Author Topic: Take part without over-sharing  (Read 5013 times)

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Snooks

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Take part without over-sharing
« on: February 21, 2013, 01:09:31 PM »
I've just started a new job and one of the things done in our team meetings is everyone shares/expresses something.  I find it really difficult to find things to say when it's my turn because
a) I don't do a lot outside of work
b) I want to keep it positive but I am not in general a positive person
c) I'm worried that I might over-share

Does anyone have any experience of this?  What sort of things are acceptable to "share" at work?  I just feel like I'm not getting it.  Unfortunately I normally have to go first because I'm the most junior member of the team.

Judah

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 01:13:40 PM »
What kinds of things have others shared? I would use that as a guide.  You must do something outside of work: read books, watch TV, some sort of hobby?

ETA, I hate this sort of forced openness and I don't think it belongs in the workplace, so I feel your pain. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 01:15:14 PM by Judah »
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Deetee

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 01:24:19 PM »
I'm not sure, but I would keep it very, very generic and impersonal.

Hobbies:
"I went to the gardening center and got some new plants for my spring planters. I am looking foward to watching them bloom over the next few months"

"I'm looking foward to the Oscars/I watched the Oscars" (Insert Superbowl/Olympics/random sports or entertainment event)

"I finished knitting/croqueting/making the scarf/hat/footstool/sailboat I am working on"

Family:
"I made the best cake for my mom's birthday party"

"My sister had a baby and he/she is so cute"

Weather:
"It was a beautiful day on Saturday and I went for a bike ride/walk/worked in the garden" (You can describe the bike trail or plants if required)

"I couldn't believe how much it rained on the weekend. I got some great reading done and discovered a fabulous new series."

Something vague and positive. I would leave off names or details and keep it to the type of thing that no-one can really object to and it makes people think they sorta know you. I would avoid politics, religion and even the names of books and movies.



Judah

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 01:42:22 PM »
I'm not sure, but I would keep it very, very generic and impersonal.

Hobbies:
"I went to the gardening center and got some new plants for my spring planters. I am looking foward to watching them bloom over the next few months"

"I'm looking foward to the Oscars/I watched the Oscars" (Insert Superbowl/Olympics/random sports or entertainment event)

"I finished knitting/croqueting/making the scarf/hat/footstool/sailboat I am working on"

Family:
"I made the best cake for my mom's birthday party"

"My sister had a baby and he/she is so cute"

Weather:
"It was a beautiful day on Saturday and I went for a bike ride/walk/worked in the garden" (You can describe the bike trail or plants if required)

"I couldn't believe how much it rained on the weekend. I got some great reading done and discovered a fabulous new series."

Something vague and positive. I would leave off names or details and keep it to the type of thing that no-one can really object to and it makes people think they sorta know you. I would avoid politics, religion and even the names of books and movies.

I like these, but I would make them more generic and less about me in particular.

Instead of, "I went to the gardening center and got some new plants for my spring planters. I am looking foward to watching them bloom over the next few months"

I'd say, "I saw a new variety of Buddleia at the garden center the other day. It was almost black and quit striking. Buddleias attract bees and butterflies which can be beneficial to the garden and neighborhood."

It gives your co-workers some insight about your interests without giving any personal information about you.



Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

Dalek

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 01:46:32 PM »
Leave out politics, religion,  and medical issues and you should be in the clear. Good luck!
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Auntie Mame

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 01:49:22 PM »
Perhaps safe generic things you did over the weekend. 

"I ate this great restaurant this weekend, I recommend blah blah dish". 

"I saw the new Batman movie, it was awesome". 

"I went for a walk in the park and saw the first Spring flowers".

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Deetee

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 01:51:14 PM »
Leave out politics, religion,  and medical issues and you should be in the clear. Good luck!

Right medical isssues. I knew I was missing something in my do not talk about list.


DaDancingPsych

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 02:51:34 PM »
"I was on my favorite internet site and learned about work appropriate topics."

E-Hell is a hobby, right?

hobish

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 02:55:36 PM »

Lie  >:D Have fun with it.
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LazyDaisy

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2013, 03:08:17 PM »
I've just started a new job and one of the things done in our team meetings is everyone shares/expresses something.  I find it really difficult to find things to say when it's my turn because
a) I don't do a lot outside of work
b) I want to keep it positive but I am not in general a positive person
c) I'm worried that I might over-share

Does anyone have any experience of this?  What sort of things are acceptable to "share" at work?  I just feel like I'm not getting it.  Unfortunately I normally have to go first because I'm the most junior member of the team.
I can't tell from your post but does it have to be something personal? Can't you share or express something about work? You have learned XYZ from your new employee training, you really thought Bob in accounting had a great solution to problem X, or you really appreciate the way Mary responds quickly to emails or returns phone calls. Certainly there must be something small and positive to say about your work or coworkers.
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Cami

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2013, 03:17:00 PM »
Ah, yes. Forced personal intimacy in the workplace. Lovely. BTDT, got the "you're not a team player" tee-shirt.




