More Than The Watercooler

Oct 11, 2021 | Work

Traditionally, communication in business has always been in two broad formats; casual and formal. There are those watercooler conversations that lighten the mood, and the formal conversations that happen behind the double doors of a conference room. We see these 2 types of communications all throughout media, and have probably experienced them in some sort throughout our professional careers. Even culturally, we’ve learned that there are certain traditions or practices put in place during business meetings or in the workplace that set the tone for how conversations should flow. I believe there are more than just these 2 ways. 

Throughout my life I’ve learned that we all need each other; we’re all connected; better together; you know the rest. And although all of this is true, this great world (and workplace) in which we all work together productively, efficiently, and happily, can only happen with proper communication. We all dream of a workplace in which we can be ourselves, feel trusted, be affirmed in our actions, produce great performance and results, and feel a true connection to our teams and/or company. However, I feel the issue is we fail to communicate to each other in a way that keeps us truly connected.

One of the main barriers to communication and connection in the workplace is that we ignore one of the most obvious differences; our genders. The way in which women and men communicate is so widely varied, yet we do not acknowledge these differences when trying to get the work done. Women can generally communicate and act on several things at once, while men can generally only focus on one conversation or task at once. I’m not saying either of these is good or bad, I’m saying we may need to reshape how we communicate in each case, knowing that information. Some teams/workplaces may thrive with all women, and some with all men, while others need a 50/50 balance, and others may need a specific-gendered leader, and vice versa. 

The point here is that if I can communicate to you (whatever gender you may be), with a knowledge of how you physiologically process information, our connection will get stronger, making our team more unified and successful. Our communication can’t be black and white; otherwise, our connection will be black and white; we either have it or we don’t. 

Kiana Webb

Kiana Webb

Kiana Webb is an inspirational leader, a motivational speaker, a community philanthropist, and the Chief Executive Officer of Webb Family Enterprises (WFE). Webb Family Enterprises is a management company that oversees numerous business lines through the lens of pursuing parity.