Have you noticed that Linkedin has become more personal? Not in the Facebook way of endless pictures of cats and what you and your old high school friend had for dinner (for the record, cats are lovely and so is dinner). It’s becoming personal in a “I’m more than just my job” kind of way.
Some people love it and some people hate it, which can provoke comments in the vein of “This is a professional space.” This kind of comment spawns a conversation around the question of “What does it mean to be professional on Linkedin?”.
What I love about the arrival of the personal in Linkedin is how people link their experience of life to what they share in a work context. What they have learned through their children or coping with a medical or emotional or psychological challenge or how they have overcome small mindedness, prejudice or bigotry.
I suspect many of the critical comments come from the same place as the old belief that when we go to work, we leave the personal at the door to the office.
We are co-active coaches, which means that when we coach, we always coach the whole person, not just the job title or the work part of the client. Because the thing is, we never show up anywhere as just part of us. We bring the same ability to lead everywhere we go. We bring the same emotional intelligence to work that we have at home. We travel with the same triggers on our commute as we experience when interacting with colleagues, our boss or our family. Leaving all that in the parking lot is impossible.
The lockdowns which shifted the world of work from the office to the dining room or spare room only rendered visible what until then could be suppressed.
We were recently corresponding with a participant from one of the leadership programmes we co-lead and they were asking: how do I make my 1:1 conversations more co-active? For us it is simple: be personal – be in relationship, be professional – talk about what matters in the workplace. That is the essence of co-activity: being in action together. The work matters AND so do the people doing the work. Not the employees, the workers, the factors of production – the people.
When you are in relationship you can have conversations that matter. You can have responsibility. You can have accountability. Most importantly, you will have more creativity because you are inviting the whole of the other person into the workplace. And that allows everyone to show up with authenticity and agency.