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Disclosing Your Condition To Co-Workers

What Should I Tell Co-Workers?

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Tell people as much or as little as you like. 

  • At least give people an idea about your diagnosis and your treatment, as well as how your condition and/or treatment will affect your work so they know what to expect. 
  • Just as with your employer, it is important to manage co-workers' expectations. Be sure to let them know that a diagnosis is fluid. What you know and share today is not necessarily what will be true in a month, or six months or a year from now. A discussion of a health condition is not like talking about leave to have a baby where there are usually clear dates and an understanding of what will happen. It is not possible to predict what will happen to any particular person with a major health condition. Let co-workersr know that you will keep them to date as things progress.
  • The more you tell people about your condition, the less afraid of it they will be.
  • If you decide to keep the information to a minimum, be prepared for additional questions. You can always tell more information later if things change.

Always prepare what you will say before you tell people about your health condition.

Let people know that your health condition does not change who you are or what you can do.

Play out in your head the different possible reactions and what to say or do.

Speak out if someone offends you. When people are being insensitive, let them know.



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