Water cooler conversations

Call them the ‘water cooler conversations’ or the ‘breather yak’, this informal means of feedback is the lifeline of the proceedings in any industry. The canteen, the rest rooms, library or the leisure hall, these are the places where people discuss about the college, the company, the society or the country with open minds. It is said well proven that whatever we think and say when entrapped inside the artificial mental boundaries erected by the employer in a company, the addressee during a lecture, the theme and the speakers in a seminar etc. are all biased. It is this pressure drop that extracts the real truth out of our minds whenever experienced especially during the water cooler conversations. These conversations are very fruitful and that is the reason companies with ‘continuous improvement’ theme heavily bet upon these.

The real you: Most of the employees during any feedback session, either do not speak up or say what the employer want them to say due to the ‘boomerang syndrome’. Once the employee comes from the high pressure region to these low or no pressure regions, they just open up. The real employee in his natural shell is discovered during these water cooler conversations and they open up like the soda bottle spilling out the real feedback.

Informal environment: It is said that, to extract the true information from someone, we should befriend him. The casual approach often brings out the true inputs that are sought by the management. The informal environment during these water cooler conversations enables the employees to feel free and discuss things more open. The hesitation of being ‘wrong’ also subsides.

No answerability: In general, majority of the people are good in saying something, but when it comes for discussions or cross-questioning they cannot hold their points. This generates a fear inside them which acts as a barrier inside them and prevents them to speak freely. Water cooler conversations provide necessary inputs that can act as raw data which can be validated before acceptance.

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