Lesson 051: Separation of personal and professional issues
TV Series: Star Trek - The Next Generation
Season/Episode: 2/20 ('The Emissary')


An old girl friend of Worf's shows up on the Enterprise as an Emissary from the Klingon Empire. Worf is not happy to see her due to the old relationship of theirs, which did not end well.

When Capt. Picard assigns Worf to assist the emissary on her mission while on board the Enterprise, Worf asks Capt. Picard that someone else be assigned to the Emissary. Capt. Picard asks Worf if there is any personal reason for the request. Worf answers - Yes. Capt. Picard then asks if there are any professional reasons for the request. Worf says - No. Capt. Picard then pauses and just stares at Worf. Realizing the full gravity of the situation as to the main cause for his request, Worf quickly withdraws his request and accepts the assignment.


One of the more difficult items for most people to handle is the separation of personal issues from the professional environment.

As humans we are all creatures of emotional habits. We react very quickly to situations, people and things based on our likes and dislikes. However, this can be detrimental in any work environment.

Overwhelming majority of people work in jobs where there is a multitude of different people from different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. Add to that the natural human differences in attitudes, emotional disposition and personal prejudices, and we have the makings of a very volatile and disjointed work place.

This is where management must step in to constantly remind everyone that the main reason for everyone being at their job is for the sole purpose of performing their respective functions to the best of their abilities for the successful growth of the organization, and thereby, reaping the rewards personally for their efforts, financially and otherwise.

There should be no hesitation by management in advising all, that any reluctance to work with others and get along with others in the work environment due to 'personal' reasons will not be tolerated and dismissal of staff is well within management's purview as the final resolution in all such situations.

Hopefully, most personnel are as quick as Worf to recognize management's displeasure in the staff allowing their personal matters to cloud their professional performance and judgment.

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