But surely there is a way, other than the new co-worker revealing more of her private life than she is comfortable with, to find out which clients are a good match for her? The OP could work out a list of a few questions, relating strictly to matching clients with staff, and ask the new co-worker just those questions. I guess I'm not seeing why you would need to know a co-worker's private life to do a business related function.
And bansidhe, you bring up another good point, when you mention that your entire office shares the same political view. What if this new co-worker realized, during her first few days on the job, that she *doesn't* share a common viewpoint that the rest of the staff share, be that politics, religion, views on having/not having children, or something else? Her reticence may be to avoid having awkward conversations where she has to defend her point of view.
I'm wondering if the new CW isn't shy or introverted or both. As someone who is both, that invitation to join a group of seven co-workers would scare me. These days, I've learned enough coping techniques that I could enter the room and join in the conversation, while hiding just how uncomfortable the whole thing was making me feel. But 20 years ago? I'd have made up any excuse to avoid having to join the group, due to the extreme discomfort I'd be feeling in dealing with such a large group of people I didn't know very well. An invitation to lunch with one or two co-workers? Fine. Dealing with all seven of them face to face all at once? Almost a state of panic.
I've been thinking about this since I read the first post. Coming at this from the point of view of someone who does not like to share too much personal information in the work place, I'd be suspicious of a new co-worker who shared a lot, right off the bat. I'd be wondering why they were sharing personal info with someone they didn't know, before they had worked out the politics of the workplace and who it was safe to share info with and who it was not. I'd see it as trying to create a false intimacy where there was none, and where intimacy needs to grow gradually, as people get to know one another. Yes, there's general info that most people will share--are they married, do they have kids. When I lived in Connecticut, which has no professional baseball team, a big issue was, do you cheer for the Yankees in NY or the Red Sox in Massachusetts? But really personal stuff? I would have to wait until I knew I could trust someone.