This entry is less on managing a team and more on managing yourself. To vary your hangouts is to go from place to place in order to keep things interesting. No I am not advocating job hopping, rather involve yourself in things that are outside of your core areas to round out your knowledge and experiences.
Do not think this has to be a anything complex, it could be as simple as changing your reading habits. Many people read about the latest developments in their chosen field, how about reading in a different field? I work in technology but a years ago I started reading business magazines for the exposure. I recently started reading up on the law for a new direction. I have found publications from schools have a-lot of relevant information on current events and is a good place to start. Many other professions are trying to solve management problems that tech companies are just with a slightly different flavor. Plus there is more discussion of technology than you would realize. At a minimum you will expand your vocabulary and that will be handy anywhere.
Another way you may try to vary your hangouts is to join a professional organization that is in your field where you can meet others who are working in the same type of work but are not in your daily work cycle. The exposure to other ideas and solutions that may help you now or maybe later on. At worst you get to meet other people and who knows where that can go. If you are in technology and in the San Francisco area, look into SDForum and the various special interest groups that are part of the organization. Also check out the Churchill Club.
So what can you do at work? I found that many people tend to stick to their routine week after week, myself included. Find ways to socialize with people outside of your normal routine. If there is a gym at work, use it. Conversations can start there. If there are lunch presentations on topics inside and outside the company attend them. If the lunch presentation program does not exist at you work, start it yourself. You will find others would love to attend.
My wife prompted me to write this partiular entry stating my habit of exploring and expanding my experience set has worked out well for me. (Thanks Honey for the support as I drift about and learn) I am even learning a language… (parlez-vous francais?) What you learn can as you expand your exposure can help you and others around you.
Thomas De Lora