How to Make the Most of a Trip to the Restroom

I laughed at the simplicity and effectiveness of Melanie Katzman’s strategy for creating and strengthening connection. Even introverts go to the restroom.

“People are collecting followers and likes, and not relationships. And they’re looking at phones and screens, and not into the eyes of other people.” Melanie Katzman, PhD.

Nature’s call and relationship building*:

You may not appreciate the importance of small talk or the power of your presence.

#1. Acknowledge that people are watching.

Frowns, smiles, complaints, and laughs are messages. Everyone interprets you by the way you show up. You’re just thinking as you walk. Your head is down. You look serious. You’re as happy as a clam.

But your serious face creates a panic. “What’s the boss upset about?”

Maybe you’re just shy. But people think you’re disconnected, aloof, or worried.

#2. Let biology be your cue*.

Take one way to the restroom and another way back. Let people see you.

Engage in small talk on the way back. If small talk is tough for you, craft a question before you go.

7 Simple strategies that create and strengthen connection:

  1. Hold your head up when you walk.
  2. Make eye contact.
  3. You usually look way too serious.
  4. Slow down just a beat and notice people.
  5. Eat together. This is not having food to hold people prisoner.
  6. Don’t invite people to your space; go to theirs.
  7. Say please. It humanizes interactions. When was the last time you said, “Please?” Try saying, “Could you please … “

If you want to connect, show respect.

What simple strategies help leaders connect with people on their team?

This post is based on my conversation with Melanie Katzman, author of, “Connect First: 52 Simple Ways to Ignite Success, Meaning, and Joy at Work.”

*Melanie on Youtube in her own words (2:24):

More from Melanie. “Five Minutes of Silence,” on Youtube (4:42):