In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast, I interview McKenna Sweazey. Mckenna’s global marketing career has spanned the spectrum of start-ups to corporations. McKenna’s own management experience, leading teams around the world, has provided the foundation for her speaking and coaching, around a structured approach to this new world of remote-first work. She’s also the author of a new book — How to Win Friends and Manage Remotely.
How do you manage a poor performer over Zoom? How do you casually deliver positive feedback via Slack? What’s the most professional use of a gif? Two things are certain with the shift in office structure: First, we will never go back to “the way things were.” Second, we all must learn to live in a virtual workplace. If we are managers, that means we also need to know how to communicate with, motivate, and coach virtual teams. In face-to-face interactions, humans have thousands of indicators to tell them what the other party is thinking and how they are reacting.
Resorting to purely digital communication obliterates these clues, stopping us from reading the subtle body language we’ve evolved to use in all interactions to become better leaders, kinder managers, and more effective cogs in the corporate machine. In this episode with McKenna Sweazey, she shares why expressing empathy is the most important factor in managing and working with others in the virtual-office world.
Questions I ask McKenna Sweazey:
[2:17] What’s the hardest challenge for people who were used to having their team together in person to keep that relationship and engagement going
[3:22] From like a leader’s ability to have an impact, what do you think we have lost?
[4:20] Do we need a new set of visual cues that we need to adapt to?
[6:31] Are there some things that you see people doing that we would never do in person on Zoom?
[9:14] How do we make sure that we are not being misunderstood virtually?
[11:33] The core concept in your book is empathy and listening — could you dive into more of that?
[14:40] Has the concept of giving feedback really suffered or is there a way to make that a useful exercise when we’re not in person?
[16:28] Would you say that empathy and listening is trust building?
[17:42] Where can people connect with you and grab a copy of your book?
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