A positive work culture doesn’t form overnight. Especially now, when COVID-19 has resulted in many of us interacting with computer screens versus real people. It takes time to invest in relationships with your employees or coworkers! Even during COVID-19, you can take time to get to know your coworkers, and it is well worth it. The time you spend getting to know the people you work with is guaranteed to reap benefits, including increased productivity and responsiveness to change.
One simple step towards creating a strong and happy team is asking people questions. However, many people no longer get the opportunity for small talk in the ways that we used to. This is a new setting. Take advantage of it! Seize the moment during a Zoom meeting while you are waiting for others to connect to the meeting. Ask a question to whoever is there already. Send an unprompted email to check in. Build conversations in new ways. Most people love to talk about themselves!
Try not to assume your coworker doesn’t like you if you’re met with resistance at first. They may simply be shy, or even nervous. But chances are you will eventually hit on a topic they can’t resist, whether it’s their pet, tattoos, or favorite foods.
Here are some questions you can ask to get your coworkers to open up.
Questions about their personality:
- What talent are you most proud of?
- Do you know your Meyers-Briggs?
- What are your pet peeves?
- Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
- Are you an animal person?
Questions about their hobbies:
- What’s your favorite tv show to binge watch?
- What’s your favorite meal to cook yourself?
- What kinds of book do you enjoy reading
Questions about travel:
- What places are on your travel bucket list?
- Do you prefer to fly or drive when you travel?
- Where would you move to if you could bring your friends and family with you?
Questions about their past:
- What was the best date you ever went on?
- Who was your celebrity crush when you were in high school?
- What subjects did you most enjoy in school?
- What did you enjoy most about your last job?