What Are the Benefits of Knowing Our Coworkers?

Collaboration Respect Teamwork


What do we really know about our “8 hour” neighbors, the people that we work with?
I like to know as much about the people I work with at a business and personal level (without inappropriately crossing any privacy boundaries). Why? It helps me better understand and relate to them. How would you and I do on the following questions regarding the 10 people we work most closely with?

1. What are their key business objectives this year?
2. How do they get measured by their boss?
3. What are their career objectives?
4. What are their personal objectives?
5. What or who brings them the most joy in life? What do they do for fun?
6. What have been challenges and disappointments in life? Victories and celebrations?
7. What are their strengths?
8. What are their shortcomings?
9. What can you do at work to bring them the most value?
10. Who are the most important people in their life? Do you know the name of their loved ones?

There may be better and more questions to ask and answer but these are a start. I have hundreds of people working for me. I can’t know the answers to all these questions with every one of them. But I do try and answer as many as I can. I keep mental and written notes. This helps me connect at a personal level whenever and wherever I can.

My belief is that it is our responsibility regardless of our job, to know as much as we can about the people we work with. Doing so shows that we care and this is a basis for having a respectful relationship. The root of word respect is to “look again.” Answering these questions helps us look more closely.

How did you do on the quiz? Now is the time to learn more about our team mates as we go about our daily work.  Start tomorrow.

In the Triangle,