It’s cool to know what’s going on. Nerd culture has gone mainstream and being unimpressed and unconcerned went out with flannel in the 90’s. And while fashion trends come back around, I sure hope it won’t be cool again to be uninformed. I like knowing what’s going on. I don’t mean in the annoying, all up in everyone’s business sort of way, but rather, in the way that I can easily make connections and know where to find information. Sure, it may sound altruistic, but let’s be honest. It makes things easier for me. I can figure out where to plug in to make sure my projects get the attention they need. I can get a new perspective or improve an idea I have when I consider someone else’s point of view or a new audience.
When we talk about communication and knowing what’s going on, it’s easy to point out what someone else isn’t doing for you – what they’re not giving you, how they’re not making it easy or what they’re not sharing. But in the middle of that, it’s important to take a look at what you’re doing that keeps you in the dark. Keeping your head down and staying at your desk is a great way to ensure you don’t know what’s going on. Ignoring readily available resources is just silly. Zoning out in a meeting is a sure-fire way to miss an important detail. I know we’re all busy, but how much time does it really take to read your company newsletter? Sure, it’s another logon to remember, but taping into your organization’s intranet or social media platform is a great way to access bits of information while you’re away from the office. And attending social events at work will help establish more personal connections, and we know we enjoy working with people we like. We also like to tell them what’s going on, ask their advice or share a challenge. And when people share with us, we learn.
Take it upon yourself to learn about what’s going on in your organization. Don’t wait for the formal updates or for information to come to you. Ask your colleagues what they’re working on. Include yourself in conversations as appropriate. Offer to help outside your area. Participate. Read. Raise your hand. All the cool kids area doing it, so don’t just sit back and wait. Make it your business to know what’s going on.