Leadership Tactic #56: The Value of Facetime

Today at work, schedule lunch in the near future with a coworker with whom you’ve never chatted one-on-one for more than a few minutes.

You’d be amazed at what a little facetime can do.

Two years ago at my full-time job, one of our interns would come into my office about twice a week to chat for about 15-20 minutes. Nothing work related, just two people debating and discussing pretty much everything.

When the intern’s year came to a close, I knew what made her tick. Combining that knowledge with my firsthand experience of her organizational skills and work ethic, I’d have no hesitation to recommend her for any job. In fact, it goes beyond recommendations–she’s one of those people that I think of all the time when I hear about open job positions.

Contrast that to another intern I worked with. Truly, this person was a fantastic intern, and I’d happy recommend them to future employers. But this intern never went after any facetime. As a result, when it came time for that intern to move on, I learned too late that the intern had been looking for jobs in a field where I happen to have a lot of connections.

You never know what you may stumble upon when you really get to know someone at work or elsewhere in your life. So today, go get some facetime with someone you’re genuinely curious about. Don’t try to make a good impression; just be yourself and get to know someone knew. You’ll reap the benefits down the road.

3 thoughts on “Leadership Tactic #56: The Value of Facetime”

  1. This is a fantastic point to make, and here’s another story to back up Jamey’s assertion that a lack of face time can really hurt you in your career. But first, a little explanation about the titles in my company: the Senior Manager has a Department Manager that reports to him (usually a few DM’s), and then the Department Manager has several Team Managers that report to her. The Team Managers then oversee the entry-level employees. Got it? Good.

    I was talking to a Senior Manager in my company a few weeks ago, and we were discussing the difficulties of those people who work for us that telecommute. Even though I am not one of them, I asked him what his advice was for those people so they can work from home but still remain “visible” within the company. He said that even dropping by to say hi if they are here for monthly or quarterly meetings can make a big difference, as can attending the employee events that the company does on a monthly basis (free movies at Ronnie’s, Cardinals Games, family nights at the Magic House, etc).

    He said that he had a spot open for a Department Manager to report to him, and he had several people apply for the job internally. One of them was good Team Manager, but he didn’t select her for the position because he had never actually met her, even she worked for one of the Department Managers that reported to him. She had never taken the time to talk to her boss’s boss (the Senior Manager) through any method other than email, but then expected that she would get the job to work for him anyway. Instead, the person who had put in that face time was hired, because the senior manager felt like he had more of a connection to that person.

    Who knows why the rejected Team Manager didn’t put in face time. Maybe she felt like she would be viewed as a brown noser, or she felt intimidated by the Senior Manager, or felt that he was too busy to take the time to talk with her for “no reason.” But the bottom line is that it really ended up killing what could have been a great opportunity for her.

    • That is a fantastic example. And it’s a personal reminder to me to value facetime. One of my partners in the publishing company, Kristy, is great with facetime. She’s constantly meeting with people and forging relationships. Although I’m often corresponding with people about marketing and promotions, I don’t meet one-on-one with people nearly as often. So I try to be really intentional about it–when I see an opportunity to get to know someone better, instead of listening to my natural thought of “oh, we’ll e-mail,” I force myself to ask them to lunch or to meet up for a drink.


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