Thursday, 5 April 2012

The power of chat

When was the last time you held a proper conversation with your employees, colleagues or manager?

Not a 'meeting', or an "Alright?" that receives a non-committal grunt, but a real conversation, with both sides playing their part and sharing information and energy.

This might be about their dog, their kids, how their team got on on Saturday, their upcoming wedding, their new shoes... anything at all, just so long as it isn't directly work-related, and it's just about spending a few moments building that relationship.

It doesn't have to take an hour; often the power lies in regular five minute chats as you wait for the kettle to boil. Do this properly by engaging fully with that person, and you'll learn something new about Bob from Accounts (hey! He's not really called Bob, but Rob- who knew?) or Linda on Reception (she's got a parrot and is a web design wizard, so why are you using that firm that drive you crazy?)

You probably spend more time with these people than you do your spouse or partner- so why are you holding them at arm's length? A company where every employee thinks of themselves as the only human being present results in a fractured, fractious culture where there's no common understanding or shared aims.

A few minutes remembering that you're not surrounded by 'colleagues' but fellow human beings works wonders for the culture of a business and the strength of a team.

AND enjoying their company makes the day go faster.

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