Monday, June 12, 2006

What do Footie, the MLB and jewelery sales have to do with the business?

Could I have picked more obscure topics - probably not! So what do those things (and a million other random items) have to do with each other and your business? They can all be great ways to connect people in the workplace to one another, and that can be a great differentaitor in how people feel connected to the workplace.

Football (in either flavor- American or European) is a major passtime - even the most buttoned down person you know will chat to you about exploits of their favorite team. Same holds true for Baseball and just about any other prefix to -ball! Jewelery and Avon enthusiasts aboud in most offices too. These are all great opportunities for people with like interests to connect and bond.

Since the folks in our office already share the common bond of working together, some of us presume that's enough for them to be sociable about. But the truth is that just sharing (or surviving in) the same office space does not help us grow to understand and appreciate each other. Adding in common threads of human pursuit - be it ice hockey or air hockey - gives a common non-work connection for people. This can foster interactions that transcend the co-worker and help us understand and appreciate the PERSON!

Honestly, how many of us have blown-off a request from a co-worker? Dont lie - it's sooo unflattering - we've ALL done it! On the other hand we are far less likely to deny a request from someone we know, care about and may even call "friend". Call it friendship, comradarie or anything else - emotions that transcend the workplace are far more valuable and rewarding for all concerned.

Identify one common thread with 3 other employees in your company - could be on your team or not, it doesnt matter - then engage them in that common thread. Talk about World Cup news, Basketball playoffs, summer fashions... whatever! Just open a non-work door for communication and shared interests and see what blooms.

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