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I think the best topics are non-related or ancillary topics.

If you focus on everything but work at work, you can get your mind off work and get you mind on to what you value and what really matters; the relationships and connections with other humans.

So, if someone has a talent and they are great at something cool, and they can teach me about it— let’s all learn together.

For example. I sent everyone on my team a matcha kit and we discussed the history of matcha and went through a matcha ceremony together.

It was beautiful, spiritual, educational, and really brought us together for a quiet moment to build trust and respect for each other.

Now, we do these sorts of events once a month.

This may not seem like it fits into work, but it does. It makes us all see each other for who we really are and allows us to explore each other’s interests and hidden talents. This builds a stronger bond and helps us grow together and allows us to be vulnerable and honest.

The next time we work on a project, we remember each other’s talents and the respect we have for their culture and have more empathy with their struggles and end up pulling their weight when needed and taking up some slack for them.

Now we talk about work, and ask questions like, “…can you help my son with his Russian homework?”, or do you have any recipes for Kofta; I’m trying to make it at home?

The value in this deeper bond allows all the work stressors to melt away and allows our team to be more focused and treat work like a championship game we can’t afford to lose.

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