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How to small talk while working remotely (without being weird)

Don't mind the delays

Sometimes people will respond immediately. But sometimes they won't, and that's okay.
Everyone has things to do, and that means they will not be responding to every message right away.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to small talk while working remotely (without being weird)

How to small talk while working remotely (without being weird)

https://zapier.com/blog/how-to-make-small-talk-at-work-remotely/

zapier.com

6

Key Ideas

The weirdness of it

Reaching out privately to a colleague can feel weird because making the active decision to initiate a conversation usually creates the expectation that you want something.
So explain why you're reaching out. Always give a reason why you want to talk to someone. Also, send one message, then wait for a response. And if someone continually doesn't respond when you reach out, take the hint.

Reach out

Reaching out and offering your help to a new colleague, for example, is a great way to start a conversation.
It can feel weird, but in a remote setup, this is the only way these chats will happen.

Respond privately

A great way to start a conversation with a teammate is to respond privately to comments made in public channels.
For example:

  • Your comment was very funny!
  • Great job on solving that tricky issue!
  • Thank you for answering my question, I appreciate your perspective.

Be vulnerable

Explain that you just want to say hello.
This is usually enough to remove the weirdness of just saying "hi," especially if you frame it using a little humor.

Don't mind the delays

Sometimes people will respond immediately. But sometimes they won't, and that's okay.
Everyone has things to do, and that means they will not be responding to every message right away.

Respect people's status

A status is a good way to let people know that you're doing focused work or that you're otherwise unable to respond.
Don't reach out to chat when someone is busy.

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Reinforcing People’s Helpfulness

Reinforcing People’s Helpfulness
  • Strong sense of in-group: the belief that the person in need is on your team makes us more helpful to them as we care about what happens to the in-group. 
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2 types of gratitude expression

  • Other-praising: involves acknowledging and validating the character or abilities of the giver;
  • Self-benefit: which describes how the receiver is better off for having been given help. 

The former makes people feel better with themselves and that you are more grateful when compared to the latter.

Reminding People That They Owe You One

If you have to remind someone that they owe you one, chances are they don’t feel as if they do. Reminding them that they owe you a favor both makes the other person feel as if you’re trying to control them and it makes the other person feel as if you’re keeping a scorecard, and that’s fundamentally bad for relationships.

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Over-communicate

Assume that people don’t know what you’re thinking. And you’ll find the more you communicate with others, the more they will reciprocate. 

As...

Share Frequently and Get Feedback

Constantly send screenshots and ideas. Give your team a glimpse into your head throughout the day so they can see your creative process. 

Share your unfinished work in progress. A single reply from a teammate can steer your entire project in a better direction. Get feedback on your work early on so you can evolve sooner.

Build Trust

Build trust in your team by constantly reminding them how dependable you are. 

You can do this by being the first one to respond in threads, providing your feedback, leading initiatives, and not just delivering your work on time, but delivering it early.

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