Joining a new workplace brings in a mix of excitement, nervousness, and an eagerness to prove oneself, right? But what if this is manipulated by or misunderstood by a person in a position of power?
Priya experienced something similar at her new workplace. She welcomed the special attention, one-on-one meetings, not knowing what to make of the personal questions that peppered the interaction. After all, this could well be a way to draw her in socially while bringing her up to speed within the team. How does one draw boundaries within close-knit teams? How does one address the discomfort of ‘getting personal’ without being ready for it? These doubts cleared up when her supervisor tried to kiss her. Her refusal to mingle socially landed her with an appraisal report that cited ‘lack of ambition’. A complaint seemed the only way to right the wrong!
Workplace dynamics are fraught with power relations. Drawing boundaries can become difficult with a team member who is proximate in age and experience, or a compatible mentor at the workplace, especially when we’re told team performances thrive on collegiate spirit. How does one maintain boundaries when the professional and social blurs? More importantly, how should those in positions of power, even in seemingly small hierarchies, tread the social and the personal, strictly based on mutuality and willingness?
Find out how she feels, and respect her response. Just ask!