Patti Wood, MA, Certified Speaking Professional - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at www.PattiWood.net. Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at www.snapfirstimpressions.com. Also check out Patti's YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/user/bodylanguageexpert.
Should You Date a Coworker?
I'm a body language expert, speaker, author and coach. My first dissertation topic was dating in the workplace. I did research on the topic for two years.
If you know all of your policies and procedures in the workplace allow it, I think it's absolutely fine to date coworkers. I just recommend being very clear and specific about your expectations.
Before you go out on one single date:
· Discuss how you will act and what you see your behavior and their behavior looking like.
· What will you say and do what will they say and do? For example, Do you expect them to greet you or say goodbye differently?
· Do you want to ask that they not visit you in your office space during the day?
· What conversations, endearments and nonverbal behaviors are acceptable or unacceptable?
· Are you comfortable with them sharing details about you and your dates?
Here is the most important thing to know and rule to follow when dating coworkers. Don't keep it a secret! It sounds counterintuitive but makes it known to your boss and your close coworkers that you are going out on a date. My feeling is, if you are too uncomfortable to make the date public you don't respect the person enough to date them.
In my research I found it was keeping any dating or relationships a secret from your team members that seem to cause the most problems both for the people dating and fellow coworkers.
Even seemingly innocent deceptions can pervert your actions and lead to miss perceptions and tension. Be up front and be a grown-up.