It’s very difficult to build a strong network within the working world if you don’t open up about yourself.
Sometimes, the things that you feel are good relationship builders can quickly turn in to the opposite thus defeating the purpose of sharing them in the first place.
If you reveal the wrong things about yourself, it can have a negative impact on your career. You need to know what these things are and how to avoid making the same mistakes. Once something is shared, it can’t be taken back.
Studies from TalentSmart have shown that over 90% of top performers/earners have high Emotional Intelligence (EQ). EQ controls how we navigate social situations, make personal decisions, achieve results, and is effectively how we manage our behaviours.
Those with high EQ are skilled at reading other people and it is this ability which tells them what they should/shouldn’t reveal about themselves.
What are the areas to avoid discussing?
1) Your own political beliefs
While often a hot topic, discussing political beliefs can create negative atmospheres. This is because, for many, their political beliefs are intrinsically linked to their inner psyche and therefore to oppose those thoughts can come across as a direct attack on who that person is or believes that they are.
What does that mean?
Well, if you disagree with the view of someone else then it can change their perception of you. It’s perfectly acceptable to not share the same beliefs as those around you, however, if you confront the belief system of another, it can come across as a direct insult on that persons character.
Not everyone is going to react this way, but it’s not worth taking the risk to find out. It’s better to place your interests in listening to others, understanding their values, and adding dialogue that is non-confrontational.
2) Your thoughts on others’ incompetence
Wherever you work, whatever you do, there will always be people who aren’t quite as good as others in the workplace.
How do you define what that is though; productivity, meeting quota, attendance, something else?
The likelihood is that the perception of who is good/bad is felt by everyone, however, if you’re not in a position to offer help/guidance or to hire/fire them, then there is no positive benefit to you in outwardly stating the inabilities or inefficiencies of those who you believe are incompetent.
It’s a well known fact that those with low self-esteem are the ones who make themselves feel better by putting others down, this is a pretty comprehensive overview on the Types of People Who Hold You Back. Is that who you are and want to be? Didn’t think so, maybe take some time to read the following article on How to Build Self-Esteem.
Whatever it may be, get your mindset away from the schoolyard way of thinking and focus on your own improvements, we all have areas where we, ourselves, are incompetent.
3) Your income
This isn’t The Wolf of Wall Street, alright, so unless you work in a sales org, or on commission only (where everyone would have a good idea of your income anyway), then sharing how much money you make isn’t necessary.
You can brag/complain to your parents and friends who may pity/envy/love to hear all about how much money you make, but in the workplace, this only breeds negativity.
Some recommend that there should be a culture where everyone knows what everyone else makes so that there is balance in incomes. Luckily enough there is a website called Glassdoor where you can get this kind of information without revealing your own income to others, or asking them about theirs.
4) Discontent in your job
In the words of the infamous Mark “Chopper” Read:
If you don’t like your situation, change it, end of.
Of course, you might need some security before just throwing in the towel, but the point is that it is down to you, and you alone, to create a plan and then act on it.
Most people have their own issues, work being one of them, so the last thing they want to hear about is how much you hate your job. It makes you come across negative, breeds negativity in the workplace, and as a result it creates a toxic working atmosphere.
Negativity is not something people want to be around when they spend 50% of their waking life in a place. Don’t be that person. If this sounds like you then we previously wrote about 12 Tips to Overcome Negative Thoughts if you want to work on your mindset.
If you want to change your station, you need to start thinking about the life you want.
5) Your sex life
Bravado is the norm in male dominated environments, but sharing bedroom antics really doesn’t have a place in work, unless you’re in the adult entertainment industry of course.
This kind of information sharing can make others uncomfortable and may even exclude some due to their orientations/preferences. Work should be a place for collaboration and working toward a common goal. Keep it professional.
While on the same topic, it’s best to avoid sharing what you think other people you work with do in the bedroom. The label ‘creep‘ is the last thing you want to have associated with you if you’re looking to grow your career.
Remember, Confidence is Quiet.
6) How crazy you used to be
“Past behaviour determines future behaviour/success”
This is what employers look for in determining whether you’ll be good in your current and future roles.
Your past can say a lot about you. We’ve all done some pretty crazy things in our lives, or at least we think we have, but to share those things out of context can have a lasting impact on future prospects.
Most of the time, sharing things from your past such as petty crime, crazy nights out, harming others, shows the people that you work with that you have poor judgment. Poor judgment is not an attribute of a leader.
Unless you have a team of PR people and some handlers behind you spinning your image, you should keep the negatives from your past in the past.
7) You’re looking for another job
If you tell people that you’re looking to leave the business, what happens if you find yourself in a position that you need to stay?
This is different from looking to progress your career internally. Looking to leave the business means that you no longer align to the values of the organisation and that you don’t see personal growth potential there.
Once you have shared that you’re looking to exit, you’re no longer worth anyone’s time which makes it very difficult if you need to pull in favours to get your job done.
You don’t want to be left riding the bench. Only share your decisions when they are certain.
What do you think about these?
If you have experience in any of the above causing issues for yourself or others at work, how would you help others to avoid the same mistakes?
Please share and/or comment below.