Ask The Experts: Should I Tell My Boss Im Going Through A Personal Crisis? | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Ask The Experts: Should I Tell My Boss Im Going Through A Personal Crisis? | Fast Company | Business + Innovation.

An important piece which broaches the difficult issue of how to navigate the work environment when you are navigating a significant personal crisis.  They hit the issue head on by noting the difficulty in navigating issues that can affect your productivity but not be ones you’d want to disclose to your boss or fellow workers.  They use the example of a woman navigating a miscarriage.

The advice here runs the gamut between recommending journaling and the most practical and useful piece in my opinion:

“There is no need to provide details about events that you want to keep private. But, it would is important and useful to say that some personal events have happened that you are dealing with and that if you appear distracted or seem less productive, that is why. That provides your boss with a way to explain any change in your performance he may have noticed. In addition, you may discover that your boss is a more empathic individual than you expected.”

I can speak from personal experience that you can get some space to navigate a difficult patch with a general admission that you are having an especially bad week and even that you might need a day off to get back on your feet.  Several years ago, I went looking for my birth mother only to find that she had passed away many years earlier.  I found this devastating and had absolutely no interest in disclosing this personal information at work.  Nonetheless, I found that I did not have enough of a window to grieve this difficult passage for which there is no leave code while also trying to manage a busy job.

I basically did as suggested here – indicated that I was going through a bad patch on the personal front and would benefit from a day off at week end.  This was easily granted no questions asked.

The greater pity and topic worthy of even greater discussion in my opinion is the difficult empathy path to figure how we support people having difficult times and not make them feel their disclosures are going to be used against them.


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