Take the Poll…should leaders share their personal lives with employees?

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I get a lot of questions about how much a leader should share their personal life with employees. There is quite a bit of controversy around the topic, so I wanted everyone to be able to share their own opinions before I give you mine.

Click the link below to give your input and hear what my thoughts are:

Take the Poll 

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3 thoughts on “Take the Poll…should leaders share their personal lives with employees?

  1. I wanted to do the poll, but find it hard to without further clarification. Such as, to what degree of “personal life”? Talking on something that’s a common meeting ground – car, house, dog, whatever is one thing, crying over the pain of divorce or whinging about money worries is something else again.

    I have more respect for people who are open and “one of the team” than remote and “above” everybody.

    I am one of those people who has always seen themselves as equal to any boss, meaning I have had some marvellous bosses and always dealt with them on an even footing. I see and respect that they take the lead and the responsibility (and pay) that goes with it, but I also see them on an equal footing when it comes to a place in the team. So, “above” but “next to” also.

    Most of my bosses liked me, too, by the way. 🙂

    • That is incredible perspective and I appreciate your feedback. I also agree that every situation can be different when it comes to who and what you share.

      Certain lines of work, if you work for someone that is in your family etc. Clarifying that this is more of that generic corporate job, I feel there can be two outcomes to being equal with your leader.

      I have established and maintained relationships with others that see me as there equal. When times are good, they are phenomenal. When its time for me to exercise my authority on unpopular impacts to that employee, they become upset and react in disrespectful ways because they don’t acknowledge boundaries.

      I truly appreciate your comments and encourage you to continue to give me feedback- your thoughts will helps stretch possibilities!

      • Wow! Thanks, Michael.

        Going by what you’ve said above, about people becoming upset when you exercise your authority on something unpopular, it sounds like those people are trying to shift the relationship out of the workplace and into pure friendship, which cannot work. The mistake, I feel, is on their part, not on yours.

        Trouble is, people are all so very different, and each reads a situation differently. It makes sense then to remain remote – except that then you get someone like me who says that path doesn’t work either, which leaves you kind of between a rock and a hard place.

        The sort of work I’ve been involved with has been very team oriented, usually a small group with each of us needing to be able to work independently as well. So, we all naturally pull together (the sense has been “we’re all we’ve got”). The boss gets orders handed down from up high, and we all “have to do” whatever it is, but everyone recognizes the source (which lets the centre boss off the hook).

        In that situation, it helps to know the boss is “human” and actually cares. Personally, that brings out the best in me because I feel respected and valued – and I respect and value in return.

        It shouldn’t make any difference, but for clarity I will point out I am no longer in the workplace environment, having taken the leap to retire and publish a work of science fiction and to follow my personal dream to be a writer. I have now two books published and am working on my third.

        That said, my experiences in the workplace are, I think, still valid.

        The fact that you are even considering the pros and cons to all this, in my eyes makes you most likely a good boss. If I was in a working environment with you as my boss, and I had a work related problem, I would feel very at ease discussing it with you and confident that we would come up with a solution. If you were too remote, that would be harder to do. A boss has to be approachable or you’ll end up with a situation where problems are hidden and no one is willing to discuss anything. You don’t want to find out that something has gone seriously amiss only as your company crashes into the wall or drops off a cliff.

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