When it comes to business, everyone always wonders what happens behind closed doors. Whether the bosses are all in town for a large meeting, or two coworkers disappear into an office with closed blinds, it is human nature to be curious about just what is going on. But what most of us fail to recognize is that while we want to know the secrets from behind those doors, there is often little we actually need to know.

Our bosses became bosses for their ability to make the tough decisions, solve unexpected problems, and ensure that business runs smoothly and without a hiccup. They sometimes have to close these doors to ensure that unnecessary worry is not placed upon the workers. Sometimes they are talking about how poor your work performance is. Sometimes they’re talking about how great your work performance is. Sometimes they’re just shooting the shit about the day and lamenting about irritating clients. Sometimes though, they may just be discussing something you have the right to know.

A Disruption to the Normal Work Schedule or Drastic Changes without Explanation
Anything that is unusual typically raises the curiosity of those surrounding the disruption. There are certain times when this can raise concern, and other times when it is a case of nosiness. Knowing the difference between the two will help you accept and figure out how to work with the change.

If a co-worker has an unexplained absence, or suddenly starts working a different schedule, the reason is probably something you don’t need to know. If you needed to know, you would have been told. Perhaps they are dealing with personal problems that they aren’t willing to share, and a day off is needed to tend to such things. Maybe their sitter changed, or they started taking night classes. Whatever the case is, if no one is offering up an explanation, you don’t need to know.

However, if this disruption affects you, either your workload or schedule, it is important to discuss this with the individual and the powers responsible for making such changes. While you may not need to know why the changes have occurred, an understanding as to why they’ve changed may help you to adjust. Letting others know how the change affects you helps them see the implications of such change.

There are many changes that warrant an explanation. Hours being cut, job duties changing without compensation, loss of personnel. While the big bosses may be tight lipped, it is your right to know about these types of changes because they can seriously impact your own life. If no one is willing to offer answers in this need to know situation, it may be time to polish up your resume.

The Loss of a Major Client or Partner
If your company has worked with a major client long term, and suddenly they are no more, this is a major need to know. While it may be an embarrassing blow to the company, if they aren’t willing to talk about it, you aren’t being nosy for wanting to know. Finding out what caused the separation can be a learning experience for all those involved to figure out a solution from preventing it from happening again in the future.

It could also be a raise of concern for many reasons. Perhaps they caught wind of bad business that leads them to believe that they should break the partnership before things go downhill. Perhaps there is a new competitor in town that should be scoped out. Whatever the case is, if the company experiences such a loss without explanation, it may be beneficial to try to find answers if they aren’t willing to offer them.

Rumors about the Introduction of a New Concept
Sometimes the development team may have many hushed meetings and ideas that were once free flowing may be on lockdown. A product may be pulled and re-evaluated. Perhaps you’ve heard through the grapevine that something new is going to be released. And you’re going to be damn curious about it. Aren’t you already wondering how many of the whispers around the office could be something big?

There are plenty of ideas and concepts that need to stay on the down low until they are ready for the public eye. It is hard to stay tight lipped about a good idea, and if word gets about before it is fully developed, it could negatively impact this. While you may be curious about such things, lingering outside a meeting a little too long or reading over someone’s shoulder when they aren’t looking are clear signs of nosiness. When you need to know, you’ll know, otherwise be patient until the new idea is born.

You’ll Know When Something Isn’t Meant for Your Ears
There are going to be many times when you want to read the fax that came in while you made a copy, or overhear a phone conversation between your boss and the HR department. If your workplace is generally a healthy environment, and you know that your bosses will tell you the things that you need to know, let them do that. If they are suddenly close lipped when they’ve otherwise been open books, you will have to trust their judgment that it isn’t something you need to know. Prying for information in this situation is a classic case of nosiness.

On the other hand, if it becomes a trend, and you suddenly feel left out of things that you otherwise would have been included in, it may be a reason for concern. You may feel nosy for needing to know, but for these situations when there are unexplained changes that can impact your life, you have the right to know.

If you can figure out what situation you’re dealing with, you’ll be best equipped for finding out the things you need to know, moving past and ignoring the things you don’t need to know and demanding answers when you have a right to know.

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