19 Oct Connecting Where You Can: 5 Ideas to Implement Today
Loneliness has been declared a national pandemic, with profound effects on mental health, physical health and workplace productivity. Solving this problem may feel too big for an individual to take on, but there are simple things you can do to increase social connectivity for yourself and for your team. Here are five quick ideas to boost connections:
1. Check In
Whether it is a 1:1 or a Team Meeting that you are driving, start the session with a quick check in to give everyone a chance to express how they are coming into the meeting. It can be so helpful to let others know if you are coming in energized or are currently experiencing frustration or are overwhelmed. Showing vulnerability through sharing more about yourself helps increase our empathy and transition all attendees to a productive mental state for the meeting. Short on time? Ask participants to share one word that expresses their current state. On video? Ask participants to use the chat feature.
2. Partner Up
This phase is actually one of AYC’s own core values! When working from home/remotely, open a video link “study hall” with a colleague. In addition to increasing connections, you can also use this to help drive accountability. Start the call with a quick personal check-in, then share what you will be working on during the next 50 mins. Reconnect at the end to share progress and encourage each other.
3. Send a Text
During the workday? Gasp! Maintaining relationships outside of work increases our mental wellbeing which is a win-win for everyone. We aren’t saying to be on your phone all day, but taking a minute to say hello and tell someone that you are thinking of them can go a long way. We challenge you to try reaching out to someone with whom you have been out of touch.
4. Give Recognition
You don’t have to be the boss to tell someone when they have done a great job. Knowing your work is making an impact on others drives more connection to the work and the team. So when you notice that someone has done something particularly well, let them know! Note: to make this recognition even more valuable, be sure to let them know what specifically made an impression vs. a generic “good job” (this way they will be able to repeat their successes in the future).
5. Make Space
Take the time to get to know teammates (old and new). Set up a quick 1:1 with others on your team or cross-functional partners with the purpose of simply getting to know each other better. You can use this time to share more about the way that you like to work and better understand the preferences of your teammates. You might consider creating a “My Ways of Working” document that includes details about your work style, communication preferences and other information that would be helpful for your teammates to understand.
These are just a few ideas to increase your social connectivity. We encourage you to try one this week — don’t wait! Remember, you have the agency to be the change you want to see. Start by increasing connections during your workday and observe how small changes can make a big impact.