Take time for mandatory fun with your colleagues

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Team building is so important.

While Colorado Community Media has always put on in-house work functions — and we have opportunities to attend training sessions with our media partners at the Colorado Sun — I never realized how important it is to get to know your colleagues outside of the workplace until the opportunity came up twice in August.

Our newsroom is a relaxed environment — we’ll often have casual conversations amongst each other about things going on in our personal lives. But it is still a work environment, and often, these conversations are prompted by a story one of us is covering, or how we relate to a piece of breaking news we hear about. For example, when President Joe Biden announced his student loan forgiveness plan earlier this month, we in the newsroom started talking about our own college experiences.

On Aug. 11, a group of us played hooky from work to attend a Rockies game. For the record, it wasn’t actually playing hooky because it was a “Mandatory Fun” day. A few of met at the office and rode the light rail to Coors Field, taking advantage of the Zero Fare for Better Air program, which offered free RTD transit through August. No matter how many times I’ve ridden the light rail downtown, this time seemed like an adventure — maybe because it was with my colleagues rather than friends or family.

We rode the train from our Englewood office, then the Free Mall Ride on 16th Street Mall to Union Station and walked the rest of the way the baseball stadium, chitchatting about random topics all the way. Once at Coors Field, we met up with even more of the CCM team, already in their seats enjoying the game. And we had more not-work-related conversations.

Probably my favorite thing about baseball is the seventh inning stretch and seeing Dinger — which I always mistake for “digger” in reference to Colorado’s history of digging for gold in the Rocky Mountains — come out and rouse up the crowd.

It was a fun game. I’m not a sports writer, so here is a recap I found on espn.com by the AP: “Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon hit back-to-back home runs in a six-run seventh inning, and the Colorado Rockies held off the St. Louis Cardinals 8-6 on Thursday to secure their first series win since the All-Star break.”

The second opportunity for team building was not put on by the company at all. My coworker, Rylee Dunn, was performing with her band for the Englewood Block Party on Aug. 27. I had never seen Dunn’s band perform before, so this was a treat, in addition to seeing all my coworkers smiling and introducing each other to the people who are important in their lives.

My colleagues and I all have different things going on in our lives, and different hobbies and interests outside of work. Perhaps none of us would have ever met or crossed paths if we didn’t work together. But despite that, we’ll always have one thing that binds us together — we are each a part of Team CCM. And that is a powerful bond.

Christy Steadman, Colorado Community Media, team building

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