7 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DISCUSS AT WORK: By Angel Ojukwu
Those that have worked with me will strongly tell you that I discuss only work at work, even though it appears very difficult. A lot I do not discuss at work, especially my family, relationships, next move etc. There is no problem with being friends (work friends, I mean) with your colleagues at work. It provides a lot of benefits as an employee. From being more productive, provides job satisfaction, and makes you be more efficient, there are topics you should never discuss at work.
Yes! You must be careful and always remember the topics to avoid at work irrespective of the friendship level. Because work friendship is not beyond your office regulation; public tenets of demureness will always prevail. And there’s no way to take back your words or manners when it begins to fight back.
Inappropriate work topics can damage your reputation, deny you promotions or at worst make you lose your job. At the very least effect, your co-workers may dislike or avoid you due to inappropriate work topics. And to maintain a good office reputation, always remember the topics to avoid at work outlined below.
- Medical Issues:
This should be private, but I found out that people talk about their health in other to get unnecessary sympathy. Talking about your health status can be cathartic. But how would you feel if someone talked non-stop about a problem that was none of your business?
It can be tempting to go on at length about your chronic insomnia to the first person who listens. But truth is, most people don’t care that much about how you really are when they ask ” How are you”- unless you’re friends.
If you respond to them with anything less than “fine” you’re just holding them up and being obnoxious.
The best rule to go by is to keep it to yourself. unless it starts to take a heavy toll on your work performance. Oh, and if you exaggerate a trivial medical issue to get out of doing a part of your job, you just might be the most annoying employee in your office. Health challenges may not completely be confined. It depends on your choice – it’s not completely one of the topics to avoid at work since it’s not something to be ashamed of, but telling every single detail makes you a problem at the workplace. Yes, it could make everyone to question your future in the workplace or your ability to complete your job.
- Your Sex Life.
Your sex life should never be discussed in details with your colleagues. While some people would be interested to know, which would be used against you in most cases, those that would feel embarrassed can a file sexual harassment complaint against you. Also, you should never discuss this at work because it can dent your relationship with some coworkers.
- Family Problems.
Discussing problems you are having with family members may cause others, including your boss, to wonder if these difficulties will distract you from doing your job? Even if you know these issues won’t affect your work, they don’t.
Discussing your problems will feed the rumour mill and make you become the subject of workplace gossip.
Religion is a topic that’s near and dear to a lot of people’s hearts. Because of that, it’s also very divisive and can quickly spiral into full blown arguments very easily.
I know that the temptation to convert co-workers to your ideology is strong, (most religions even explicitly encourage it) however, you need to resist the urge. Being an outspoken prophet is only going to make people miserable. Unless you and a co-worker share identical religious beliefs, keep the religious talk at home. Don’t ever hand out religious pamphlets either.
- Your Salary.
This is one of those subjects that shouldn’t be taboo anymore. In theory all that would happen is that you and your co-workers would get the knowledge you need to fix unfair pay inequalities.
In reality, people get really sensitive about this sort of stuff. A simple discussion about yearly salary can quickly spiral into an office war that snakes its way up the chain of command very quickly.
It’s up to you whether you want to risk your work reputation and start the salary transparency revolution; but I’d advise against it.
Politics is probably a more volatile topic than any other. It causes tempers to flare and has ended relationships, even between close friends and family. Given the amount of time you spend at work, and the need to get along and work side-by-side with your colleagues, having conversations about it is not worth it. While you may feel very strongly about your party or the candidate you support, or you may have an intensely unfavourable opinion of the opposition, do not try to win your coworkers over to your side. It will be a futile effort that will merely cause hard feelings between you and them.
- Work conflicts and work gossips
Anyone who says they don’t like a bit of gossip, is a boldfaced liar. Good gossip is the lifeblood of office politics but I have trained myself don’t to get involve.
But participating in this (really fun) pastime is a fantastic way to make a horde of enemies and start a ton of drama.
If you have any dreams of being popular and well liked at your company, keep your nose clean and leave the gossip to the Perez Hiltons of the world.
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