November 19, 2007

“Save It”

Posted in On the Job tagged , at 10:58 am by Katelyn

I wish I could say that phrase: “Save it for someone who cares” or more importantly, “Save it for someplace more appropriate.”

Why is there always that one co-worker who has the amazingly dull life, but insists on sharing every detail of it with anyone who will listen?  Or the colleague who wants to hear all about everything you did this weekend so they can feel like your best friend?  And why do I seem to attract these people??  Perhaps I should have been a shrink!  But in all seriousness, is there not an obvious line drawn between one’s professional and personal life? 

I have read several articles in the past that subscribe to the idea that you command more respect in the workplace if you keep your personal life private.  I understand that there are exceptions to this with certain co-workers who  become friends, but on the whole, I have to agree.  The colleagues I find most interesting and most competent are the ones whose personal life is a mystery to me.  I see them only as professionals and in control of their lives at work.

And what about personal relationships at work hindering work performance?  Do you think that employees work better when they consider their colleagues friends or just work colleagues?   

A lot of this has to do with my personality.  I recently took an Interaction Style Assesment Test (http://www.jtodonnell.com/assessment/signup.htm) where I proved to be a “contemplator.”  Part of this interaction style is characterized by being reserved and preferring professional relationships to personal relationships in the workplace.  That’s not to say that I wouldn’t like to find a friend at work to have lunch with and discuss the happenings (or non-happenings in my case) of my weekend, but until that friend magically appears, I prefer to remain professional and mysterious.   

~DC

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