Oct 11 2011

Productive Eavesdropping

Productive Eavesdropping

We’re in the midst of some pretty extensive renovations of our offices in New York at the moment.  For better or for worse, we’re doing this work without moving out.  We’ve basically crammed everyone into the back half of the office right now while the contractors are working on the front half.  When that’s done, we’ll all move into the newly-refinished front so they can do the same in the back.

One of the interesting side effects of this project is that I’m sharing my office with Anita Absey, our head of sales.  It’s the first time I’ve shared an office in quite a while, at least since the first year of the company’s life when we all sat in one big room together.  So the two of us are getting in a lot more time together than we usually do.  As much as we try to block out the sound coming from across the room, I’m sure there’s been plenty of inadvertent eavesdropping in both directions.

For my part, I’ve enjoyed it.  I have much more of a window into what Anita works on than I usually get.  I’m more in the flow of what’s happening with the sales organization.  I’m seeing what a strong manager she is, and I’ve picked up at least a couple of tips from her around her leadership style.  And we’ve had a lot of quick back-and-forth between things.  When we sat down to have our weekly check-in last week, it was half its normal length since we had already covered much of the topics in the daily flow of conversation.

I wonder if there’s a way to accomplish the same thing with others on my team…or with everyone on my team…without rearranging the office!

As for Anita, well, I suspect I’ll hear from her as to whether or not the arrangement is working for her shortly after I press “publish” on this post!