It’s Wednesday, and Twitter is buzzing with news stories of the New York Primary and users professing their love of marijuana for the observance of “4/20.” While we usually reserve this space to extend well wishes to our friends, business partners, and admirable brands today we’ve decided to take a different approach.
We often are so focused on current events, trending topics, and professional relationships, we have to ask, when do take the time to assess our own lives?
To elaborate, we can become fascinated with the external factors driving our lives that we forget to check-in with our number 1 client — ourselves. We’re not suggesting a physical vacation, but rather a mental trip — No 4/20 puns intended.
When is the last time you engaged in small talk with a family member, friend, colleague, etc.? While these types of conversations may not always be the most stimulating mentally or pertinent to business, they are essential to our souls. As human beings, the need for fellowship is written into our DNA.
In the words of activist Marian Wright Edelman,
These words are especially poignant during our current presidential race, where the rhetoric among dueling party members has become hostile and violent. We may become so focused on what a person can do for us rather than acknowledging the humanity in what we do for others. In focusing on our uniqueness and what qualities separate us from the pack, we forget that we all belong to the same race — humankind.
The next time you’re at odds against someone due to their political beliefs or party affiliation, — take a moment to breathe — realize that you are capable of disagreeing in a healthy, mature manner. Just because your peers, colleagues, etc. do not share your viewpoints is no cause for anger and malicious attacks physically nor verbally.
Or, the next time you check in with an employee or manager for a project status, why not ask them how they are doing? Everyone may not be able to open up as easily and some may be put off to personal talk due to their nature — introvert v. extrovert. Nonetheless, if they aren’t willing to speak about their personal lives, you can open up about yours. Leading the conversation with honesty can evolve to open candor and strengthen your relationships both within and without the work place.
At TalenAlexander, we know that small talk allows us to reaffirm the truth of the shared human experience and reinforces our social networks. We often admire successful individuals in high places, but they are no different from us and oftentimes have cultivated a support system of individuals with whom they can speak frankly about matters or share challenges they’re currently facing.
So take a breather, and treat yourself to some genuine human interaction.