on personnel matters.

Although sharing may occur, few will let fellow employees know. Still, the WSJ reports that male managers may be more willing to mention talking to their wives about something as a way to show sensitivity. But female executives are often reticent to suggest consulting with spouse for fear they might appear weak.  

Two-career families may not want to share work matters because it would take time away from their family and their relationship. Others simply don’t want to bring work home at all.

So do you talk about work at home? Do you use a spouse or sweetheart as a sounding board? When has the advice been helpful? 

Let us know. Post a comment (registration required) or send an e-mail to (subject: Blog comment) and we will post it for you.

Posted on Feb 12, 2008 at 12:13 PM


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