• Thu, Jan 3 2013

8 Dos And Don’ts Of Talking About Your Personal Life On The Job

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Conversation is inevitable when employees spend 40+ hours a week on the job. This may turn the office into a home away from home, and co-workers into confidants.

Unfortunately, this kind of environment is certain to produce chatter that veers into the personal realm. Under most circumstances, this talk isn’t well-suited for those looking to present themselves as professional leaders. While simple office talk can be harmless, it’s important to create clear boundaries around what you choose to talk about when it comes to your personal life. 

Before you tell your cube-mate about your wild weekend of  partying, be sure to get the inside scoop on the dos and don’ts about sharing personal information:

Do

1. Do Know Who Your Friends Are In The Office

Social and professional survival in your work environment depends on defining which individuals you can confide in. While sharing personal stories isn’t necessarily the smartest thing to do in most professional environments, it’s crucial to know which of your co-workers can handle the details of your life if a conversation makes its way in that direction. These are usually co-workers you find yourself spending time with outside of the office.

2. Do Chat Off The Clock

Keeping it off-the-clock should be every employees rule of thumb for any kind of conversation. Simple exchanges within the office are acceptable, but when it comes to full blown storytelling, lunch breaks and after-hours are the perfect place. If you get an hour lunch break every day, that’s five hours of conversation each week.

3. Do Remain Somewhat Vague

Office conversations are bound to get a little personal when you work with individuals for long periods of time. Another great rule of thumb is to keep anything regarding your personal life rather vague. It isn’t necessary for you to share every detail of your relationship with your office, even if you have co-workers who are interested in listening.

4. Do Leave Your Problems At Home

Don’t let the problems in you personal life impact your job. It’s smart to leave your personal challenges at the door when entering work. Your co-workers and boss don’t need to know about your struggles. Building a barrier to keep them out of the office will allow you to leave them out of conversations.

Don’t

1. Don’t Start Personal Conversations

There’s usually an instigator when it comes to personal conversations in the workplace — don’t let it be you. Never recruit your co-workers to participate in the sharing of gossip or a back-and-forth of personal information, because it could create a somewhat hostile work environment. While you may feel close to your co-workers, do you and your office-mates a favor by sticking to neutral topics.

 2. Don’t Get Personal With Your Boss

Getting too friendly with your manager is never a good idea. Just because you have a great professional relationship with him or her, doesn’t mean that personal conversations will be beneficial to either of you. Knowing too much about your boss could change the way you view them, and this certainly goes for how they view you in terms of your life outside of work.
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