We do not live our lives in separate air-tight compartments. The various parts of our life collide with each other at various points. Our personal and professional lives overlap to a large extent. Try as much as we can, it is not always possible to keep the two separate. But when personal problems start having an adverse effect on our work life, it is time to step back and see where we are going wrong.

Any crisis we face will impinge on our performance, our motivation, our energy, our attitude and behavior and it is very easy to lose sight of the fact that we cannot let this happen. Personal problems have to be dealt with appropriately so that they do not have a negative impact on professional performance.

Here are a few tips on how to deal with personal issues at the work-place.

  • Be honest about what is troubling you. Not every boss welcomes personal confidences but keeping the boss/employer informed about your problems is wise. You never know where help will come from and if he is aware of your problems he will be more likely to help. And being truthful is never a bad thing. Lies get found out and you lose the trust of your boss, and your reputation gets harmed.
  • Your boss also has a personal life – remember that and do not be scared to ask for help. If he has been in a similar situation he will empathize with you and be more tolerant of your difficulties.
  • When informing the boss, do not share intricate details. Firstly he will not be interested in trifling matters and secondly there is no need for you to bare your soul to him. Give the broader picture – which will enable him to take a decision.
  • Think about how to phrase and present your case. The choice of words is very important, so that you do not give a wrong impression, and neither do you appear to be groveling. Make your request politely and firmly with just enough details to sound convincing.
  • Plan ahead as to how your work will be done when you are away dealing with personal issues. You can delegate your work to others or plan to stay late after the crisis is over or carry work home – whatever it is, you have to make sure that work does not suffer in any way due to your personal problems. If you do this, it will carry a positive impression about you to your boss that you are a responsible and dependable employee who cares enough about the organization and makes alternate arrangements to see that the work gets done correctly and in time.
  • Do not make your private, personal life a spectacle for your colleagues and co-workers. Do not share too much information with them. Just like the boss, even your colleagues do not need to know all the details about what is troubling you. They may not be in a position to help you or they may not be sympathetic to your plight so why do you need to open yourself to their scrutiny?
  • Never lose your temper with your boss, colleagues, clients or any other stakeholder. Your personal problems have no meaning for them. So do not take your anger and frustration out at your work place. However troubled you may be, be calm and handle yourself with poise and grace. It will pay you richer dividends than a show of temper which will only serve to alienate sympathy and support.