One thing that surprised me about geeks was how much they actually do like to socialize.
Maybe they’re not out at martini bars with the beautiful people, but very few of them dislike social interaction altogether. My geeks really enjoyed chatting with each other in-person (although I understand that they did even more chatting electronically), much to my surprise. Also to my surprise was that the chatter didn’t often get out of hand, especially with the amount of time they spent chatting.
By letting this chatter go (i.e., not asking them to stop), I allowed them to bond as a team and hash out problems together. I know that non-geeks can sometimes go overboard with the amount of time they spend chatting, but most geeks–especially introverted ones–should be encouraged to chat with each other.
Why? Because when stressful times and crises occur, it is exactly those interpersonal bonds formed via socialization that will allow the geeks to work well together. If they already know and like or trust each other, they will be more likely to forgive a snippy comment or approach each other when they need help. And as a geek leader, I value that teamwork.