7 Things You Shouldn’t Reveal About Yourself At Work
IQ isn’t the only thing of paramount importance when it comes to furthering your career. While your intelligence and capabilities are important, we know now that EQ – emotional intelligence – can have a big impact on your success at work. EQ is that ‘something’ in someone that makes them very good at reading situations and people. And a lot of the time, knowing what not to say can be the smartest way to navigate the complexities of work relationships.
In a LinkedIn article, Dr Travis Bradbury – award-winning coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and founder of TalentSmart – says, emotional intelligence “affects how we manage behaviour, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results.” He has seen that emotionally intelligent people know that there are certain no-go areas when it comes to what you talk about, and their ability to read people “shows them what they should and shouldn’t reveal about themselves at work.”
So taking our cues from the emotionally intelligent, what are these things we should avoid broadcasting about ourselves?
1 / 7
Your political views
One of the easiest ways to make any situation uncomfortable, be it professional or otherwise, is to start discussing politics. “Political opinions are so deeply ingrained in people, that challenging their views is more likely to get you judged than to change their mind,” says Bradbury.
While this point might need little explanation there are so many cases of this rule being broken in workplaces. Even discussing the current political climate can be a tricky one as political beliefs are so closely tied into identity. The trick is to listen to others without inputting anything on your end.
2 / 7
If you think someone’s incompetent
Speaking poorly of others – even if you think they deserve it – is a bad move. “If you don’t have the power to help them improve or to fire them, then you have nothing to gain by broadcasting their ineptitude,” says Bradbury. Instead, your callous comments will likely come back to bite you in other people feeling negatively towards you.
3 / 7
How much money you make
You might be fine telling a sibling or your parents about how chuffed/frustrated you are with your monthly earnings, but talking about this at work creates tension. Bradbury notes, “It’s impossible to allocate salaries with perfect fairness, and revealing yours gives your coworkers a direct measure of comparison. As soon as everyone knows how much you make, everything you do at work is considered against your income.”
Even if you and a coworker buddy decide to tell each other in confidence, once that figure comes out of your mouths, you won’t look at each other the same way again.
4 / 7
If you’re unhappy re: the job itself
Everyone has bad days at work but vocalising it may get back to your boss, and even if it doesn’t, it will create a label for you as a negative person who isn’t a team player. Even if others are struggling, a bad vibe within your workplace makes things harder for everyone.
5 / 7
What you get up to in the bedroom
Never talk about what you’re doing in the bedroom or what you think anyone else might be doing in the bedroom. Don’t talk about it, don’t email about it, don’t Slack about it. It’s one of those lines you just shouldn’t cross at work.
6 / 7
How much of a sick party animal you are/used to be
Speaking with your coworkers about how many Jagerbombs you did on the weekend or the wild and crazy stuff you used to do when you were younger can, unconsciously, make people question your judgement. “Just because you did something outlandish or stupid years ago doesn’t mean that people will believe you’ve developed impeccable judgment since then,” warns Bradbury.
7 / 7
If you’re on the job hunt
This should go without saying. If you’re in a position where you’re looking for employment elsewhere, the last thing you should be doing is discussing that with anyone at work. “Once you reveal that you’re planning to leave, you suddenly become a waste of everyone’s time. There’s also the chance that your hunt will be unsuccessful, so it’s best to wait until you’ve found a job before you tell anyone,” advises Bradbury. Plus, you want to handle the idea of leaving well, because, well, references.