There’s nothing wrong with having business talks or brainstorming sessions while sitting in an office, but it can get old after a while. 

The formality of meeting with a colleague in an office can cause the conversation to be stiff or superficial, which doesn’t typically lead to the most productive or creative discussions.

But contributor John Boitnott shared three suggestions for making the most of your one-on-one time with co-workers, helping you get more accomplished and build stronger connections.

1. Go for a walk

Something as simple as walking and talking instead of sitting can make a world of difference. Not only does this give you a chance to stretch your legs and get away from your computer screen, but studies have shown people think more clearly when they’re moving.

Besides the benefit of some physical activity, being outside is much more conducive to better conversations. The sun and fresh air will put you in a good mood, and being out of the office will allow you and your colleague to speak more freely.

2.  Play a game

A shared experience is a great way to bond with a co-worker, and it also gives you the chance to have more meaningful conversations. Sports like golf or racquetball allow for discussion, physical activity and fun. These activities will help you get some work assignments accomplished while not feeling like work.

If you’re not up for a physical activity, a board game or video game can work just as well. Even if you can’t get out of the office, you can still have a fun experience that’s more genuine than a formal one-on-one meeting. Some friendly competition can help you connect with your co-worker, too.

3. Make it a group event

If you need to talk business with someone, but not necessarily in a one-on-one setting, why not get some more people involved? Organize a group happy hour with other co-workers who might be able to shed some light on a project. This laid-back setting will take the pressure off and allow people to be themselves. Plus, when you’re done talking shop, you can mingle and build camaraderie, which is always a good thing.


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