In a conversation with Adam Teterus, Alex Hillman discussed an article by Alice Dundon , a barista from Berlin. The article was entitled “Behind the Bar: 5 Ways to Build a Meaningful Network in a Coworking Space.”
Taking interest in people’s lives take a certain degree of curiosity. There should a genuine give and take between what is exchanged. The different between taking and faking interest is the feeling of comfort one feels. If someone is taking interest in another’s life, there is a sense of comfortability they feel when discussing what is happening in their lives. In order to facilitate this kind of exchange, let people know you are willing to listen when they are ready to share. Simple gestures mean a lot. You do not have to go out of your way to make people open up. It comes naturally when you trust people know who you are.
Do not assume that you need to offer a solutions. Conversations can still be valuable, even if they are left unsolved. It is not about finding a solution. It is about offering a space where people can talk openly about their struggles. In fact, asking questions to just clarify their problem can help someone find a solution on their own.
While paying attention to others is significant, self-care is just as important. Listening to and participating tough conversations can be emotionally exhausting. Remember to treat yourself every once in awhile. It helps to finish tough conversations on a good note.
Do not get so caught up in other people’s job titles. One person has many things that they do. Assumptions as to what someone in your community does barricades the opportunities available. Embrace the fact that people are multifaceted. The work place tends to force people to shed smaller things that they do that makes them them. By finding the other things that someone does, the interactions that are had are more meaningful.
Skill sharing is essential to coworking. Most spaces market themselves on meaningful relationships and the facilitation of knowledge across members. The best way to help your community grow is by offering what you are good at. This gives other members the chance to utilize your strengths and learn from them so that they can help themselves. When you share with other people, they will likely reciprocate it. Thus, sharing what you know ends up benefiting you as well.
If you belong to a coworking space but are so engrossed in your own work that you never take a second to see what other people are up to, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. The diversity within a space provides a plethora of knowledge on an array of topics. You cannot benefit from the knowledge of others if you do not even know they have it. Take time to get to know the other people around you. Attend events and talk to members. You will be able to build a more meaningful network when you have a better understanding of what other people do.