There are things you don’t talk about with your colleagues – and even less so with your boss.
Mental health issues are certainly a big no-no. When I first started working as an agile tester in a software development company, I kept my own history with mental illness to myself. As a result, I couldn’t speak openly about topics that I hold close to my heart: mental health and self-care.
In the Agile World however, we value respect, courage and openness. How do you reconcile this with these taboos? Can you really be courageous and open if you deny a huge a part of who you are?
When I attended my first ever testing conference, I was in awe about the openness with which psychological topics were discussed. Inspired and with a head still spinning from the experience (and a serious lack of sleep), I came clean to my boss on the very first day upon returning to work.
From that moment on, I wore my heart on my sleeve. And my life at the office began to change: Once I had started speaking up, openness came easier with every issue that came up. I would suddenly talk about my experiences with sickness and therapy as well as feeling more comfortable with sharing my thoughts and feelings about day-to-day business and goings-on at work.
Conversely, people started confiding in me, asking me for advice and talking to me in a whole different way. In this talk, I would like to share what I have learned from breaking taboos.
I will discuss how communication improved for me, which obstacles I bumped into and why I will still not shut up about the things you do not talk about at work.