Publications & Products
Volume 2, Issue 9

Don't Share Too Much at the Office

An executive coach says employees of all ages seem more eager to provide too much personal information at work these days.

Peggy Klaus, author of Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It, recently wrote about this workplace trend in a column for The New York Times. She believes increased use of social media may be the cause.

"Social media have made it the norm to tell everybody everything," Klaus writes. "The problem is that people are forgetting where they are (at work, not a bar or a chat room) and whom they're talking to (bosses, clients, colleagues and the public, not their buddies). And even if they know it's inappropriate to share certain personal information in a business setting, they do it anyway because everyone else does. So they think it must be O.K. (it's not), and they think that their boss and colleagues are really interested (they're not)."

Klaus doesn't believe that managers should insist their employees stop talking to one another about anything not related to work. Instead, she says managers and their employees should ask themselves several questions before sharing personal details at work:

  • Who's listening to me (a boss, a client, a colleague or a friend)?
  • Why am I sharing this? What's the point?
  • In this situation, would less be better?
  • Have I left my emotional baggage outside the door?
  • Does what I am sharing benefit my career or the quality of my work relationships?

This article is from the Aug. 27, 2012 issue.

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