As the world becomes vastly more digitized, we rarely see our colleagues, and at times may never see them in person at all. So, how can we get to know them and trust them better? Gary Ware, founder of Breakthrough Play, took part in Covve’s workshop spear-headed by Hansen Hunt on cultivating authentic connections in a remote work environment, and shared some critical qualities often overlooked in the workplace.
Through his expertise in applied improvisation, Gary helps teams develop vital people skills, improve communication, and foster deep connectivity.
Take for example an instance where you are a recent hire at an organization. Getting along with your colleagues, understanding how they work, and identifying where you fit in are the first few steps in creating a sense of belonging. You would begin by identifying your commonalities and differences to gauge where you stand with the various members on your team.
At the core of Gary’s philosophy lies the belief that beneath our surface differences, we share fundamental similarities that can be uncovered through intentional effort. He stated that “if we dig hard enough, we are more alike than we are different.” Gary continues explaining how we can find these commonalities, placing emphasis on “the importance of rituals and being intentional about rituals. That is going to create that foundation for connection.”
In Covve’s podcast series Wired to Socialize, Professor Robin Dunbar, renowned evolutionary psychologist, discusses that we are more likely to forge deeper connections with people we share more commonalities with. Akin to Gary’s belief that, “if we dig hard enough, we are more alike than we are different.” Gary believes that making the effort to intentionally discover commonalities, we create a stronger bond with one another.
When we are in the office, we may be early to a meeting with other colleagues where discussing out-of-office matters comes naturally. This example of a ritual is a way to routinely engage with colleagues and fellow industry professionals to find commonalities and connect.
Establishing trust in our workplace relationships can also help out of the office. In the workshop, Gary shares a personal anecdote about a colleague who provided crucial support during a stressful period in his personal life.
By checking in with colleagues with a simple message to see how their day is going or sharing a relevant meme to lighten up their day can go a long way in nurturing that relationship. Taking initiative is critical to showing your intentions. These are small, spontaneous interactions that can closely mimic hallway and watercooler moments at the office.
Dive into Gary’s insights further by watching the full workshop here.
Interact and engage with thought leaders and experts like Gary Ware in Covve’s upcoming workshop, Healthy Habits of Connection on October 17th, and gain fresh and practical perspectives and practices to elevate your relationship building skills.
Written on 12 Oct 2023.