Today, I want to get you thinking about the kinds of conversations you have at work.
In fact... I'm going to give you a mini CHALLENGE for the week.
First -- take out a piece of paper and divide it into three sections with the headings:
For a few days this week, after every conversation, I want you to write a little tally under ONE of the boxes based on the main focus of that conversation.
Yep, I want you to think about how you'd categorize that conversation.
Here's a little primer on how to decide which section to put your tally:
"Personal" is any time the main focus of the conversation has nothing to do with work. You're talking about kids, spouses, vacations, hobbies -- anything that gives your personal insight to what matters to the other person. Here, even if work eventually comes up (or kicks off the conversation), the FOCUS of the conversation is personal.
"Work" is the tally you give when the MAIN focus of the conversation is about a task, project, strategy or any other topic directly related to your work. Sure, you might have some rapport chit chat at the beginning or end, but ultimately you're talking about work that needs to get done. This can be any kind of conversation, and you might show up in any kind of way -- You might be inspirational, you might be constructive -- heck, you might be critical! But either way, the FOCUS is on the work.
"Water Cooler" -- we ALL DO IT -- it's the office politics, the gossip, the discussion about what's "going on" in the office. Be honest -- give yourself a tally if the MAIN focus of the conversation is about office politics. Even if you're not the main culprit, but you find yourself in a group conversation about office politics, yep you gotta give a tally! (And if you end the week without ANY tallies in here... Well, I may call you on how aware you are of the actual focus of conversations around you ;)
Here's a really important key to this challenge...
DON'T spend a lot of time overthinking the conversations.
And stay tuned.... Because next week, we'll take a look at your results, and I'll talk about the MOST important conversation to have at work.
So click here to get updated for Part 2 to find out about the MOST important conversation that you need to be having.
PS Don't forget about email and instant message. They count!
I love that you are a life-long learner and you want to grow. I know that you strive for excellence, and I'm excited when I can share information and knowledge with you -- because you're passionate about working in a high performance culture and you intend on having a meaningful career.