Crying at Work Is OK, Says Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

Tears have their part in being a successful professional, is the expert opinion of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.


Delivering a speech to Harvard Business School graduates, the Grindstone reports, Sandberg gave some hints drawn from her successful career in the Silicon Valley, some of them dealing with gender issues.

The high points of the speech of the 42-year-old operational officer were devoted to emotional honesty. Sandberg is sure one ought not to separate the personality from the professional, and her way is to be herself.

She had cried when she felt like it, she said, and she had been open about it to others. She speaks about her strong and weak points when it is relevant, about her expectations and fears, and invites other people to open up about their feelings related to work. Both sides of human nature do not interfere with each other, she insists, but help apply the whole person to work.

Authenticity is what she strives to achieve, and it’s important to distinguish between an honest wish to burst into tears and what she called “manipulative waterworks.” Furthermore, the attempt to make work communication more sincere should be part of trying to be authentic in a general meaning.

Also, it helps avoid separating your self into working life and personal life individuals. She accentuated her belief that “that kind of division probably never worked, but in today’s world, with a real voice, an authentic voice, it makes even less sense.”

Concluding her address, Sandberg urged the graduates to try and become leaders at their jobs. And, giving a final accent to gender issues, she reminded that women occupying senior positions are fewer, and women as a gender are still relying on men to assist them on their way up.

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