Ladies Who Share Too Much

Ladies, we love to share and the things that interest us will have equal appeal to others, right?

Wrong. Now and again, we carry this erroneous belief into the work place and it works against us. It does nothing for our credibility, it does not boost our professional image nor does it support our career aspirations.

I fall into the category of ladies who love to share the oh-so-cute story of my child’s latest milestone. This in itself is not a bad thing but it could get too much – especially in the workplace. People’s interest in your stories could be feigned or short lived at best, and you could actually be boring their socks off with your unsolicited updates. It’s human nature to want to share but please, let’s spare our listeners the embarrassingly minute word for word details of the ungodly row we had with our spouse yesterday.

The audience should definitely be kept in mind when letting it rip. Lengthy stories can be a tad boring to the general populace. Besides, people will generally never be as impressed as you would wish them to be, no matter how much you embellish. And yes, no matter what you say, they still think their child is cuter and smarter than yours.

Ever had a battle of the stories with a colleague or a friend? You know, the one who can hardly wait for you to be done your boring story so that she can interject with her own story, which you might in turn find as interesting as watching nail grow. For Pete’s sakes, let’s free our colleagues from the boring repeats of our “exciting” sagas that pertain to day care struggles, stretch marks, breast pumps and weaning your baby (I am so guilty of the last one).

To act upon our inherent desire to share, we should (must) find a select group of like-minded story-sharers and then take turns swapping our funny and sometimes gruesome details – in private.

In a corporate setting, no matter how informal things appear to be, you do not want to overload your audience with excessive personal information. It’s simply not in your best interest to do so. Noone cares anyway.

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Congratulations to the Women of HR community for reaching the one year milestone! May the new year hold for loads of pleasant surprises for everyone !

Photo credit iStockPhoto

About the Author

Tamkara Adun

Tamkara Adun currently works as a Recruitment Consultant at Together Abroad in The Hague and she offers HR advice at www.togetherabroad.nl You can connect with her on twitter @tamkara or find out what she’s up to on her personal blog at www.naijaexpatinholland.com.

9 Comments

Sharing is Caring | The Buzz on HR

[…] that same vein with a hover on Tamkara Adun’s recent post at The Women of HR site entitled “Ladies Who Share Too Much.” In the article, Tamkara asserts that in corporate settings, it is important not to overload your […]

Reply
Heather

Great post. I watch my story telling at work, and I’m also trying to watch it in my personal life too. I never want to fully dominate a conversation, and I can talk for hours so sometimes I have to reign it in.

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Tamkara

Dave- I must say your” buddy” system is ingenious! Thanks for sharing!!

Kimberly- True, sharing stories is a great way to connect with colleagues. After all we do spend a greater portion of our time at work.
That being said, I have met a couple of parents who had to attend every single school event….in retrospect, I think I used to be one of them 🙂 (until number 2 came along).
Then, I realized kids are stronger than we think and missing a few “gigs” will not scar them for life.

Izuma- Trying to steer the individual onto a more mutulally productive conversation might be a good idea. If that fails, perhaps you can adopt Dave’s “buddy” system…would be interested in knowing how well it works for you.

NannaBannana – Well…..that is idea, don’t know how well it will work though.

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nannabannana

We could always use the ASL sign for “boring,” she said, rubbing pointer finger alongside of nose…

Reply
izuma

Would be interested to know what ways you can signal to your “captor” that they’re overloading you with too much information. Going by my natural instincts I may just want to make an excuse to leave or interrupt by throwing in a question on a different subject but that might seem rude and some really determined “captors” may not even get the message!

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Kimberly Roden

This is a funny, yet accurate post. I will say, though, that I find it a great way to connect personally with coworkers when they share stories. Some of the “stories” as boring as they may be can also provide us with a lot of insight into that individual. Like, have you ever met the parent who MUST attend every single one of their child’s school events — almost to the point that it causes a problem at work? When these conversations come up, it’s a good way to segue into another conversation about why they have to go to their 5 year old’s Great Pumpkin play when the child is playing the role of a fence and won’t even know if the parent was even there. I’ve done this before in a conversation (not a large group) and using a lot of questions can get some parents to realize that they really won’t traumatize their child by missing the smaller school gigs but they will benefit by having appreciative coworkers.

Thanks for a great post!

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Dave Frenz

Everything you said is so true, we even have the “buddy” system in place where I work so if you get cornered by one of this person’s stories, someone else pages you.

The two biggest offenders are a manager and her top hourly report. The first hour of the day is kids-home-husbands. And that direct report has the highest OT level of any hourly employee. It really sits badly with the floor workers.

These things need to be discussed at happy hour without the captive audience

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