Do you love water cooler talk, or hate it? Here’s a short video on why it’s actually very important (especially for distributed teams).
It’s so easy to get into the habit of when you’re communicating with your team, to just start talking about deliverables. Start talking about things that you need ASAP. Things that are due right away. Things that you need to work on. And, you miss out on the water cooler talk. It’s easy to have those conversations when you’re next to each other, when you’re just walking by someone’s desk or cubicle, but when you have a team that’s distributed and no one is in the same office, you end up not having casual conversations because you just hop onto Skype, hop onto Slack, and say hey this is what we need by tomorrow—we need this right now. And you end up having conversations that are all about work. If you’re constantly just interacting with them when you need something done, especially if you’re always adding ASAP to everything, then you kinda get tuned out, and it sends the message that you really don’t care about them, and that all you do is care bout the next thing that needs to get done. But you don’t really care a bout how they’re doing as a person. It’s not that you really don’t care about your team, but what’s communicated to your team is that you don’t care about them. You actually have to build that into your day, and schedule that conversation that’s casual and that really isn’t about work, per say, but you need to schedule you know the first thirty seconds even, minute, five minutes of a conversation, with your distributed team, you know, asking them about their day, asking them what’s going on. What are some things that are happening where you’re located, especially if this is an international team, what holidays are happening, what news is going on. That kind of a conversation leads to much deeper relationships with you’re team, much more camaraderie and when you have much more camaraderie you end up working harder for that team. It’s just as simple as having a team that is working together, communicating, and actually cares about one another—they’re more apt to work harder, to actually do the things that you need to talk about the urgent tasks, because everyone knows that you have their best interest in mind.