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Monday, April 9, 2012

Keep Your Private Life, Private.

Doris was getting a bit anxious as the interview date drew closer. She wondered whether she would have to indicate to the panel that she has a child who desires close and tender care. Her boy child has some disability that resulted from a birth defect and this has been a key concern as she engages with a new workplace. She is a great staff with enviable skills but would appreciate being considered for preferential treatment to enable her take care of her child and at the same concentrate on her tasks. She went through the interview process successfully without having to mention to the panel anything about her private concern.

A few months down the lane, she is however considering telling her boss of her need for flexi-time to allow her to address personal matters. The boss, out of curiosity has requested if he could know the main reason why Doris wants to be considered for flexible working hours. This has thrown her into a spin. Should she tell the boss her personal matters or should she just insist the issue is personal and must not reveal the details? This is one of the tensions that staff go through at work. What should they consider telling their bosses and what would rather be kept private?

When it gets to private life at work, consider keeping them to yourself. There is no need to let the whole office know the ups and downs of your personal life. Keeping your home and work lives separate ensures that your personal matters never jeopardize your position in the work place. You do not want to influence the perception of your workmates about yourself by revealing to them information that would rather have been kept private. Not even your boss has the right to know what private issues you are facing. 

There are however incidences where you feel like you need to share with a senior about your experiences. In this case, schedule a meeting alone with your supervisor especially if you feel that your problems are negatively affecting your performance at work. He may have been wondering why you haven't quite been yourself lately. Tell your boss that you're dealing with a difficult private matter that you'd rather not discuss in detail. Ask for adequate time off in the form of leave if you need it and be sure to use this time to deal with your personal issues so that you return to work refreshed and ready to jump back into your routine.

It is always important to note that not all persons at your work place are your secret admirers. Some of your workmates are eagerly seeking for leaks on your life challenges to splash your struggles in public in their bid to shame you. As much as you may be telling your boss some of your challenges in good faith, not all have the gift of keeping secrets. Some have been found sharing with other members of management ‘as they seek for advice on how to best support you’ and with this; the cat is ejected out of the bag into the corridors. In cases where you are personal friends with the boss, there is room to share such personal information but away from the precincts of the office. Look for other forums where you could sit and chat from an informal perspective. In a nutshell, keep your private issues to yourself. You can rest assured; your bosses have managed to keep theirs away from you.

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