You might have heard about the very well-known concept – “Don’t’ take it personally, it’s business.” – but doesn’t that contradict with the whole idea of employee engagement, job satisfaction, and happiness at work?
Recently, one of my high-performing colleagues joined another company. He was one of the star employees of our company and had received rigorous training from our manager, who had high expectations from him. The resignation email came as a total surprise to my manager, who really felt let down and frustrated. Knowing this, one of my co-workers said, “Don’t take it personally, this is how it works.”
The idea of not taking work personally seems totally absurd. After all, you spend more than half of your day at work for more than 40 years, and still you are not supposed to take it personally?
No doubt that not taking it personally works quite well at times when we need to protect ourselves from all the workplace issues may it be difficult conversations, feedbacks, losing deals, conflicts, or career ups and downs, but you cannot not take it personally all the time.
If you notice some of the most dedicated and energetic people at work, chances are, they might be taking work personally. People who take a depersonalized approach towards work, are the ones who don’t enjoy their work. So, can we say that there is a correlation between success and taking work personally?
How would you define employee engagement if you preach them to not take it personally? So, we can clearly say that “not taking work personally” may have adverse effects on employee engagement.
Of course, there is a clear difference between taking work personally and being unable to manage boundaries. It’s another thing that you are passionate about your work, but you don’t need to take it so personally that it hurts your self-esteem.
There will be a time when you will feel let down and disappointed when you take it personally. But it is surely better than the curtain of “it’s not personal”. It does not feel like separating sentiments from your work for almost 40 years.
So, whatever the situation might be, take all of it personally.