Want to hear where I’m going for lunch today?
What my dog did last night?
About my latest car repairs?
I mean, you might be interested if we were having this conversation directly.
But what if you had to listen to me just because you sat in the cubicle next to mine? Or you were one of my patients and could overhear me blabbing to my co-workers at the nurse’s station?
There are few things more irritating than being subjected to someone else’s chitchat. It’s more than just annoying for the listener — it a credibility-buster for the talker, too. If you overhear me getting too personal, you will question my ability to conduct myself professionally.
Not only that, the conversation can get carried away and distract me from doing my work efficiently … or safely.
The FAA, for example, bans airplane pilots from engaging in “non-essential conversations” during critical points of a flight because distractions can be deadly.
But you don’t have to be a pilot to realize the hazards of getting too personal. When we interface with others, our sloppy professionalism can come back to haunt.
“Those of us working in the public eye can become numb to the fact we are constantly being observed,” says Verbal Defense & Influence consultant Doug Lynch. “We get used to it, become comfortable and sometimes allow our guard down at the wrong times.
“This rule allows people to stay focused on the task at hand; to appear professional at all times; and not fall into that trap.”
Read more about Doug’s experience here — and consider setting up a sterile cockpit of your own.