Livia Jenvey | July 28, 2016
Has there ever been a time you were stuck in line at the grocery store and the person next to you vocally expressed, “man this is taking forever?” After, to which you said, “I completely agree,” and then you both suddenly began to chat more?
Well, this situation I described above is a classic example of creating an authentic connection with someone. A connection that builds trust between you because, in essence, you are both creating a sense of a community as you relate together on something that you are both experiencing. In her book Trust in Modern Societies, Barbara Misztal notes “trust makes social life predictable, creates a sense of community, and makes it easier for people to work together.”
Each day, as we are going through our day-to-day and working on our endless tasks, it can become easy to forget to keep our authentic connections in place with each other. We are heads down, charging towards our deadlines, we may forget those around us. When this happens, it can create negative experiences for individuals in the office, because a sense of community is felt lacking and this can spiral towards losing trust amongst both your team and your peers. Which then leads to difficulties with people working together.
One way to help avoid this is to build, within the daily chaos, opportunities for group community interaction to occur on a weekly basis.
Here are a couple of examples you could try in your office today:
This could be something you schedule individually or as a group. The goal is to chat about how things are going in their life to understand more about possible life connections you each share. You could do this as a lunch or end of week chill out meeting, something that is more of a community building social get together versus a work meeting.
A great way to have an open door policy, without being bombarded on a constant basis, is to set standard office hours. This is a way to have a set day and time for folks to come in your office to chat, be social, and build community. Note: If you have a big team, having a sign-up sheet is a great way to allow everyone the option to book office hours and to avoid those who may take too much of the office hour time.
Try these examples, or come up with your own on how you can continue to build authentic relationships and continue to have a community where trust amongst the team that connects together on common experiences.
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