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Another Good-Bye party in our company

Yesterday we have had another of those Good-Bye parties for someone leaving the company. The speeches held before getting something to drink and eat contained a lot of insights into that persons life and former achievements, where he had worked before, his career path and his hobbies and interests.

Why is it so that we learn a lot about our colleagues on the day they leave ?

2 blog comments below

Some years back I had a management position and I had to give a farewell speech for somebody who was going in pension. I spent a lot of time researching on him, asking people for anecdotes about him and so forth. My incentive was clear: half the company would be listening to my speech, so I'd better do this well. Under normal circumstances I would have never done it to that extent. It's fine to chitchat with people, but priorities just don't allow for a lot of that, there is day-to-day work to be done, especially in a managerial position. That's one side of the coin, management just has different priorities.

The other side of the coin is that to my experience people refrain from talking openly about their personal lives, even more so with their managers, and not just because I would show little interest but it seems to be a general rule not to talk openly to a manager about personal issues. During all my jobs there has always been an almost natural distance between managers and employees.

As a consequence knowing a lot of details about somebody is difficult, at least it's not made public in a company a lot. The best way to get to know something about a colleague is when they are on the same career level and have an interest in forming a coalition.
kaysch on Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:56 pm
Yes, kaysch, it might be hard to get personal info about people, especially about some people who sometimes want to draw a clear line between business and their private life.
What our managers usually do at least is mentioning the different projects that person has worked for, the different departments he or she has been in, whether he got any awards for some outstanding achievement, and so on. They usually find something to fill their speech, even it is not directly from the private life of this person.
amagard on Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:13 am

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