On a recent girls’ weekend getaway, we three had an AMAZING time. Our host’s impeccable planning led us from local lobster shacks to an unbelievable antique market to gorgeous nature walks and five-star quality fusion cuisine. But it was the one unplanned thing we all loved the most.

Suddenly inspired by the discovery of these awesome Posca fabric paint markers, we raced to find some vintage demin and got to work creating our own “Wren & Glory-inspired” jackets.

For hours, we nibbled on snacks, jammed with LP on Spotify, and painted. We also had the BEST conversation. This very special day was an excellent reminder that oftentimes, it’s during the side-by-side moments when real conversation surfaces.

I KNOW this as a mom: facing my daughter and asking how her day was, will yield one, dependable response: “fine.”

I also know this as a manager: asking my teammates how things are going when sitting on two opposite sides of a table generally draws, one response: “fine.”

We need to shift out of the face-to-face. Finding and creating side-by-side moments is always worth the extra time and consideration. Because when we’re engaged in a task, it’s easier for the defenses to come down. Unpaid compliments come to surface, and layers begin to peel back revealing the real people within.

And you might just walk away with a wicked cool jacket.