My whole career I have embraced two simple approaches when speaking with my colleagues on a daily and monthly basis.
The first is when I meet my co-workers, wherever it is, on a VC, or with a client, I always ask, “How are you today”, listen very carefully to the response, and engage around the answer.
At my monthly one-on-ones with all direct reports, I start the meeting with the same question “How are you today” and then “Please, tell me what’s on your mind”.
The result of these simple questions builds a critical empathy bridge across which much information and connection travels! It’s vital for trust, relationship building, and crossing the creak of coworker confidence! A business & leadership bridge over troubled waters…
Now HBS has a view on this too – it’s worth a read and shows how powerful it is to simply ask co-workers how they’re doing. Try it today!