This is a question I’d love to have more people ask themselves, asking it not in a general way, but with much more specificity, action by action, decision by decision.
Who can give you your second opinion?
Who can tip those aha! moments you have when you get stuck at work?
Who can you bounce an idea off of, feeling free to question it, or laugh about it?
Who might champion it with you, adding their unbridled enthusiasm to your own?
Who can you learn from?
Who can brighten your day in moments with their presence?
More often than not, the answer to these questions will be, “Come to think of it, several people can.” You simply need to get out of your chair (or away from your work station, whatever the case may be) and go to them. Break your orbit and be more comet-like.
An ‘Imi ola life — that ‘best possible’ life — is NOT a solo proposition.
Another way to ask this collection of questions, would be, Where’s the Aloha?
…and, Are you getting some, and giving some?
[ Your Aloha Spirit, Tightly Curled and Regal ]
One of the reasons I’m so bullish on The Daily Five Minutes, stems from the alarming trending I continually see in ‘digitally savvy’ workplaces toward solitary, independent work. I call this the “Downtown yet No Town” weirdness, because in my workplace visits, people will continually tell me how they feel the cubicle mentality still thrives, and is in fact, their world: They go to work each day, and sit at a workstation or in their office with nose to the grindstone as much as 95% of their day. Scary. And sad. Thanks to email, texting and social media (yes, I’m being sarcastic, for it’s no thanks), they aren’t even on the telephone much anymore. I push D5M with them because I know of its power in getting people together again, simply starting with getting out and about, to Hō‘imi — to actively look for those 5 minutes of found time when they can converse with another human being face to face.
Forget all the D5M framing if you must — just talk to people more.
Conversation, talking story, and good habits like The Daily Five Minutes are ‘Imi ola triggers: They will elevate the quality of your day, for all work — all good, feels good work — is some balanced execution of what we do on our own and what we do with others. As a workplace culture coach, much of the workplace unhappiness and discontent I see, is clearly the result of an imbalance toward the solitary, where people feel they go it alone. They might be surrounded by other people, but they feel alone most of the time — “Downtown, yet No Town.”
A good number of managers look to solve this by focusing on team dynamics, and yes, by all means, keep group interaction dynamic and vibrant too. Have good huddles. Bring back the staff meeting. Learn to love projects. But understand that people may still feel they disappear in the chaos of a whole team: We all need one-on-one time. If you must choose one over the other, focus on improving your one-to-ones, whether with D5M or other kinds of in-person conversation.
There is so much to be gained from collaborative work, starting with that simple act of asking another person for their opinion — their sharing of knowledge, with you.