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How to have deeper (and better) conversations with your coworkers

Workplace conversations have changed their character during the pandemic. Lots of our communication has shifted from face-to-face to something mediated by technology. We talk to people on the phone and via videoconference tools. Instead of catching up in the office kitchen, we exchange brief pleasantries via email or Slack DM.

As a result, our conversations have become both more transactional and more superficial. When you schedule a call, you generally feel like you need to get down to business. As a result, the focus tends to be on a particular task at hand. And when you do chat or engage in a little small talk, it tends to stay small.

Good workplace relationships, though, require trust. And part of that trust comes from knowing the people around you. When you trust the people you work with, you are more likely to let them know when you’re struggling with a task or just feeling burned out. You let them know about your half-baked ideas, which might become the germ of something significant. You also are better able to learn from them.

So how can you engage in deeper conversations that will lead to greater trust and open the door to these benefits?

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