3 Things Leaders Never Reveal About Themselves At Work

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May 7th, 2015

In order to build strong professional networks, we have to be open and communicative with our colleagues. But there’s a fine line between productive discussion and information over-sharing that can wreak havoc on our chances at succeeding and advancing our career.

So how do we know what level of emotional intimacy is acceptable in the workplace? 

  1. Avoid emotional outbursts. Being too emotional could lead to a far worse outcome than intended. While it’s natural to feel a sense of anger or disappointment at certain business outcomes, if you are ever disappointed about something, it’s always best to wait 24 hours and try to understand the problem, so you can empathise with the team member, rather than being accusatory.

    Likewise for an employee, having emotional outbursts in the workplace can appear unprofessional and inconsiderate, hindering your chance at a promotion. in the end, no one intentionally does something wrong, so the key is to learn from mistakes and not let emotion overcome rational decision-making. Employers must lead by example; if one expects staff to have integrity, leadership has to set the tone.
  2. Political opinions and religious beliefs. People's political and religious beliefs are an integral and often intimate part of their identity, and can become charged topics of discussion that can cause controversy and offence. It is for this reason that its preferable to avoid these topics in the workplace. imposing one's values, prejudices or judgments on a colleague or employee with differing values can alienate team members, and shows a lack of respect.

    Instead encourage confident discussion and expression of views when they’re productive, to contribute to a harmonious, collaborative and inclusive office.  So, the next time someone brings up a contentious topic, avoid engaging and focus on your work instead, for the sake of your colleagues, and career.
  3. What they do on Facebook. As a general rule, avoid engaging with employees on social media websites unless they have initiated contact with you directly. It’s important to be able to have a social life distinct from a professional life. 

    Whether it’s a snap of what you’re wearing, who you’re with or even a friend’s commentary, there are many little things that can cast a shadow of doubt in your boss’ mind, just when they are about to assign you to a big project or recommend you for a promotion. For an employee wanting to climb the ladder, it’s best to leave Facebook for your friends to avoid the risk of appearing inappropriate and leaving a bad impression the next time your boss logs on!