Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Conversations At Work

What kind of conversations do you have at work? I was prompted to think about this a lot over the past few weeks by hearing some perspectives from people I have worked with that surprised me somewhat.

When we work closely with people over an extended period of time we often do so in ways that are focused on the technical details of our work, resolving a problem, or how to reduce potential problems with perhaps a little personal chitchat to balance out our days. But how often do we take the time to tell our colleagues how we see their contribution to our work experience beyond the efficient but not particularly informative “good job”, “thank-you”, “well done” etc.?

When was the last time you told a co-worker in specific terms what their contribution meant to your work experience? Have you ever received a recommendation from someone you worked with that surprised you because it included references to work that in your view was just “doing my job” but discovered that the people you worked with saw it as a significant and positive contribution to the effectiveness of the workplace?

How would having such specific conversations on a regular basis with our colleagues affect our motivation, our stress levels, and our ability to be clear on what is working well?

What do you think? What happens in your workplace? When was the last time you told a colleague in specific terms how their contribution made a difference?

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