The #MeToo debate with the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and now Dieter Wedel in Germany show that sexual assaults on Workplace are not only very unpleasant for the victims, but also damage the reputation and career of the aggressors. But often sex and love cannot be kept out of everyday work. 12 tips on how to deal with the topic.

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#MeToo: It's about abuse of power

The discussion about #MeToo raises many Ask on: More and more cases of sexual assault in a professional context are becoming known.

But it works differently than many critic wrongly mean, not about denouncing love and flirting in general, but the topic of the #MeToo debate is sexual violence and abuse of power People, who, due to their weaker position, cannot defend themselves so well against it.

Sexism and discrimination in business

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That the subject of sexual assault against Women is omnipresent in everyday corporate and office life, as shown by the recurring debate about sexism in the start-up and tech industry - just think about the case Jacob Appelbaum or the lawsuit of Ellen Pao against her former employer Kleiner Perkins

In fact, due to the legal system in the USA, there are corresponding lawsuits clear easier: US courts in particular regularly have to deal with allegations of sexual harassment, labor law disputes with colleagues who have been dismissed because of flirtation, and even with betrayed wives' claims for damages against their loved ones. Many Company drew their conclusions from this and, due to such incidents, have now issued guidelines against flirting in the Office .

German bosses: So far, love in the office is tolerated

In Germany this looks different. It is true that cases are well-known in this case, in which the desk-dresses have serious consequences, such as warnings or even cancellations, but the majority of the bosses have nothing against them.

Because flirty Employees are generally in a better mood and are therefore less stressed; some even do voluntary overtime or take on special tasks in order to be able to flirt better with colleagues. Flirting in the office can therefore make employees more productive - and it is well known that this has positive Impact on the company.

Ambiguities and obscenities are taboo

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However, the prerequisite is always that the professional cooperation does not suffer from the dredging attempts and that the border to sexual violence and discrimination is not crossed. This is only possible if when flirting certain Regulate be respected:

For example, one should refrain from obscenities, which seems vulgar and clumsy and allows fast Respect and Distance are dwindling - factors that are important for successful cooperation. Ambiguities are also taboo per eMail or SMS or even in social media.

Make courtesy compliments

Because no matter how nice and harmless these may also be meant: Legally, one always makes oneself vulnerable because every pick-up is black and white and is thus documented as evidence. At the same time, social media nowadays seems to invite many people to behave in a rude and respectful manner.

Resist this trend. It is better to be cautious and discreetly neutral compliments and slowly get to know the other person better. Be patient. You can also withdraw inconspicuously if you realize that the flame was just a flash in the pan – or if the other person signals that he is not interested.

Respect a “no”

Because one thing has to be the top priority when it comes to office flirting: a “No” should be respected, otherwise it quickly crosses the line into harassment. And then productive collaboration is very difficult.

But even if from the initial loveiness actually becomes more, caution is advised: quickly one puts oneself thereby with the gossip and gossip of the colleagues out. Anyone who starts an affair with a superintendent will presumably soon be told that he just wants to sleep upstairs.

Do not keep the relationship secret

Chefs have to say that they prefer the lover or the lover. And who has already earned a reputation as a corporate Casanova, must probably expect the revenge of his exiles.

However, precisely because private and professional life are difficult to separate with lovers, one should no longer make a secret of the relationship, if it actually becomes more: this fuels the mistrust of the colleagues only in addition. It is better to deal openly with the new relationship.

10 Tips: What to keep in mind when flirting in the office

In addition to friends, hobbies and Vocational Training the workplace is one of the largest partner exchanges. Many relationships start here. This has many advantages but also some disadvantages. Therefore, you should keep a few points in mind.

  1. I look you in the eye: First step to flirting: look the other in the eyes. But please do not stare too long, that is intrusive!
  2. Offer help: Better than any clumsy approach, nicely-intentioned help arrives: they show an honest interest and have the opportunity to get to know each other.
  3. First of all just talk: Better than obscene teasing, it's better to just talk to one another and get to know each other gradually.
  4. Laughing connects: To laugh together about successful jokes can be very connecting. But beware, no tasteless Zoten travel!
  5. Ask for advice: Also a good tactic: Ask for a serious advice Ask for the opinion of the one who is being worshiped. The object of your desire feels taken seriously.
  6. Attention social media: Especially with social media you can spoil yourself well with other people. Be sure to present yourself there politely and respectfully.
  7. Invitations: Uninterrupted collegial is the invitation to have a coffee or tea or to eat in the canteen. However, it becomes more serious when invited to dinner.
  8. Respect please! Anyone who wants to continue working professionally with colleagues should show that he takes them seriously and respects them.
  9. Beware of mouse tactics! When women watch for small and awkward people, many men like to awaken their protective instincts. If that goes wrong with the office, the boss will probably not take you seriously anymore.
  10. Only no power games! Sexual rapprochement often has to do with power. As a boss you should therefore be especially careful with subordinates.
  11. Do not grab: Those who fumble with colleagues, if only a harmless hug, run the risk of sexually harassing others. So let it be.
  12. Pay attention to reactions: Always pay attention to how the adored person responds. Refusal sometimes shows itself in quite subtle gestures like crossed arms. Conversely, you recognize sympathy, for example, through open eyes.


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