Talk About Something Other than Work for a Change

Most work conversations are agenda driven but with the remote work environment we are living in, we must adjust to energize our employees differently and the agenda has changed.

I mean conversations WITHOUT an agenda.

  1. Break rooms conversations – don’t naturally happen when we are working remotely.  We can’t always read elusive indications of anxiety, joyfulness, or blues. You can’t say, “What’s up? You look a little down.”

“Recall how it was to express care like you did when you were face-to-face, when you go remote.”

  1. No Time – You might think you don’t have time to just talk. But you had time when you were face-to-face.  Make time to just have a conversation and listen. Talk about the team, family, getting take-out for dinner, and more. Like coaching you will find that your conversation will bring some clarity to what is on their mind

“A brief conversation to reconnect in the midst of instability can re-energizes your people”

  1. Purposeful – Give some thought to the things that used to be spontaneous in the workplace but are not so in the remote workplace. Plan to have a regular check-in – with no agenda. Samples of some questions:
  • How are you doing personally?  
  • What’s up with the family?
  • Do you have enough toilet paper?
  • What’s going on outside of work?
  • Tell me something that is going on that is good?
  • Share a joke and laugh together.
  • Have some fun.  Imagine that!

“Hint: Have check-ins on video whenever possible.”

“Small talk is immensely more important during this time.”

“Short conversations that AREN’T about work energize people for work.”

“Organizations” are not expected to be warm and caring  generally, but each of us can take a few minutes to connect with the people that make work worthwhile. Frank Blake, former Chairman and CEO of Home Depot said, “People know what you care about by what you talk about.”

“When we talk to others about what is important to them first, it re-energizes us as well.”

It’s about peopleship, if that is a word.  I think we need to suggest that word to which says no results found for that word.

We are finding that our participants going through our career transition assistance program are energized by these kinds of check in calls and at the same time our team is being invigorated.

Now, reach out and touch somebody today.  That sounds like an old-fashioned term today with the changed workplace, but you know what I mean.

If you need a check in and I haven’t reached out to you, let me know and I would love to check in with you and see how you are doing, and I will not have an agenda.


Travis Jones, CEO

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Travis Jones

Travis has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Tulsa for over 30 years. He is a well-known community servant and is dedicated to providing world-class service for everyone we encounter at Career Development Partners.

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