Previously published on October 17, 2022 in
By Cloey Callahan, Reporter at WorkLife
Binna Kim, group CEO of communications agency Vested, sees small talk as being a red herring for relationship building. She sees the benefit in the small conversations throughout the day in the office and describes it as a sign of a workplace that allows for those relationships to form. “You might have a quick conversation with someone as you’re running to the coffee machine and it feels good,” said Kim. “Is it the small talk itself or is it the social connection that is happening there outside of facilitated connections because you work on a team together?”
She argues that hearing different perspectives might change someone’s point of view on what they do every day at work. For example, small talk could be what you’re working on that day and the person on the other end might offer a suggestion that you hadn’t thought about yet. Similar to Theen, she also has seen a benefit from facilitated open conversations, which might be a happy hour or even a 20-minute brainstorming session that can also happen remotely – as long as the virtual meeting is with a small group so people feel comfortable speaking.