Coffee Stained Lens: Networking, Coffee Dates and “God Talk”

Other than my usual run to a coffee shop to spend several hours sipping on coffee and writing, there are really three reasons why I ever go to coffee shops: meetings for work or school, random coffee dates with friends and coworkers, or with my hubby for some “God talk.”

I had a professor that once told us in one of my first communication classes, “If your boss or professor ever asks you to coffee, say yes.” A professor of his told him this as well and I can only assume this advice has been given to social science scholars for years before that and I will continue to give this advice to my colleagues and anyone that I may have the honor of mentoring in the future. “Going on a coffee run” could be a crucial part of networking because waiting for coffee, sitting down at a table and enjoying the coffee allows time for conversation to be made and relationships to be developed. This can be with a professor, a client, a coworker, or a supervisor—no matter what you can use this time to make a connection with someone that will at least have a connection that has a connection that needs someone like you to join their team or help them out. So if you’re thinking about going on that lunch date or coffee run to check in with a coworker or boss, or have a short meet up to discuss important business things at your local Starbucks—do it!

Random coffee dates with my girls is a must. My favorite ones are the ones where we meet up and before we even get up to order, we just drop our stuff at a table and sink into the chairs with a sigh of relief. Conversations just flow easily over the caffeine.

The best coffee dates for me, sometimes, are the ones with my hubby. When we haven’t been able to hit up a church in recent times, we head out to a coffee shop to get some coffee and have what I call “God talk” where we talk about the bible and God and all things that we need God’s strength for. This past weekend as we shaped up for the reality that began this past week, Brendan and I walked down to my favorite MKE coffee spot, ordered one mocha and one pour over coffee, and got ready to talk about God and our feelings and how the world and work is.

The best coffee dates are the ones where you forget that you’re in a coffee shop at all—where you’re just sitting there with the other person so engaged in the conversation that you don’t notice the twenty other people sitting around you are having their own moments with their own friends. Own coworkers. Own supervisors. Own partners. For a few hours, the minutes are still, and nothing is wrong in our hectic lives. No chaos, just relief and joy.

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