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Making Small Talk. . .from 3000 Miles Away

July 2, 2020

My favorite Facebook group has “Water cooler Mondays.” We talk about what we did over the weekend.

Tuesdays are “Promotion Tuesdays.” Tell us something that you are doing, or you’re proud of.

Wednesday’s are my favorite. It’s “Pet Peeve Wednesdays.” Post about a gripe or a pet peeve.

Thursday is all about the plans for the weekend.

What interesting about this particular Facebook group, is that many of us have become good friends. And we’ve never met each other. We are all fans of a professional comedian. He set up the group.

A common interest brought us together, but, it’s not enough to sustain a community. It’s the shared experiiences. The causual banter that has made us a part of one another’s lives.

We know that Rachel teaches music at a community college. Enoch recently lost his father and is struggling to get through it. Robert works in IT.

No one asked Rachel if she was a teacher. It just came up in conversation. We all certainly offered our condolances to Enoch on the death of his father. But, it didn’t come up during Pet Peeve Wednesday, or Promote Yourself Tuesday. But, during our conversations.

Honestly, I don’t even know where Enoch lives. The comedian tours all over the world. But, I know I can talk to Enoch about my day and he’ll be interested. And he can talk to me about the recent anniversary of my father’s passing.

If your work team is like mine, you are probably all working from home. No more Wednesday lunches. No more birthday cakes in the break room. No more chats at the copier. So, how do you get your team to pull together like that?

You need to let your team chat, make small talk. You need to look for opportunities to talk without there being an agenda.

We had a team meeting today. Our team is scattered all over the world, India, California, New York. The managers were five minutes late. So the team member did what team members do when they are waiting for the meeting to get started. They talked. We talked about the latest news. We talked about the virus. (But, not a lot. We’ve all heard plenty.) We asked about each other’s families. What we were doing for the long holiday weekend.

And after five minutes the managers showed up, apologized for being late and the meeting started.

But, for five minutes, a “wasted” five minutes, we were a team interested in each other’s lives

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
Twitter (@rodneymbliss)
Facebook (www.facebook.com/rbliss)
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com/in/rbliss)
or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

From → Team Building

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