Communicating is a lot easier before the pandemic happened. It was easy to build connections because you can see your teammates in person. You get to see them often, start a quick conversation over coffee, have a small talk while printing that memo. But, come COVID-19 pandemic, and our world has changed as we know. The big question is “how do you build a relationship now?
You might find yourself working from home or at least working from an office where social distancing should be followed. It gets even more challenging if you're stuck at the same desk for 8 hours a day. These factors can make forming relationships hard.
In fact, some found it difficult getting to know colleagues after returning from a remote work assignment. Some report that the fear of making a mistake kept them from opening up. Others say that they could not connect. Well, it's because they felt disconnected from their team due to physical distance.
So how do you form a connection with your colleague when you don't even know how to start? Easy. You can begin by asking questions!
There are three accessible and interesting question activities that you can do. You can, in fact, do this in person or through virtual meetings.
1. Question-Eight, Elimin-Eight (Question it, Eliminate)
The activity involves having each member of your team answer the question for themselves before asking their teammates. It's essential to eliminate any questions you know the answers to first. You will be amazed to learn how much you don't know about the people you work with!
After your team has eliminated the questions, ask them to share their thoughts on the rest of the question list.
Do this at your weekly meetings - in-person or virtual. You'll see how much you and your team have collaborated and formed a bond.
2. Ask Away
This is somehow like Question-Eight, Elimin-Eight. In this activity, you'll allow each of your team members to ask away questions. It can be something from their experience, fun, and unique happenings. Go around the table or on your virtual meeting. Give your team members 45 seconds to a minute to answer and share something quick and exciting.
It will light up the meeting with the tons of quirky answers you'll get from each of your colleagues. You'll better understand them and know who you are working with.
This activity will pique your creativity while you connect with your teammates. This is storytelling, but everyone gets their fair share of the story. Instead of one member telling the story, each team member should take part. Each should continue the story based on the story of the previous storyteller. Each member should continue the story in three sentences only.
Do this for 5 to 10 minutes. This is a laugh-inducing activity, so better get your tummies ready for great laughs. You'll be surprised how the story will go from a simple "Once upon a time" to whatever superhero story it will end up with. All these question activities take time and require patience -- but they're worth it.
There are many more great ways to engage and connect with your colleagues. But those three will do the trick while helping you spend less time doing mindless activities like checking Facebook during meetings or wasting time playing games during the sessions.
In conclusion, those question activities can lead to good discussion, collaboration, and bonding among your teammates. They might not seem effortless at first, but they'll become second nature to you once you start doing them regularly.