How Coffee Can Make Your Workplace Better
by Stacey Rivers
Over the years as I think back to the many colleagues I have “grabbed a coffee” with, it’s amazing the level of bonding that can occur over a cup of this liquid gold. Just this year alone, I’ve had many meetings at Starbucks or the coffee kiosk where I work, and the topics have ran the gamut. This simple ritual allowed me to connect with my colleagues on a more personal level, which helped me to see their passions, vulnerabilities, and sometimes just lend an ear to listen. While the hot cup of coffee is what initially lured me to the meeting, I found that I enjoyed the conversation and camaraderie even more. The process of meeting over coffee started out as a working session, then somewhere in the middle of solving the problem, we became two human beings connecting with each other and fulfilling the need to share, knowing that we are different, yet the same.
During these “coffee meetings”, I learned more about my colleagues than I ever would have at any other time. This gave me an opportunity to really connect to the people I collaborate with every day, and discover more about the person sitting in the next cube or the next building. Going in, I knew the coordinator, business analyst, software developer, manager, trainer, and engineer. Walking away, I now know a mom, dad, yoga instructor, little league coach, musician, photographer, and non-profit volunteer. And since I’m still figuring out motherhood, my co-workers have become my subject matter experts in these areas as well.
Take a few minutes out of your day for a coffee break with someone and get to know the people you work with on a human level. Because we are not limited to our titles or the roles we perform, these few moments will allow you to experience just that. If you are not a coffee drinker, that is quite alright. A cup of tea or hot chocolate will do just the same. Ultimately, it’s not about the coffee but the people you share your time with that can make your workplace a more interesting place to be.
How has “grabbing a coffee” with a colleague shaped your working environment? I would love to hear about it…Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Coffee With A Colleague At CNN Starbucks
Stacey Rivers is the Director of Technical Project Management at Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc. where she leads a Project Management Office (PMO) for a technical organization. Stacey has a B.S. in Technology Management and an M.S. in Management with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness. She has served on the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Southeast Board for 4 years, Turner Toastmasters for 5 years, and other professional boards.