Know Your Boundaries

Lost in thought I didn’t realize until it was too late that someone “passing by” the office to “check on” me had decided they needed to stand behind me and read what was on my Screen as I worked away.

Don’t get me wrong; this is ordinarily okay as I usually invite people over to discuss and agree some ideas and the best way is for everyone to collectively see and share their views.

This was different, my privacy was being infringed upon! In the same manner, I asked them to step aside as I was busy and then I started to wonder….and boom! It clicked so fast my head was spinning, “Familiarity breeds contempt.”

It has been said too, that the people you are most loyal to are the ones will always most definitely mistreat you, take an example of Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot. What truth indeed! Quickly looking at the smallest organisation that we know, the family, this is one of the most common playgrounds for this to happen.

Take an example of the house help – this is one group of people I have come to the conclusion that one need not be personal but again, how is that possible? This is the person that you entrust with your home when away. So how can you not open up to them even to the tiniest bit possible?

I had an interesting experience over the weekend that left me reeling in laughter – the help was cleaning one part of the house while I was dealing with the other part of the house. After the exhausting exercise, I took a bath and lay down to sleep. I was awakened to someone standing over my head saying, “Mukwano, toolye?” So I am thinking, “how did she get here?” This lady’s approach to getting me to have a late lunch baffled me though it was effective. When do you draw the line between familiarity & approachable?

Fast forward to the formal environment, how do you deal with relations in the workplace? You have to be one of very sound mind as it is often really difficult to make the distinction between a professional and a personal opinion on the same.

A story is told of an executive who promoted their relative to a managerial position without the adequate training to prepare them for this new role. When the career progression review came along, the newly promoted manager appeared to have no further aspirations. When asked why; she said she was interested in the executive’s job..pretty ambitious, I thought.

We definitely need to introduce a “finishing’ module into our syllabus or else our next generation will grow without appreciation of common decorum.

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