A few posts ago, I’ve wrote that business and personal connections are not really separate as people like to think. People are still surprised to discover that in many cases their facebook and linkedin networks overlap by more than 50%!
An HBR post by Jodi Glickman argues that we should separate business from personal when it comes to communication.
While our connections are often shared between our business and personal lives, we should learn how make the distinction when communicating. By not mixing business with pleasure, we help preserve the integrity and trust of our relationships.
How can we do that? we keep it separate.
For example, instead of writing one email that includes personal and business aspects – we separate it into two emails. Jodi calls it the simple yet effective concept of “under separate cover”.
The rule of thumb for figuring out if an email is too personal is by whether it can be forwarded to others at work. If the recipients wouldn’t feel comfortable showing it to their colleagues, it’s too personal.
It is important to note that the underlying message is NOT to separate business contacts from personal – but rather to not forget the implications when we mix them in a business environment. By being sensitive about how we communicate at work, we are in fact, giving others room to respond professionally without the concern of hurting the relationship.