Do you know the difference? One is making a conscious decision to interact
with another, get to know their thoughts, who they are, in a respectful way
that both enjoy. The other is feeling entitled to the time of another,
regardless if said person is busy, not interested or in a private conversation.
A good example happened to a friend of mine. He was in a quiet
conversation to the side with another coworker only for an acquaintance to
approach them without saying anything. They politely tell him that they are
in an (obvious) conversation, yet the imposing man states his full
awareness of that and says he is curious, so it is okay for him to be there.
After politely telling the imposer again, he still refused to leave. In fact, he
chose to repeat everything he had already heard, expecting them to share in
their private conversation. When is this acceptable? Think to yourselves
Approaching another to learn from them, or tell them something that they
can learn from is amazing and what makes the best interactions.
Approaches can be genuine, without a hidden agenda, and an
understanding on both ends that they can share (or not share) as much as
they would like or nothing at all. That is respect and a two way street.
Imposing on another with a false sense of entitlement leaves a bad taste in
everyone’s mouth; the two coworkers are now wary of the third coworker,
and the imposer still did not get to find out what their conversation
Think about your intentions before approaching others. If it is not give and
take, on a more or less equal basis, then think again about coming up to
another so as to avoid a potential conflict.