(VIDEO) Debts & Lessons Week Day 3: Thanks to Judy Rees

Luis says thanks to Judy Ress in his virtual coffee chat

It is day 3 of the debts & lessons week and today, Luis talks about how Judy Rees gave him Jedi mind tricks that helped him upgrade his communication skills!

In this video Luis describes how Judy helped him pay attention to how the words he writes because so much of remote work happens in asynchronous communication. The way one writes affects the way people perceive what one wants and what one needs. This entire communication dynamic affects the work. Luis talked to Judy about 2 years ago and since then he has been paying very close attention to the challenges that other people communicate to him that they have with remote work and to his own challenges that he has in his daily interaction with his team. More details in the video!

Watch this space every day for the latest tips, news and stories from the remote work world!

Luis: Debts & Lessons Week continues in Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis. Today, day three, we talk about clean language. Welcome ladies and gentlemen to Virtual Coffee Chat with Louis. Oh, sorry. I guess that you didn’t listen that as well as you do, but now you probably are listening well. So let’s continue, a bit of coffee, quite hot, quite hot, but very manageable.

So Debts & Lessons, where I give thanks to people who have influenced my way of leading and managing remote teams. And I shine a little bit of my tiny spotlight on them. Today on day three, I want to talk to you about Judy Rees. What if you could upgrade your speaking and writing in the same way as you upgrade your favorite apps and hardware? What if you had the set of language tools, frameworks, and questions that you could wield as productively as you’re coding, marketing or management suites.

Judy Rees gave me this, and it can give it to you, too, in the form of clean language. I met Judy at the DistantJob podcast. She was my guest. She’s helped dozens of people, trainers, coaches, facilitators through live online training. She also has experience in news editing. She was a media executive, and she co-wrote an incredible book called Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds.

To me, what Judy gave me was Jedi mind tricks. Really the kind of things that you do, these are not the droids that you’re looking for. She really opened my mind. I mean, as a writer, I knew that words have power, but I mostly used words in word. I mostly use writing as a way to clarify my own thoughts, to think really, as a way to outsource some of the thought capacity from my brain to the page, to the hand to the writing. It was a way for me to organize ideas.

But Judy challenged me to take that further through our work and through our conversation. And I really started paying attention to how the words I write, specifically the words I write, because so much of remote work happens in asynchronous communication, to how that affects the way that people perceive what I want, what I need and how that affects the work. Over time, in the time since I talked with Judy, it was about two years ago, I’ve been playing very close attention to the challenges that other people communicate to me that they have with remote work and to the own challenges that I have in my daily interaction with my team.

And 90% of the time I look at it, even when it’s [inaudible] me, even when it’s a problem between two people that aren’t related to me. But somehow one of them talks to me about the problem. 90% of the time it’s unclear language. It’s amazing. But if I would have to choose a single source of conflict, a single source of problems in remote working, I would say it’s because someone did not write clearly, someone was in the rush or tired or whatever, and they didn’t write some clearly.

This happens to me all the time. In my mind, I expect the other person to mind read me. It’s not reasonable, but when I’m writing, I’m writing something like, have you done the thing? And the other person has a lot of things in their plate and probably more than one were given by me. So of course, they won’t know what’s the thing that I’m thinking about that precise moment.

It’s amazing. If you listen to my conversation with Judy, if you read some of her works, a lot of times you will catch yourself writing stuff that requires the other person to mind read. It’s amazing how I wasn’t aware of this in the past. That’s a superpower, because then you stop thinking that people are out to get you, that people are disrespecting you or not paying attention or otherwise incompetent. Then you realize that no, wow, I thought I was communicating clearly, and actually I wasn’t. I was being a terrible communicator.

Talking with Judy gave me that insight, helped me be mindful about that and helped me change and how to do better. And now I can say when I’m writing a message, even if it’s a simple message over Slack, I’m very careful in my communication. I always include a why, a what, who, when, how. Put all the Ws there. There’s of course, a lot more that comes with clean language, with clear communication.

Just follow Judy. You can find her on LinkedIn, Judy Rees. I’m actually not quite sure about the Twitter, but I’ll ask my team to put it in the show notes, in the Virtual Coffee Chat notes, because she is definitely a gem. And if you read her content, if you go through her content, you’ll just 10 times the effectiveness, 10X the effectiveness of your communication.

Judy, thank you so much for putting this kind of content out in the world. Thank you so much for talking with me about it in the past, you were incredibly helpful in my leadership style and my managerial style, and I will be eternally grateful. Here’s to you.

If you enjoy learning about how to be a better manager, leader, or even helps if you communicate it from an employee standpoint, if you just work remotely, how you communicate with your colleagues and your boss is of the utmost importance as well. So you can learn more about how to do that properly at thinkremote.com. Go to thinkremote.com. You’ll find all the latest insights and news on how to work remotely.

Sign up for the newsletter during the launch month and you’ll be rewarded with some goodies. And if you enjoy this Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis, please like, subscribe, and share. Tomorrow we continue with Debts & Lessons Weeks. Who will I shine my little, little spotlight tomorrow? Who knows? Show up and find out. Bye-bye. This was Virtual Coffee Chat with Luis for Think Remote. See you tomorrow.


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