How many times have you been asked if you “…have any fun plans this weekend?” at 4pm on a Friday afternoon.
It’s nice enough small talk that keeps things civil around the office.
What your colleague probably means, however, is “You’re relatively boring, and I can’t think of anything else to ask you.”
Listen: Former Lord Mayor of Brisbane Sallyanne Atkinson thinks work/life balance is overrated. (Post continues after audio).
Small talk is a critical foundation of any successful workplace: whether you find yourself waiting in line for the kitchen sink, stuck in the painfully slow work elevator with a colleague, or rinsing your hands next to your boss in the bathroom, small talk melts the building tension in any situation.
The thing about small talk is… a lot of it goes deeper than what’s being said on the surface. There are hidden meanings aplenty: some passive aggressive; some dismissive; others so flirty your colleague might as well be giving you a lap dance right at your desk.