Talking to People: Changing Patterns in a Shelter-in-Place World
Communicating honestly and effectively with team members and stakeholders is difficult enough when we are face to face. We have the tendency to not express disagreement or bad news, ultimately putting off potentially unpleasant conversations. Due to an ability to put off such discussions in a fully distributed setting, disagreements or software problems can rapidly escalate out of control in a rapid-paced development and testing team. The result can be poor code quality, missed deadlines, and team friction, imperiling the success of the project. Today’s virus pandemic makes it especially challenging for distributed communications. We may have team members temporarily incapacitated, or preoccupied with family members. Working from home also involves dealing with daily family issues, often making it difficult to focus. This presentation discusses the biases we encounter when we never physically work together, how to recognize those biases, and how to overcome them in ourselves and others, and make sure that project status and issues are addressed collaboratively. Attendees learn how to recognize our biases in team communications, how to use distributed communications tools effectively, and how we remain collaborative and work toward common outcomes.