A comment on Twitter said that the author, Matt Hunziker, had spent the day trying to popularize the terms “pre-show” and “afterparty” to describe the five minutes on either side of a Zoom meeting where people are just chatting.

It reminded me of yesterday’s dot in which IDEO designer Dav Rauch spoke of the importance of the warmup as a way for people to shift which side of their brain was dominantly functioning. But it also highlighted one of the key elements missing by working-at-home – that of informal connection.

Without the pre-show or afterparty, we’re devoid of the watercooler conversations that help us feel as if we belong to an organization. We don’t hear personal stories or share emotions. We miss out on appreciating the humanity of our coworkers, just when it’s needed the most.

So, as you participate in yet another virtual meeting, resist the temptation to jump into the business too soon. Leave the connection open afterward. Structure some time to share the best meme people have seen or the worst thing their new “office mates” have done since work-from-home began. Embrace that pre-show and afterparty as an integral part of the time together rather than glossing over it as an afterthought.

Twitter source: @matthunzi

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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