I’ve been working two different worlds.. places where I teach and coach real estate agents. Lately I’ve been struck by how space helps create cultures–how people in the same business, with similar resources available to them, respond in different ways.
Many of the differences, I’m learning, are physical. Different spaces create different environments, moods, communications, and energy.
If I can see you, at least pretty often, I am much more likely to speak to you–or even get to know you.
If I can hear you, or overhear you (even some of the time) I develop a sense of your tone of voice, your sense of humor, how you treat customers. Sure, you distract me at times…but I have options (headphones, singing to myself, you know..)
If I can see even some of your interaction with others, my picture begins to fill in. Ah, so this is what you are like. When I approach you about something, I feel I know pretty much what I will get…who I’m dealing with.
All this makes it easier to connect with you–if that’s what I want. And it also makes it easier for you to connect with me.
Camaraderie is more likely to develop. Smiles happen more often. Contact happens–even when it begins with an “excuse me” or “behind you” as we pass in a busy hallway or a bullpen area.
“”Oh, hi! What’s up?” I’m getting to know you. Even if you aren’t a friend, or I don’t work with you directly in any way, you are a presence..we’re becoming connected.
Closed doors and empty hallways (even when people are around) say “no” and “you’re not welcome”. This can be overcome, but it requires extra effort, intentional curiosity, door knocking, and sometimes, literally, ambushes to connect with people. People who do pass by one another most probably just nod, and keep walking.
Communication in that kind of environment becomes a real effort, not a natural part of my day.
After three months in these working worlds, I know a handful of people, and pretty formally at that, in one world. I feel surrounded by friends in the other.
Good people in both worlds for sure, but their space itself provides a built-in business advantage to one of these groups,
Just one observer’s opinion…