How Inquisitive Questions Spur Kinship at Work

If you had a warning label, what would it say?

"Caution: Extreme Sarcasm. Handle with levity."

That's probably what mine would say. How about yours?

This is the type of question asked every week during "Team Hugs" at Four Kitchens. Team Hugs is the name of the weekly meeting where they invest time as a company getting to know the little quirks and oddities of each individual working there. Here's how they do it:

  1. Gather everyone on a video call
  2. Start with an open-floor "kudos" session, where teammates send shout-outs to their peers recognizing them for a special achievement or effort.
  3. Once kudos have quieted down, it's time for the question. One person will ask it, answer it, then pass the figurative mic to a teammate. Each person only takes a minute or two to answer (although some answers are worth a little extra time).

What does a team get from this, apart from some simple socialization? Connection.

Four Kitchens is a distributed company, which means not everyone shares the same office. In fact, many on the team work in an office of one, getting their job done from the comforts of their home.

But that comfort brings isolation. The natural connection of a shared office space doesn't exist when working from home.

Co-located companies take this for granted. Distributed companies can't. They must be deliberate that the human aspect of work never be overlooked.

That's what Four Kitchens' Team Hugs brings. A timeout from everyone's busy week to get to know each other; To connect outside of work projects and assignments. To say "Hey, we know we have a lot of work to do, but we also have some great stories to tell".

Interested in starting your own Team Hugs? I've put together a starter list of unique questions worth asking. Give it a shot!

Enjoy this content? Check out my upcoming book, The Non-Conformist Leader.