Community//

I Miss Chit-Chat

I miss conversations at work. The casual in-the-hallway or stop-by-someone’s-desk-to-say-hi conversations that jump from sports to movies to food to work. These exchanges deepen relationships. They build trust. They provide information. They are an entry point for building connections and for problem solving. These casual conversations are not time-wasters. They are keys to teamwork, productivity […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

I miss conversations at work. The casual in-the-hallway or stop-by-someone’s-desk-to-say-hi conversations that jump from sports to movies to food to work.

These exchanges deepen relationships. They build trust. They provide information. They are an entry point for building connections and for problem solving.

These casual conversations are not time-wasters. They are keys to teamwork, productivity and innovation. I like to see organic conversations happening, and I use their presence as a barometer for a healthy, engaged team. Conversations act like big cities, exposing us to new ideas, both professionally and personally. They are amazing creative exercises that encourage people to learn how to listen, how to interject, and how to change the direction of the conversation. 

We are a social species and we like to be with people. We are making do with screen-based communications, and seeing people is much more personal than a conference call. However, video meetings do not replicate how people interact in person. We miss nonverbal cues. Plus, for many, there is a pressure to “perform socially” which can be difficult to maintain. Projecting a positive attitude through eye contact with a camera while not looking directly at a person is downright hard.

Our need to connect is still relevant even though we are suffering from Zoom fatigue. I suggest taking time to talk to a few folks in your work orbit who are not part of your regular day-to-day meeting schedule. Call just to say hello.

Building professional relationships and connections depends on good old old-fashioned business etiquette. Good behavior is about respect, being prepared and treating people equally, so remember to:  

  • use video and phone more than email or text.
  • be on time.
  • practice smiling, asking questions, being positive, and complimenting others sincerely.
  • no browsing on your phone or laptop while on a phone or video call.
  • apologize if you make a blunder.
  • figure out how to respond to personal questions that you do not want to answer if you are a private person. You do not want to come across as unfriendly.

Don’t let COVID negatively impact your professional networking, either inside or outside of your place of employment. Practice your conversation skills.

Chit-chat is not inconsequential.

    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    The Power and Science Behind Increased Vulnerability in the Time of a Global Crisis

    by Mindy Lin
    Community//

    Sometimes It’s Best to Have Those Uncomfortable Conversations

    by Freedom Institute
    Photo by mentatdgt from Pexels
    Community//

    Are spontaneous conversations dead?

    by Alexis Haselberger

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.