Bethalize

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 04:18:12 PM »
Be interesting and no one will mind that you aren't personal. If I was in your position I'd be sharing variously "word of the day" from dictionary.com, inspirational quotations about doing better, funny quotations about other people, and reviews of restaurants and films and books. Tech tips always went down well in one job I had. I'd say: "This week I learned that if you hold down shift before right clicking on an icon on your desktop then "open with" comes up and you can choose a programme to open the file. You can also set that programme as default." Innocuous and useful.

Snooks

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 04:36:40 PM »
Thanks everyone for your input, I'll try and use some of your suggestions.  Part of the problem at the moment is I'm so focussed on my new job other things are falling by the way side.  It seems to err towards the expressing part of sharing rather than "I found this cool thing".  The things that have been on my mind the past week have not been things I want to share with new colleagues - "Hey it's been twenty years since my best friend died", "For some reason my old college roommate has stopped returning my emails", "When can I put my pyjamas on?".  I'm finding it quite difficult to gauge the humour level of the team too so things I would have told my old workmates "What do I feel like sharing? I need more coffee" would probably fall flat.

I can't tell from your post but does it have to be something personal? Can't you share or express something about work? You have learned XYZ from your new employee training, you really thought Bob in accounting had a great solution to problem X, or you really appreciate the way Mary responds quickly to emails or returns phone calls. Certainly there must be something small and positive to say about your work or coworkers.

Unfortunately yes, I was gently reminded today that it doesn't have to be about work.  As I've used work things for most of this week I took this as a nudge to mix it up.

Ah, yes. Forced personal intimacy in the workplace. Lovely. BTDT, got the "you're not a team player" tee-shirt.

I forgot to wear my "does not play well with others" t-shirt on my first day.

EllenS

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2013, 05:13:54 PM »
Here is something that always helps me have an interesting topic to talk about: listen to NPR's "Morning Edition" or one of their interview shows, like Diane Rehm, "Fresh Air" or "Talk of the Nation" .  You will nearly always hear something about a new novel, a new scientific study, artists and musicians talking about their career or their process (ones you wouldn't see in People magazine), an in-depth profile on some other culture, etc.  Then you can talk about WHY it was interesting to you, so it's personal because it shows the way you think and what you are interested in, but not "intimate".

You can also scroll their website and listen to separate segments, if you don't have time to listen to the whole show when it is on.
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LazyDaisy

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Re: Take part without over-sharing
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2013, 05:16:25 PM »
Thanks everyone for your input, I'll try and use some of your suggestions.  Part of the problem at the moment is I'm so focussed on my new job other things are falling by the way side.  It seems to err towards the expressing part of sharing rather than "I found this cool thing".  The things that have been on my mind the past week have not been things I want to share with new colleagues - "Hey it's been twenty years since my best friend died", "For some reason my old college roommate has stopped returning my emails", "When can I put my pyjamas on?".  I'm finding it quite difficult to gauge the humour level of the team too so things I would have told my old workmates "What do I feel like sharing? I need more coffee" would probably fall flat.

I can't tell from your post but does it have to be something personal? Can't you share or express something about work? You have learned XYZ from your new employee training, you really thought Bob in accounting had a great solution to problem X, or you really appreciate the way Mary responds quickly to emails or returns phone calls. Certainly there must be something small and positive to say about your work or coworkers.

Unfortunately yes, I was gently reminded today that it doesn't have to be about work.  As I've used work things for most of this week I took this as a nudge to mix it up.

Ah, yes. Forced personal intimacy in the workplace. Lovely. BTDT, got the "you're not a team player" tee-shirt.

I forgot to wear my "does not play well with others" t-shirt on my first day.
The bolded statement seems like it's general enough to share. There is usually little need to elaborate.

Maybe start expressing things on your wish/to do list that aren't too personal -- "I hope to one day...stand at the top of the Eiffel Tower, perfect my chili recipe, learn to play oboe, visit New Zealand, keep a house plant alive, see the Northern Lights in person, visit a museum" Even if you never do those things (or desire to), no one is going to follow up with you on it. A good place for ideas I've found is to search for "bucket lists" http://www.bucketlist.net/

Or you can always spin the truth without over sharing: this week I've found myself thinking about old friends; I miss old fashioned letters -- technology sometimes gets in the way of communication.
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