I find this “inviting our whole selves at work” a very challenging idea and I still try to ruminate on it.
I really don’t feel like I want to befriend people at work. I have my own friends, my private life. Sorry, but I don’t want to know about people’s traumas and issues. Small talk is just fine for me. How are your kids? Oh, good, great. Moving on and doing my job. I love what I do and I love that people I’m working with are very open and friendly. Some of them form the “bff” group, which I find weird. I’m not necessarily against it, because it’s not my damn business, but I can’t be like that and I don’t want to, as a matter of fact.
My tendency is to separate between professional and personal as much as I can. It’s more rational and it helps me not take things personally, like feedback or reactions, because I can tell the difference.
I’ve led NGOs and been in a leadership role a few times, I understand how important it is for people to connect and share deep parts of themselves. But that happened with students, 20y old people, volunteers. I don’t expect the same to be at my workplace. My family is my home. And my workplace is my passion. But they are not always in the same place and that’s fine for me. :)
Other than that, good questions for conversations with anyone. :)