A Faer Point

By Dawn Faulkner | 21 November 2023

The phrase ‘Bring your whole self to work’ will be familiar to most of The MJ’s readers, and it’s true that living in a way that’s consistent with one’s deeply-held values and beliefs is good for mental and physical health. Honest sharing of experiences can be beneficial in developing rounded perspectives, and a more diverse world-view.

But there are caveats: when sharing is badly timed, poorly expressed or done in a way that’s inconsistent with your corporate culture, it can damage your reputation, alienate colleagues and hinder team working. Moreover, it can complicate the important role of clear personal and professional boundaries in defining expectations, setting limits, and establishing respectful relationships between ourselves and others.

There’s a popular assumption that ‘the more you know about me, the better we can do business together’ – but what if the opposite were true? The former Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s controversial article on policing provides a good example. Politicians must always ‘bring themselves to work’: they’re elected on a more or less clear set of promises, and the electorate can assess whether an individual candidate is aligned with their personal values.

But I think what played out last week was qualitatively different. The sharp reaction prompted by her heightened language seemed to be the whole objective – she wasn’t sharing her views for clarity, or enlightenment, but to create a hard point of differentiation. Something for leaders to watch out for…

Dawn Faulkner is a partner at Faerfield

This article is sponsored content for The MJ

comments powered by Disqus
Culture leadership