By the title of this article, you may think I am going to write about the reopening process of businesses and churches after COVID-19. That’s a good thought, especially in this day and age. However, this is not the topic I want to share today.
I want to share about opening up in the workplace. This is in terms of emotionally opening up.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. With my father’s death, I realize we need to open up and share the struggles we are going through. We also need to be available and open to hearing from those we lead.
Opening Up In The Workplace
Before we get into the meat of this article, I need to preface it with a word of caution. We can be too open in the workplace. We can overshare and that leads us into dangerous leadership territory.
Be careful of what you share. Make sure it is not over the top and inappropriate. Things I would encourage you not to open up about in the workplace fully:
- Marital issues
- Specific financial issues
- Inappropriate medical issues
With that said, we do need to be open where we work. We need to be able to share our thoughts and our feelings freely with our coworkers. We work with them for 8+ hours a day in many ways.
Why Should We Open Up In Our Workplace
To me, this is the question most leaders will ask. They will wonder why they need to open up and share with their team members.
There’s one excellent reason:
Your team needs to know you struggle too.
By opening up, by sharing your struggles, your challenges, your mental barriers, you give your team permission to do the same. Sharing these things, you are now bringing your whole self to work.
You’re not hiding. You’re not pretending.
This opens up a whole new world. One where people are honest, caring, and interested in what’s happening in one another’s lives. It also allows team members to speak into the lives of those they work with.
Dealing with the loss of my father hasn’t been easy. I’m still cranky and irritable at times. I can be short. I can go into long rants no one wants to hear about.
Yet, when I am honest, I can look and see that I miss my dad. He’s the one I could talk to about things and explore ways of dealing with life.
I don’t have that now. It’s different. I know I have to continue, but I can open up to others about this if I’m able.
My opening up allows them to understand what I’m going through. It shows them I’m not hiding or trying to be something I’m not.
This also allows them to open up about their losses. Their hurts.
I can see where they’re coming from. They can see where I’m coming from.
The lines of communication at the office have now been open even more.
Let’s stop pretending everything is okay. Let’s begin to help one another recover from our hurts and traumas.
You will find a better workplace because of this.