Show you care by forwarding an email or article that addresses a subject that you know your work partner will enjoy. First, you have to know what’s important to those with whom
you spend 40-plus hours a week working alongside. There are many ways to uncover this insider information. Whether it’s actually going for coffee together during a morning break,
doing lunch or just asking casually after a meeting, “Hey, Devetrice, I never asked you about how you like to spend your weekends? What hobbies do you enjoy?” This information is
valuable. Once you’ve played scout and have that insider knowledge, put your radar up and be on the lookout for cutting-edge related topics to share with your colleague.
Hypothetical question. If someone asked you how well you know Andre from HR or Levine from Accounting (insert real coworkers names obviously), how would you respond? Would you know their favorite cuisine? Or what sports their child plays?
It’s common knowledge that the average person will spend approximately ⅓ of their life at work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average tenure of American workers is 4.6 years, but how well do we really get to know our co-workers over that 4 year period? If we are spending that much time with the same people day in and day out, but we never get to know them beyond a superficial level, we are missing an opportunity to build trust and foster deeper teamwork and collaboration. When colleagues trust each other, turnover decreases, morale increases, and productivity soars.
One way to increase trust is by truly getting to know those on your team. Take a sincere interest in what they do outside of work. If you’re not sure how to get started, Google has a variety of “get to know you” questions (here and here are two good examples). You can use these as a starting point to uncover their personal interests and then find ways to help foster those interests by sharing different materials with them related to what they enjoy.
This week, I challenge you to do some recon on the various hobbies, interests, and extracurricular activities those on your team enjoy. Keep an eye out for opportunities to share articles, links, videos, social media posts, books, etc. that relate to those interests. This will make them feel more connected to you as their leader or co-worker and to the organization and its overall mission.
FUN FACT: Reading, traveling, fishing, crafting, and bird watching are among the most common hobbies around the world.