With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, cupid ‘s arrows may be landing in an office near you. According to a recent survey by Careerbuilder.com, 40% of respondents revealed that they have dated a coworker, with 18% indicating two or more such relationships. Of those who have dated a fellow employee, 34% have resulted in marriage. Here are some tips on handling an office romance;
1. Keep your romance private until you have been dating for a while and you’re really sure that you want it to go public. It’s easier for everyone this way.
2. No public displays of affection which can make coworkers feel uncomfortable. Refrain from holding hands, flirting, kissing, sex in the office and any other displays of affection.
3. Avoid broadcasting your personal relationship on social networks for all to see. You never know who might read your Twitter!
4. Send flowers or gifts to the home not office. People that you work with don’t have to see your Valentine’s day gift or card.
5. Keep business and personal life separate. Don’t flaunt your personal life or share personal information about each other at work. Don’t bring fights or conflicts into the office. Be careful about what you share with colleagues, as few people can keep a secret.
6. Refrain from sending romantically or sexually explicit emails or valentine cards to each other. Your email isn’t private and you don’t know who may read it.
7. The bottom line is to behave professionally at all times. This also applies if your relationship doesn’t stand the test of time. It’s always risky dating someone with whom you work. If the relationship does fall apart be mature and gracious. Never kiss and tell.
It’s not surprising that romance in the office is fairly common these days, considering we spend a third or more of our lives in a work environment.
At one time or another we have all had to fend off a nosey person asking prying and personal questions. So often these questions take us by surprise and it’s difficult to think of how to reply. Sometimes we answer the question only to be angry at being pressured into divulging our personal information. Here’s some tips on dealing with those questions.
Ward off the question before it’s asked
I have found that curiosity gets the best of people and they will say, “I know I shouldn’t ask this question” or “Do you mind if I ask you a question.” A red flag should go up as soon as you hear this because you know it’s going to be prying. Before they have a chance to ask it reply, “If you know you shouldn’t ask it then you probably shouldn’t.”
Give vague answers
Don’t give them the information they want. Use a short phrase to reply such as “I can’t/don’t remember” or “nothing” or “I really can’t answer that.” For example, when someone answers how much you weight, simply answer “enough.”
Laugh at what they ask and make light of the question. “If I told you I’d have to kill you.” Or, “You ask the silliest questions, I can’t answer that.”
Blame it on mother
“My mother told me never to talk about...”
Change the subject
Pause, then change the subject paying absolutely no attention to what they asked.
If necessary be direct
There are some people that have to be dealt with in a more direct way. You may say, “I don’t talk about...” or “That’s a personal question that I care not to answer.”
Ask them why they need to know
Find out why they need to know your personal business. Ask, “Why in the world would you ever ask me that?”
Politely get the point across
My favourite way of telling people that they are prying is, “If you forgive me for not answering, I’ll forgive you for asking.”
You should never feel obligated or pressured to answer a personal or prying question. Learn to handle prying questions in a gracious and polite way.
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