Friday, August 10, 2012

The Real Me

Game face.
Professional boundaries.
Opening up.
My "A" game.
Giving of myself.
Blah, blah, blah.

Sharing is Caring
I'm not type of person who keeps too many things inside. When I'm passionate about something it just spills out. It may be my work, it may be my family, or it may be my hobbies. But sooner or later, if it gets me fired up, those around me are going to hear about it. Since we all spend so many hours at our jobs, the people around me in the workplace definitely hear about it all...and then some.

But should they?

Professional Is Best...Right?
I've long espoused that we must maintain a level of professionalism in the workplace, particularly for those of us fortunate enough to be in leadership roles. Here's my dilemma: being professional all the time in no way comes close to the real me. Is that bad? I'm not sure. I do know it's real, so maybe I'm on to something.

Too Much Personal Is Bad...Right?
I've also thought for a long time that being a bit more fun and personal with those around me is the best strategy in just about every situation. Showing some personality, kidding around to alleviate the stress of the moment, and generally being a more upbeat member of the team just feels more natural to me. 

But should I be this way at work?

Finding The Balance
Jason Seiden has written some great material on the concept of profersonal relationships. I encourage you to check out his perspective on this issue. Putting all of these issues into practice however, changes the nature of our relationships with those around us. One way of finding our way on this journey could be, as Charlie Judy recently suggested, to develop our own Personal Board of Directors. It's an intriguing concept, and I'd love to hear if any of you have implemented this approach. I haven't taken that plunge...yet.

How About You
Do you think it's okay to share who you really are? Or, is it just simply safer to have a permanent game-face on that never comes off? I like to embrace my passions fully, which usually means my team at work hears a lot about social media, HR, and hockey. Can I go a bit farther and share my musical passions as well? Hmmm, maybe I should wait until I'm fully vested first?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

photo credit 


  1. Great post. I face this dilemma everyday at work and can relate, Jay.

    In a place where we spend one quarter of our week at our job, shouldn't we be allowed to find a place where we can be ourselves? Or for 40 hours do we pretend... or at least "reign ourselves in?"

    I'm sure there's various schools of thought and no one right answer. But, imo, YOLO. Life's too short for me to have to pretend. As long as it isn't detrimental to my job or family I say be who you are. And in those cases where it is? That's when it's time to spruce up the ol' resume.

    Here's some similar posts I have about it:

    1. Thanks Christine. I totally agree...we need to be who we are! Thanks for the links too.

  2. I am not in HR, but work as a consultant. No matter who I'm working with if the conversation turns to something I can relate to or have a story about (personal or professional) I tell it. I think people appreciate the honesty of who you are. We all have a story, don't be afraid to tell yours!

    1. Great point Jami. Being honest is always the best option; and quite honestly, is received the best from our colleagues.

  3. I'm all about keeping it real. However, there are still people out there that like to play the corporate politics game and you need to know how to use that to your advantage or you will get eaten alive. Its great when someone can be themselves and be genuine.

    1. I agree Angie. It's a shame that some choose to play those games; but you're right, we need to be prepared to handle those behaviors too.