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Dear Bob: I am a great fan of your blog, and I just happened on this post after not checking in for a few days. I am American, but I live and work in Paris (that would be France, not Texas). I am in a leadership position. I had an extremely positive reaction to your post, and I feel much as Jerry and the Danish post. I think it’s great to have an occasional drink (beer, soda, scotch –pick yr poison)with coworkers. However I am struck by the inflexibilty of many of these comments. I took your post as an observation on how a chill moment with your colleagues outside of the work environment can in fact help solidify a team. I also have to note (sorry if it seems the merely obvious) that the workplace attitude towards this here is totally the opposite of the US. Wine at lunch is a completely normal everyday thing here – no one thinks it is odd or inappropriate, the culture just expects all adults to behave as such. The other comments have noted some simple guidelines… 1- don’t have more than one or two (no one remains unaffected after that), yr still in a work environment. 2- Don’t overshare (as one person noted), and if you follow no 1, that helps. 3- Enjoy!Take advantage of the opportunity to know people in more than a one dimensional way. I think its great to know a little more about people, they like to travel, how many kids they have…I have been invited to take a ride in a plane with a colleague that has just gotten her pilot’s license. The attitude here is be responsible and if you are where is the problem.. it wouldn’t occur to anyone here to pass judgment -this is one of my favorite things about living here. I am always grateful to be American, but I wonder if this is one thing we can learn from Europe – relax, be responsible, enjoy! And I’ll permit myself to add one last thought, I hope it makes me a more complete manager to know them a little better. I think this reflects the reason you left your unanticipated after work moment with your colleagues feeling good, and that can’t help but be something that filters back positively into our working relationships. Thank you for an interesting post.
bcd is now following TypePad France
Apr 12, 2011