Showing posts from October, 2010

The Myth of the Consensual Workplace Romance

I'm approaching 30 years working in private sector workplaces and I have learned a few things: loyalty is rewarded if you work for good people, getting behind can be cured by staying later, and a workplace romance is never a good idea. The reason is that the presence of position power and romantic attachment are toxic . This combination is toxic to relationships and to the workplace in several ways. 1. You can't hide a romance...don't even try . Once an individual with position power is perceived to show favor to someone on staff then favoritism is introduced, real or perceived, into the workplace. 2. Judgement gets clouded . The person with postion power may rationalize that they're being fair to everyone, but that's not always the case. Its worse when they lie to themselves that nobody knows. 3. The staff starts seeing ghosts . Even when no favoritism or romantic activity is going on, the perception that it is becomes the easy-out, blame-all for e

Small Town Professionals

I grew up in a small town. Actually, that's not true; I grew up about 10 miles outside a really small town in a community of about 500 people called Little Muddy, Kentucky. Next closest place was Morgantown, population 1,200, where my parents had their business. My wife and I raised our family is the next biggest place, Russellville, about 20 miles away with a population of 8,000. I am small town by birth and professional by choice. That's an important choice. We're a medium-sized company of 500 people. There's another way to look at that; we're a really small town of 500 people. When you spend more time at work than at home you build community with the people at work. Departments are like streets; some neighborhoods are furnished better than others. Everybody is into everybody else's business. Now I don't mean that in a bad way. You can't build community, connectedness and teamwork on the one hand and anonymity on the other. People can'