When I was beginning my career, I supervised a woman named Kristin. Kristin worked at the front desk and was the first person visitors who came to our department met. Kristin was a brilliant editor and writer, but when guests entered, she barely looked up from her work. She didn’t greet them with a smile, sometimes she even grunted!
Her colleagues didn’t even know whether to say good morning or just walk by her desk.
Now in this new, virtual workplace we are experiencing, I am being cc’d on a lot of internal messages. Whether you are using Slack, email, or another virtual platform, a few of you are virtually “grunting”!
When employees are stressed, every interaction is magnified. And trust me, everyone is stressed! And everyone is juggling.
When employees are virtual, texts and emails can be interpreted as impersonal or even harsh. Think of each message you send as an opportunity to create more connection, camaraderie, and support. Ask how your employees and colleagues are doing, take time to read their answers, and respond with kindness.
When it’s appropriate, use this time to create social connections with employees and staff. My daughter Katie is home from college taking part in remote learning. When she logged in for her first online class, she just saw a dog on the screen with her professor’s voice in the background. That certainly brought humor and levity to the course! Feel free to use his same idea.
What interesting and workplace-appropriate ways can you start meetings?
Please let me know how you are doing!