We’re people, and we bring our lives to work, but what are the lines and what can we share and not share at work?
Bottom line: be yourself, but maybe you should be your work self. Try not to let your personal life affect your work product.
We break it down into three categories: Health, Relationships, and Family.
We all have our own filters, and your health issues may bring up issues for others. You going on about health issues can make a co-worker feel badly for cutting you off when they have work to do. You owe it to your group to tell them high level what’s going on, without going into the gory details. Going deeper is ok when someone makes the space and time based on your high level sharing.
You have to share something so that there is understanding, but the details are best left aside. When it’s your own health, you have to think about your comfort, as well as the comfort of others. Let your boss/co-workers know to expect your absence. HR can also help you to navigate your benefits if it’s your own health issue.
Remember, co-workers are co-workers first. And they may judge your less-than-stellar relationship decisions.
Bottom line: the less drama the better.
Having too many vulnerabilities at work can impact your career, and people can use them against you.
Minimize money, politics and sex details- keep it light and be careful about who you share with. There can be career impacts to oversharing about your personal world.
Keep your childhood drama in your childhood. If it’s impacting you at work, go to a coach, therapist or even a friend outside of work. Don’t unpack it with co-workers, because that could potentially impact your career. Don’t let your past influence your future.
Family planning issues don’t need to be discussed- everyone doesn’t know that you’re rushing home at lunch to make a baby. Remember, you don’t want to share anything that they can picture the next time you’re presenting.
People don’t want to hear the nitty gritty of your fertility journey. They want to hear the happy version at the end.
People want to hear the high level about your kids. They want to hear about Annie rocking her softball game, but not the play-by-play.
Keep the details for lunches with co-workers in a similar situation as you. You want to be sharing equally- not the oversharing co-worker.
Tip- if someone is oversharing or asking personal questions, you can change the subject, or say something like, “Wow- that’s a personal question!” like Kat’s grandmother would say. You can also bow out saying that you have work to get done (since that’s where you are).
Work friends are awesome- look at us!
When you’re sharing, make sure it’s something you’re ok being spread. The jucier it is, the faster it spreads.
Think about what you’re sharing, and make sure that your future work life won’t be impacted by your share. Have true friends outside of work who you can share with without career issues.
Your Personal Board of Directors can also help you navigate personal issues at work, and help be your resources outside your workplace. You can also share with us!