Sincerity and straightforwardness are two of my favourite qualities in people. It’s very rarely found these days. There have been many times when I have realised (later) that the reason I couldn’t bond with certain people was due to the absence of these qualities in them. 

In the corporate world, however, such qualities can be meaningless and can even become your Achilles’ heel. In that world it’s all about tact, secrets and planned moves. 

I often recall with regret, one of the performance appraisals of mine. During appraisals, you are assured of confidentiality on anything you discuss in the room. In fact, I was encouraged and egged on to open up about my own assessment of my work, abilities, areas of improvement and personal issues (if any). 

As I was eager to improve work, I talked about my difficulties purely related to work. I really looked up to my performance manager to help me out and he did give me some inputs on what I could do. I was very happy on how the review turned out.

This happiness was, however, shortlived. I came to know later that my peers had come to know what was discussed. All of it was conveyed in an entirely different way, even to the top management. This created an irreversible shadow of doubt on my sincerity and dedication in work. 

This really broke me. I had become a victim of misplaced trust or let’s say, I was too naive to remember the cardinal rules in any workplace – Do not disclose your intentions or thoughts to anyone, irrespective of the nature/duration of relation. Very (very) few are genuinely interested in helping you, most of them are glad that you have problems.

I am not cribbing or whining here. I had a great worklife, wonderful experiences and I met many amazing people. The only regret I have is the incident I elaborated above.

So, have care before spilling out your heart’s contents. It’s not a simple world out there. One wrong step can set you back miles.

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