As simple as it seems on the surface – a conversation being two or more people chatting – there can be plenty more going on in reality. Conversation isn’t always easy, and for a leader to create a closeness with staff, they’ve got to be trusted, approachable, and likable.
Distance can exist between people trying to communicate no matter whether they are in the same room, talking over the phone, or texting. However, those gaps can be bridged when people purposely make an effort and create something that gives way to an emotional closeness, or proximity. This proximity lends itself to conversational intimacy, which in the organizational sense, is gaining recognition as a function of leadership.
Conversational intimacy flourishes when leaders sense that the gap between themselves and employees is shrinking. The most profound institutional and psychological gaps exist in many companies. They come from the idea that people are placed into roles and this or that needs to be done. This is when, “That’s not my job” flourishes as a reply.
If you think about how a small company can represent an ideal of communication excellence, it is often attributed to the conversational style that people operate in. In the old-school business model, success came from becoming a bigger company where employees responded to orders and created more and more products so they could gain a wider share of the market. Today’s small company, however, can quickly mobilize resources and target new markets by leveraging their size. It is pretty straightforward for them to leverage conversational intimacy as a way to communicate and move things along.