Take Your Personal Life to Work – Selectively, Of Course
For many people there’s an unwritten rule that you should leave your personal life at home. There’s some truth to that. Life can be hard. Everyone has drama periodically. No one wants to be the team, department, or office drama king or queen.
However when Google tried to figure out what created the most productive teams, after about three years of research, psychological safety, was the largest contributor. Psychological safety is created when team members can be open and honest with each other. That type of trust usually begins when we share personal details of our life – things that make us happy and our challenges.
I’m not suggesting you use your co-workers to replace your best friend or a therapist. Work is not the place to air all of your dirty laundry or try to figure out how to resolve a challenge. However, if you are experiencing a life changing event or hardship, it only does a disservice to you if you don’t alert your team to what’s going on. As much as we try to compartmentalize our lives the compartments are intertwined.
For example, if you aren’t getting enough sleep because you’re ill, taking care of a family member, or grieving, it will impact your job. You may miss details, you may look like you need a nap, or you may forget to do a task all together. If your co-workers understand what’s going on they will most likely be willing to offer emotional or even tactical—meaning reminding you if you forget something—support.
All companies, departments and leaders aren’t created equal. All leaders don’t aspire to create a psychologically safe workplace. If you have a leader that wants you to keep your personal life, personal, hopefully you already have a work best friend. If you don’t keep practicing some of the network tips suggested in Week 2, Week 7 and Week 20, so you can find a work buddy that you can selectively share with – it’ll help both of you create a happier and more productive team.
I’ve recorded this week’s tip for you. You can download it if you’d like to take it with you!