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How likely are you to drop everything at work to attend to family matters?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 150,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How likely are you to drop everything at work to attend to family matters?

  • Sometimes I choose work, and others I’ll choose family: 51%
  • I’ll choose family at the drop of a hat: 38%
  • Work is a top priority, and it has to be a true crisis to pull me away: 11%

Most of you place work first or at least require it to be a dire situation before dropping work to attend to family. This one is a tough one because not attending to work can ultimately affect your family as well — if you don’t have a job, it’s tough to take care of the family. This is a constant source of angst and tension. The best advice I can give is to be transparent and honest with all parties involved. If you need to attend to family, be clear with your boss and other work stakeholders about the reason you’re unavailable, how long you’ll be out and who will handle your work in the interim. When you choose work, let your family know what you’re working on, the reason it’s important and how you thought through the decision. Hopefully, transparency can reduce some of the friction inherent in these difficult choices.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders.