There's a new craze called sweatworking, which is reshaping business meetings. However, you need to remember these mannerly tips if you chose to participate.
I can’t reiterate enough that the key to sweatworking is connectivity and making productive conversation. When you propose a sweatworking activity, make sure it’s one where you can talk, breathe without wanting to keel over, and participate side by side. Do not pick something where you are spaced far away from one another, or simply because it’s the “hottest trend” and “everyone is doing it." And do not pick something when you know deep down that the other person will be praying for the sweatworking date to be over, right from the minute it starts. When you improperly pitch a sweatworking idea, it makes you look like you’re not in it for the same reason, and that can’t sympathize with someone and their abilities. It shows a lack of care and a total disconnect with what it means to network.
Tip #3: Not the Time to Show Off
In an article called How To Be Bad Workout Partner, I talked about how a colleague invited me to do a 5K race at work with him but left me in the dust. He and I are friends and, as much as I hate running, I figured it would be fun to hang out and get a workout in. The run started out fine, but then out of nowhere, he took off on a sprint, saying, “I’ll meet you at the end!” He slowly became a smaller dot in the distance, as I was left very confused. Isn’t the point of asking someone to workout with you to actually run together? Had I known that he would be long gone after two minutes, I would have stayed in the air-conditioned gym to work out by myself. Maybe he thought I would keep up? Or maybe he realized I couldn’t and decided, “Screw Richie, I’m out of here!” Sadly, I think it was the latter. Um … I think someone is missing the point of today’s activity.
And this is a common misconception about sweatworking—that by dominating your competition, it shows how hard you can crush it in the board room as well. As if to say, “I’m a winner at everything I do!” A good mentality to have … but not with sweatworking. See, sweatworking—although showing your physical prowess—is not meant for an all-out battle royal to name the next King of the Ring. It’s meant to be enjoyed together. Shocker, right? If you think celebrating every time you ace your colleague in a game tennis will show your “fighting spirit,” it will only make you look like a show off with no class, someone who does not quite understand what is really going on. Does this mean you can’t try to win? NO WAY! Go ahead and do your best … just don’t think you’re Ali talking trash to Foreman. Nor does it mean you go solo because you want to get your workout in for the day. Sweatworking is about communicating and networking. If you leave your colleagues alone, you completely wasted both of your time.
As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and, of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.
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