Drop-In AMAs

Do you have that one colleague whose work you just don’t understand? You’re always confused about what their role is and what it is they actually do? Turning it around, would any colleagues wonder the same about you?

Whether we work in a complex organizations with multiple departments, or in a small tight-nit organization, many of us would love to understand what it is some of our colleagues really do, but there isn’t always a good set-up to find out. Job titles can be vague, and reporting structure doesn’t always give the full picture. But how can we see possible points of connection or potential career growth if people don’t really understand the work that others do? This week’s tip:

Try a weekly #AMA (Ask Me Anything) time. Dedicate an hour each week to being available for people to ask you anything about your role – whether that’s in person, by phone, by Zoom, by Slack… whatever tools work for you. This isn’t additional time – you can still work as usual during this hour, but block this time on your calendar, and don’t schedule meetings then (or allow others to schedule meetings for you). Treat this as a drop-in office hour, and make note of it in your email signature, on Slack and elsewhere.

This doesn’t need to be an organization-wide initiative. Even if you’re the only one to do this, it will encourage others to do the same. You may be surprised – within a short time, you may find new collaborations, new understanding, and new bridges built!

Try this out, and let us know how it goes! We’d love to hear from you!

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Published by Ian Jackson

Ian Jackson is the founder of Building Bridges Leadership, which works with individuals, teams, and organizations to create authentic community in the workplace. He also writes children's fiction and teaches creative writing.

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