Smart Ways to Connect at Work
By Sandy Schroeder
We all need to connect with others at work, but we need to know what to share and what not to discuss. When good news happens at home, you may be dying to share it, but work may not be the best place to do it. You will know if personal news fits in your workplace. Sometimes it does, sometimes not.
Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart, an agency that serves over 75 percent of The Fortune 500 companies, provided some thoughtful advice on what to share and what to skip at work.
He defines this ability as an emotional intelligence that understands healthy social interactions, knows how to handle complicated emotional situations, and makes sound decisions about life in general. People who have a strong sense of emotional intelligence know just what to say and when and where to say it. Here are some things to skip discussing at work.
Salary details, promotions, and positions - Once you wade into this discussion, the other person will automatically compare your salary with what you do and what he does.
Your thoughts on politics - Politics are serious individual issues. Stating your views at work will leave you wide open for an assortment of disagreements.
Your opinions about someone else's work - If someone needs help, be quick to lend a hand. Beyond that, it is wise to keep your assessments to yourself. You run the risk of hurting feelings, offending someone, or creating other situations. The boss and the co-worker are really the only ones who should be discussing the worker's ability.
Personal details about your relationships - It is very tempting to share great moments or real problems, but that sets up a different relationship that you may not always want shared.
Your plans for the future - Most people move through an assortment of jobs. If you are on your way to a new one, or just looking around, it is better to keep that information to yourself. The grapevine moves very quickly, and before you know it, everyone in the place may be talking about when you will be leaving.
Negative thoughts about work - You may wish the company were different or the operating systems were more flexible, but sharing those opinions won't change anything and it might generate a lot of bad feeling.
Colorful stories from the past - Most of us have a story or two that is pretty lively and really funny, but once you share those stories with people at work they may alter the story as they pass it along, or expect you to act like that now.
Every job is different, and these tips may or may not fit your situation. Use your emotional smarts to make strong and healthy connections that feel comfortable and work for you where you are right now.
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