Episode 16 | Why you shouldn’t try to please everyone

Episode 3 October 18, 2023 00:05:00
Episode 16 | Why you shouldn’t try to please everyone
Remote Culture Club with Alix Dunn
Episode 16 | Why you shouldn’t try to please everyone

Oct 18 2023 | 00:05:00


Show Notes

From email to Slack to video calls, we have a lot of ways to communicate at work these days. But what do you do when you prefer emails, but your team hates them? Or when your colleague communicates only in Slack, but you’re struggling to keep up with the constant pings?

In this mini-episode, Alix talks about how to understand and respond to your team’s communication preferences. TL;DR? You can’t make everyone happy all the time, but you can find common ground. Listen in for more.


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Episode Transcript

[00:00:07] Speaker A: Welcome to the Remote Culture Club podcast. On this show we inspire and equip leaders to build remote culture that works. I'm your host, Alex Dunn, and even though I've been leading remote organizations for over ten years, I'm always learning more. It's really nice to have you here. And without further ado, welcome to the show. [00:00:25] Speaker B: Um, a few years ago I held a retreat session for an organization I was working in about how people prefer to receive communications. This is in a remote organization working globally across time zones, lots of lovely people. And what I expected to come out of the session was some agreements about how we wanted to communicate on what channel, what kind of information people wanted. And I thought it was going to be a pretty clear conversation where we basically just made explicit something that was already obvious to everyone. And I was really surprised by the fact that when we were discussing which tools people prefer to use for which types of communication, that there was so much variation. Literally, one person would say, oh, I love using email for long report outs of something that happened or like lots of information structured in a really good way. And someone else would say, oh, I hate that so much. Actually, I prefer it to be in a document so we can go back and forth on it and document and comment and that kind of thing, rather than getting lost in a big email thread where someone else would say, I love Quick slack pings to answer questions that can be quickly answered. And someone else is like, oh, I hate that. It makes me feel like my work is urgent and too fast paced and I find it quite stressful. And that was ten years ago or so. And it's a lesson I learn over and over again that no individual is ever going to 100% love the way that every communication is structured in your organization. There's no way to please everyone. There's actually no way to design an organization that pleases one person all the time. And I think the second you realize that, it's quite liberating because it means that everyone is going to be unhappy sometimes in the way that your remote work is organized. And once you understand that, it's more about discussing what matters to individuals and then creating an agreement of where you're going to be willing to be inconvenienced in some ways and maybe the parts that are really important to you, the organization is able to accommodate really effectively. So it's about compromise essentially. It's about designing, explicitly designing remote work habits and patterns and communication structures and channels and process that you all have come to an agreement that you're willing to work that way. And part of that is understanding our personal preferences and part of that is understanding your teammates personal preferences. And part of it is about identifying the compromises that we're willing to make. So I just wanted to share that as hopefully something helpful. If you're finding yourself in a situation where no matter what changes you make, there's always someone that's kind of unhappy that you're shooting for the wrong thing, you're aiming to make everyone happy and that's never going to happen. But if you can create a process in which your team can discuss what's important to them, communicate invent maybe that sometimes they know they have to do things that they don't like. And being specific about what those things might be that if you can hold that space for that conversation and work to come to a shared agreement about how the organization is going to function and also create space for iteration and reflection as you work those. [00:03:57] Speaker A: Ways. [00:03:58] Speaker B: It can be a really powerful way of helping people onboard into a system that they might not 100% of the time love, but at least they've been a part of the process of designing it. They've consented to compromise and they're able to commit to working in that way, which means you can hold each other accountable to participating in that system the way that you've designed. So I hope that's helpful. If you've been sort of stressing about whether or not everybody's super happy all the time in your remote setup, give up. It's never going to happen. But there is a process that you can design and sort of have within your control to hear everyone, include everyone and design something that accommodates hopefully all the stuff that really matters to folks. Thanks for listening and see you next time.

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