The changing face of Corporate India has made the office a relaxed place with casual interpersonal relations among colleagues. However, no matter how informal the set up may be, it is important to draw a line when you choose your topics of discussion with colleagues (even if they are your close friends) if you wish to maintain your credibility and reliability. Very often people indulge in unnecessary topics for reasons best known to them. The sad part is that they fail to understand the underlying meanings that could be derived from their words. Spending most of your day at work often leads to bonding and friendship with colleagues but you have to be cautious when you talk as it’s quite possible that someone is overhearing and drawing their own interpretations of what you are saying. For example discussing issues like health problems are likely to raise a question on your ability to cope with the work pressure and stress that entail you responsibilities as a professional. Now let us take a closer look. Listed are best kept off the office conversations:
Avoid discussing your health problems at work. People are heard often discussing their health problems with the minute details. This can backfire especially when the management is considering you for a role change or promotion, as seniors may start doubting your efficiency level. In fact, unless you are really unwell, it is suggested avoid using ill health as an excuse to take a day off from work. While you may get that particular day off, your boss may pick up the underlying meaning ‘a sick man hindrance to work’. Result: a hindrance in your growth as a professional.
As they say, “To each his own”. Religion is a subjective issue and following or not following a particular religion is an individual’s personal choice. So ensure that you do not hurt your colleagues religious sentiments by being vocal about your expert opinions. No matter how rational your opinion or arguments may be, avoid forcing of directly or indirectly on others. You are free to follow your principles, but think twice before picking on others beliefs.
Stay away from talking about your past or present relationships. No one apart from the gossip mongers are interested in knowing about the new girl/boy in your life or what you are going through in your personal life. Remember personal life is best kept personal. Even if you have a colleague who may perhaps be your best friend, it is best to discuss such topics outside the office premises over a cup of coffee or dinner. Within the confines of the office remember that s/he is first a colleague and then a friend. So presenting yourself as a thorough professional can help you scale the success ladder more effectively.
Learn to draw a line between your personal and professional life. Nagging in-laws/parents, stupid siblings, naughty cranky or fussy children, non-cooperative spouse and irresponsible maids are best kept within the confines of your home. Family problems are a strict no at work. Detailed discussions such issues can be interpreted as being a distraction and raise a question on your ability to concentrate on your work and therefore make your colleagues wonder about your productivity. That’s not it. Cribbing about domestic problems may also be perceived as your weakness or inability to handle difficult situations which can in turn be linked to your work. Your boss may therefore want to think again before assigning you with important tasks.
Failure and setbacks are a part of life. Often people discuss their failures to present themselves as a honest personnel who is aware of his/her position in a particular set-up without realizing the counter effects of the same. There is no denying the fact that one needs to understand and learn from mistakes and failures, but hanging on to one incident may give your colleagues an impression that you are someone who cannot move on. So think twice before you start discussing your setbacks at work.