Leading On Management: Six Things NOT TO Share With Your People

“Sweet, Lord! Please do not share ANYTHING else with me!” is what I thought as she droned on about everything that was going on in her life.tmi

As a new Ensign in the Navy, I worked for a Lieutenant named, Sheila. She was nice but didn’t know what to keep to herself. It was then that I learned that there is a LOT of truth to the saying, “familiarity breeds contempt.” In that, the more she talked (and I knew about the intimate details of her life), the less I respected her.

There’s a fine line we walk, as leaders, in sharing enough to be personable and be seen as human and too much that we lose the respect of our people. That line is different for every leader and every relationship; however, I think there are some things that we should never share.

1. Gossip

. Don’t engage in he said, she said, what you make, what others make, who is sleeping with you, or how sexy you think the person down in accounting is. We all love a little gossip (I know I do) and it is fun to blather on about how Billy jilted Suzy and how Suzy got back at him by boiling his pet rabbit on the stove BUT idle gossip degrades the trust between all involved.

2. Details of your sex life.

It is GREAT that your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend and/or “buddy” brings new meaning to the Rick James song, “Super Freak.” Some might be jealous to hear about it and some might be repulsed but all will get a visual of you that they don’t need (or want). Do EVERYONE a favor and keep it to yourself.

3. Personal problems.

Yes, it is sad that your kids are in/out of jail and that your parents moved without giving a forwarding address. However, your people aren’t your therapists and they’ll start wondering why (with so many problems) you are in charge of them. Tell your bartender about it (unless you manage a bar).

4. Discipline of others.

Yes, you really showed Johnny who was “boss” when you docked him pay, gave him a letter of reprimand, and took away his birthday but Johnny still works there and doesn’t need anyone else to know.

5. Politics or Religion.

If you are a Senator or a Priest, disregard this and share either with those around you (politicians can use some religion and clergy can use some politics). In today’s increasingly diverse world, no one should feel pressured to believe what you believe or vote how you vote. Put the bumper sticker on your car to show your support for your candidate and shut up.

6. Bodily fluids.

I don’t think this needs any explanation.

 

Like I stated, every workplace and work relationship is different. I am an advocate for connecting with the people that work for you and knowing them as people. I am also an advocate for leaders being seen as human. That requires some disclosure and risk on a leaders part. But, there are some things that you should just keep to yourself so that you can keep the respect of your people.

 

This article has been republished with permission from Chip Lutz

Chip Lutz

Chip Lutz

President and Founder at Unconventional Leader, LLC
Lieutenant Commander Chip Lutz, USN(Ret) works with leaders who want to lead better, get more done and leave a legacy. A retired Navy Officer, he has had two command tours and served as the Director of Security for Naval District Washington, DC during September 11th 2001 – where he was responsible for the safety and security of 25,000 people on 9 different Naval Installations in the National Capital Region during one of our Nation’s most trying times. A seasoned educator and trainer, he is currently adjunct faculty for two different universities and has taught over 20 different classes in leadership, management, human resource development, and organizational behavior. He is the author of 3 books, been published in Security Management Magazine, and has had numerous articles on teamwork and leadership published in Zig Ziglar’s Weekly Newsletter.
Chip Lutz
Chip Lutz

Comments

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5 Comments

  • June 22, 2014

    chiplutz

    DonCooper Thx!

  • June 22, 2014

    chiplutz

    leadyourteam Thx!

  • June 22, 2014

    chiplutz

    tonyrichards4 Thx!

  • June 23, 2014

    DonCooper

    gingerconsult chiplutz You’re welcome, Jen!

  • June 23, 2014

    DonCooper

    chiplutz You’re welcome, Chip! See you soon!