Has Covid Killed Chit-Chat?…
In this week’s leadership insight, I share a challenge that many of us have faced recently that may surprise you to hear.
When going back into the office after remote working – the art of chit chat needs a shakeup!
As a leadership effectiveness expert, I work predominantly online with global teams but like many of you, I’ve been back in the office on-site with a variety of leaders to develop and enhance their team effectiveness.
I’m hearing the art of spontaneous office chit chat seems to have been lost. Even the most extroverted of leader or most senior of leader is having to think a bit harder about what it is they want to say.
Over the past two years we’ve become accustomed to setting our day by our online schedule, knowing exactly why we are interacting with the person on the other side of the screen and what the agenda is. Our conversations have become more transactional and focused-driven rather than conversational.
It would appear we have lost the ability to have unscheduled banter in the corridor – why is that a problem?
If feeling confident, being articulate and creating a following are important parts of your leadership identity then re-mastering the art of small talk is essential. The old school phase of ‘people buy people’ rings true.
Here are three tips to help you feel more comfortable with those unscheduled water cooler chats.
1. Be interested, rather than interesting. Ask Questions. Don’t jump in and fill the gap allow the other person space to speak.
2. Be Curious. Ask open-ended questions and avoid yes/no responses that close the conversation down quickly.
3. Be Encouraging. Comments like, that’s interesting tell me more, aha, yes I see…are responses keeps the conversation going.
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