important to be yourself at work and show your personality, it’s also paramount that you maintain a
professional demeanour at all times. The image you portray to your colleagues
is an important one. Ultimately, a working relationship needs to be built out
of respect, good communication, and trust –
getting along with your co-workers is an added bonus. It can even mean the
difference between getting a promotion at work or being fired.
There are just some topics that you shouldn‘t talk about, otherwise, you risk
getting yourself into murky waters. We‘ve
compiled our top six topics not to discuss when you‘re at work:
Planning Your Next Move
unhappy in your job and can’t wait
to get out of your current role, or perhaps you fancy a change and you’re keeping your options open for an
exciting opportunity – keep
this to yourself. Whilst you may feel like you can trust your colleague with
sensitive information, you can never be 100% sure that they won’t use this to their advantage. You may
never know what someone’s
hidden agenda is until it’s too late.
“How can we expect another to
keep our secret if we cannot keep it ourselves.”
― François de La Rochefoucauld
With so many changes to our economy and the global political
climate in the last year, it’s
natural that news topics will crop up in conversation. Brexit, the US
presidential election, the conflict in Syria – it’s all relevant to us as a society and
will in some way affect us, whether it’s
emotionally or directly, as individuals. However, you must be careful not to
express any sort of political or religious views to people you work with. You
never know who you might be offending in the process.
“Common etiquette says not to talk about politics, sex,
religion, or money. But these are the most interesting things to discuss!”
Nothing good can ever come from salacious rumours or
conspiracy theories on the latest office scandal. It can destroy people’s reputations, working relationships,
and even the dynamics of an office – all
for something that may or may not be true. Try to rise above the office rumour
mill and don’t entertain such fruitless
matters. A great way to do this, whilst being polite, is to simply change the
topic of conversation or excuse yourself from the group. In the long run, you’ll find that people will trust and
respect you more for not getting involved.
“Strong minds discuss ideas,
average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Moaning about Your Job
Whether you disagree with your boss, dislike some new
company changes, or just fancy a little whine about how bad the coffee is – try to keep it to yourself. Whilst
misery loves company – nobody
likes a negative Nancy. It’s not healthy to constantly focus on
the negatives when you could have a much more optimistic approach when you’re at work (and outside of work).
Eventually, your colleagues will get sick of hearing you moan and distance
themselves from you. Try to see the positives in every situation and learn to
look for solutions instead of complaining about the problem at hand.
“Negativity is the enemy of
― David Lynch
Talking Behind a Colleague’s Back
understandable to want to vent about certain situations and the way people have
made you feel at work, you must resist the urge to badmouth someone to another
colleague. Not only is it very unprofessional, but it’s also not very nice, and can reflect badly on you as a person.
If you hold contempt for a colleague and have no qualms about expressing it,
just be prepared to face the consequences when your comments come back to bite
you in the backside.
“Be less curious about people
and more curious about ideas.”
― Marie Curie
Too Much Information
No one wants to hear the gory details of the operation you’ve just had, nor do they want to hear
a detailed rant about how your relationship with your partner is on the verge
of a breakdown. Never share personal information that could conjure up an
unprofessional image of yourself. Equally, your colleague is not your
therapist, they have work to be getting on with, and probably have their own
problems to worry about. Keep your private life separate from work.
“Be sure to taste your words before
you spit them out.”
― Auliq Ice
It can be difficult, at times, to get the right balance
between being personable and professional, but avoiding such sensitive subjects
could help you to achieve a happy medium between the two.
What are your thoughts on discussing controversial topics at
work? Let us know on Twitter@viking_chat.