Sometimes you just need to take a walk
One of my favorite new habits is taking a break from work and walking around our building and parking lot to clear my head. The office I work in is a good sized complex and a walk around the place is about 1/4 mile. It provides me with time to take a mental break, get some exercise, and to breath some fresh Bay Area air.
Today I had the opportunity to take my walk to the next level. While sitting in my office I overheard one of my sales reps getting really frustrated on the phone with our order entry team. It wasn’t the first time I had heard him venting this morning. His manager was in an interview and I knew I needed to step in and help. After a short conversation it was clear that Joe needed a break. So I said, “Let’s go for a walk”.
We walked toward my office and I grabbed a quick drink of water and then tossed my cell phone on my desk. We headed outside and began our walk. I asked him about his daughter and he shared with me that she is starting high school this fall and we briefly shared our concerns about the things teens are facing today. He then began to talk about work and I stopped him. I said, “No, no work talk. We are taking a break from that.” Joe laughed and said, “Ok, that’s cool.”
We then talked about his hobbies and I discovered that Joe has a heart for helping homeless people and that he’s produced a few YouTube videos on the subject. I shared with him about an experience I had serving the homeless in my home town. It’s a really cool story that I should explain here in detail later. Joe loved it.
After we finished our lap around the building Joe and I worked up a couple solutions to the issues he was facing with his customers and Joe left the office, resolved both of them, and made another sale.
Joe called me later and thanked me for the walk and said that he felt like we really got to know one another. He even expressed his gratitude on our team message board.
I’m not a natural at building relationships and investing the time needed to connect with people, but today I nailed it. You can too. Sometimes all it takes is a walk around the building.