Coworkers And Conversations
  • Workplace conversation used to take place near the water cooler, usually involving current events, sitcoms, or the weather.
  • The pandemic shifted most of the communication in the hands of technology with Zoom, Slack and email being our only channels to converse with coworkers.
  • The conversation has deteriorated by being an online exclusive deal. It feels transactional and highly superficial.
  • Small talk stays small, and there are fewer trust-based, genuine human relationships at the workplace.

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How to have deeper (and better) conversations with your coworkers

fastcompany.com

Certain discussions without any particular agenda are important to build a relationship with a colleague. It gives employees a chance to get to know each other, sharing certain aspects of their experience and personal lives that they would not otherwise.

One can invite a colleague to lunch or coffee, without the need of having any key points to cover.

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The shared understanding that builds relationships starts with genuine, active listening, which is a neglected art in a world filled with distractions and multitasking.

  • Turn your phone into aeroplane mode and go somewhere to talk to a colleague where people would not interrupt you.
  • Reset your mindset about what a discussion is, as we are trained only to listen long enough to load our ‘reply’ rifle.
  • Only paying surface-level attention to your colleague and waiting for your turn is not going to cut it, and one has to pay real attention here.

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  • A good conversation is a joint effort, with each person building on the other, and this ‘construction’ of trust and cooperation does not have any space for competitiveness or one-upmanship.
  • When we try to impress, disagree with, or argue with the other person with an aim to 'win', we do not deepen our relationship.
  • Winning an argument is a temporary win and a loss in the long run.
  • We need to aim for creating mutual knowledge instead of making the other person subscribe to our mindset.

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