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December 17, 2008 / TildeWill

Food, This Time at Work

Somewhere, maybe here, maybe in another blog, I wrote about how easy it is to talk while doing other, tedious, stuff. Stuff like boiling water, or putting food in your mouth, or washing the dishes. The stuff doesn’t require your full attention, but it fills the gaps in the awkward silences in there. When I initially wrote about such activities, it was in the context of dating. Tonight, I learned that those kinds of activities might also be useful in business.

The idea was that when you’re first forming a relationship, you want to be doing something else, that helps you and the other person feel comfortable, but something that doesn’t interfere with conversation. Going to a movie is comfortable, but you can’t talk. Riding bikes can be fun, but it’s often hard to bike next to someone. Washing the dishes is good because one person can wash, one can dry, and it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to do. Back in college I always wanted to talk while doing homework with my girlfriend, but it never felt.. I always felt like I was interrupting her. I haven’t found enough of these filler type activities yet; I want to find more. Smoking is one that I forgot, I should figure out a way to be a smoker without actually smoking.

Business can be the same way with your work place relationships. I’m talking about teams that have high levels of trust. To help build that, you send the people out to lunch together. Someone mentioned even candy in a dish will get people to stop by and talk for a while, and help support relationships with others. I want to make it comfortable for people to meet new people, for them to talk.

Food is one way.

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