Beyond the Build

Customer Relationships

The Power of Small Talk

Over the years, communication means and methods have changed. We are now in a world where most everyone has at least a cell phone close by. While all these advances have made it easier to communicate and catalogue our work, we’ve unintentionally cut out some of the personal interactions that can make a team truly great.

An article I read recently argues that what we’re missing is “small talk,” a chance to connect, and therefore understand each other better. If we talk in person, rather than via email, we can find ways to support our team members and have a more clear understanding of where they stand in a project. Having said this, we now have the ability to “chat” electronically, which might be a close second to talking in person, but it’s still not the same.

We all might be a little happier in our work environment if things felt less transactional. While the ways we communicate now have a lot of value, there is something about being together when you can make it happen. Simply talking can enrich the communication and transfer of thoughts.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.