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Topics: Communications Management, Leadership, Organizational Culture
The importance of stopping by to say "Hi"
This may seem a bit weird to some people, but I have a New Year's resolution to have at least one non-project related conversation with someone at work every day. Aside from having to "practice" being extroverted and making myself lift my head up from my computer, take off the earbuds, and get out of my cubicle every day, I've found that outside of specific work related topics I rarely just chat with my coworkers. Worse, I've noticed that my coworkers (and my managers) rarely just stop by to check in to see how I am doing.

Now, there is nothing wrong with this, but it can lead to feelings of exclusion, and that is not a good feeling. My wife, for instance, sited feeling excluded from her coworkers as one of the main reasons she left her job after more than 25 years with the same company. So, for my sake and for my coworkers, I'm trying to be more social at work. After all, if I struggle with connecting with others at work, then others must be feeling the same.

It seems I am not alone in this; I stumbled across this article in my LinkedIn feed, and thought I'd share. How often do you just "stop in and say hi" with people on your teams? With other coworkers?

https://hbr.org/2019/02/the-surprising-pow...ow-theyre-doing
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Hello Scott: Thank you for opening this conversation with us. It's like you stopped by to connect with us on this discussion board. I enjoyed the article you linked above and believe it is true. When we feel connected we have more "skin in the game" and are more willing to support our team members. I like your New Year's resolution and hope towards the end of the year that you will share how it panned out to be helpful for you!
I make a point of getting out of my cubicle as often as possible. I also great people by name. (Many of them are surprised when I do.)
Dear Scott
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing

On the one hand, it is important to socialize with everyone in the company (this makes it easier to get closer and therefore willingness to help us when needed)

How to reconcile this with our productivity?

I just read the article you shared
Interesting tips
...
1 reply by Scott Theus
Jan 15, 2020 2:39 PM
Scott Theus
...
Hi Luis,

Allow me to answer a question with a question...

Who is more productive? A person that feels isolated and does most of their work alone, or a person that is engaged as part of a team and has a personal connection with their department and others their organization?

When estimating capacity based on man-hours for a typical Waterfall project I generally use 6 hours per person, per 8 hour day. On average I have found that most people will put in around that much actual work, while the other 2 hours are spent checking email, sitting in non-project related meetings, socializing, etc.

If one assumes that part of that time spent socializing is used to build relationships within the organization then there is no negative impact to productivity. There is instead an increased level of productivity on project tasks during those 6 hours because of the shared connections and the engagement with others in the organization; both provide a sense of belonging and are extrinsic motivators.

-Scott
This is a great consideration when working in a Project, to socialize and execute activities non-related to work. In social conversations with our partners, we often get information about their personal concerns and problems, and this is useful to consider a way to help them to always get ahead.
You made a very useful resolution. Others' goodwill is invaluable to Project Managers, especially when they don't have formal authority.
Scott

This is not weird at all, I love it. It’s a great resolution and glad to see you here on this platform.

RK
Jan 15, 2020 12:01 PM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Scott
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing

On the one hand, it is important to socialize with everyone in the company (this makes it easier to get closer and therefore willingness to help us when needed)

How to reconcile this with our productivity?

I just read the article you shared
Interesting tips
Hi Luis,

Allow me to answer a question with a question...

Who is more productive? A person that feels isolated and does most of their work alone, or a person that is engaged as part of a team and has a personal connection with their department and others their organization?

When estimating capacity based on man-hours for a typical Waterfall project I generally use 6 hours per person, per 8 hour day. On average I have found that most people will put in around that much actual work, while the other 2 hours are spent checking email, sitting in non-project related meetings, socializing, etc.

If one assumes that part of that time spent socializing is used to build relationships within the organization then there is no negative impact to productivity. There is instead an increased level of productivity on project tasks during those 6 hours because of the shared connections and the engagement with others in the organization; both provide a sense of belonging and are extrinsic motivators.

-Scott

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