Monday, July 7, 2014

Secret Babies

In the corporate world, women keep their pregnancies under cover as long as possible. I think women do this for a myriad of reasons. Some founded and some unfounded. Of course every situation is different.

For me, I have always told superiors and partners my general family plans in advance. Yes, someday I want to have kids. Yes, I think we might have another one. Yes, I’ll let you know when we are ready. I think we might be ready soon. When the time came, actually telling people the news was much easier because they knew it was coming. I think this is a rare situation. I wonder if my transparency has held me back in my career. Or if people know that I am not going to sneak attack them with huge personal change of plans.

For my clients, I have had a very different approach. I hold off on sharing until I have my plan on how it impacts them. I want to minimize the impact on them and have a solid plan in place. I do this because I look at my role as to make their life easier. My personal situation should have no impact on the results they get from me and my team. So I never open up my personal dialogue with clients until I have solved the possible challenges for them. To date, this approach has worked. They each have respected me being prepared with a plan to cover my responsibilities to them. They appreciated me being proactive and I think they knew this was me showing I care about them as individuals. I guess I have run the risk they hear my big news from someone else, which would be no good at all.

With three kids under my belt, I am experiencing something new now. Other people’s secret babies. Why are they secret? Why are they secret for so long? If they are secret, why do I know about them? It puts me in a tough spot. Are they afraid? Aren’t they bursting at the seam excited to share their big news? I guess I understand hesitation on sharing this big news. I also understand the need to share it with someone who has been there before. I am a good secret keeper. But it does pain me. How long should someone be expected to keep a secret like this for? I know the answer is until the person is ready to share it openly. So I abide by that… but it is tough. 

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