This is the time of year in most organizations when people are gathering to celebrate the end of the year, the upcoming holidays, and some time off. This is a great opportunity to get to know someone a little better. If you are like employees at most companies, you are soon going to find yourself with a piece of cake in your hand, standing next to a fellow co-worker wondering what to talk about. Instead of seeing it as another challenging “small talk” situation, see it as an opportunity to strengthen a relationship and create a connection.
The best way to break the ice is to ask a question. Here are a couple of suggestions to help you get started:
- Do things quiet down in your department this time of year—or is there a mad rush to get things done?
- Are you taking any time off this month?
- How’s your holiday shopping going?
Don’t be an interrogator, but keep the ball in their court. Once they’ve responded to your initial question, ask a follow-up. What was interesting about what they said? What would you like to find out more about?
After they’ve shared for awhile, be sure to give them a break and share a little about your experience and plans. A little bit of disclosure and a little bit of sharing can go a long way to help create the personal connection that just about all of us crave.
The holidays are a great time to connect. Take advantage of this opportunity to create stronger work relationships. It’s good for you and the organization.