So much has changed in the world over the last year, and yet so much remains the same, like communication. Work must be completed, emails written, messages drafted then deleted, drafted again, edited, and then sent out. In our fast-paced world, we have probably all had those moments of sending a message out too quickly and then regretting a word, punctuation mark, or emotional edge to it.
Emails and PMs Don’t Convey the Heart Behind the Message
A few months back, early on in our working relationship, a coworker and I were having a discussion about the misunderstandings that can come about when reading a message written by someone you may not personally know. Some people write dryly with little emotion. Others write expressive, overly-emotional messages. Some, although they receive messages, read, and act upon them, never respond to the original sender. These coworker nuances can get lost when everyone is working remotely and you’re unsure of the intention behind their responses.
My coworker and I had had quite a few laughs over some simple mix-ups, and a few deep breaths as we realized we had, in fact, been on the same page many times, but the way I was writing and she was reading were in two different contexts. So I said something that inspired this month’s blog from my desk. I told her when she gets a message from me she should picture a happy Golden Retriever. She should see me smiling away, joyful as can be, without an ounce of aggression. This was a big ah-ha moment and got quite a few chuckles out of us both.
Dogging Out Our Differences
Who describes themselves as a dog professionally? Apparently I do. I’ve at times thought it would’ve been fun to work with a Dr. Seuss team writing a book or two – I’d fit right in. Randomness aside, the dog reference made that visual and personal connection to help her understand me without having ever physically spent time in my presence.
How do we make these remote peer-to-peer relationships work? We find our connections and build on them. We all know pets, whether you’re a dog person, cat person, bird person, or even one of those weird fish people. Everyone is able to relate to these animals in some way and understand one another right off the bat, with little or no further explanation. Photos and video calls also help, but with the fast pace of business today, some people never get that connection. If you’ve had trouble in your messaging correspondence with a colleague, my advice would be to put a different dog in the chair and read it again.
For further giggles and shenanigans, I asked my coworkers to jump in on the bandwagon and tell me what they thought their closest dog matches were to their messaging and communication personalities. A few of them were kind enough to oblige me. Let the silliness commence….
Kristan – Australian Shepherd
They’re ideal for herding, hunting, and digging. Which is pretty spot on! Kristan gets to the bottom of a matter before making a judgement call, and that results in almost always getting it right.
Zach – Labrador
Excellent retrievers and very understanding. Zach seeks first to understand, then to be understood, and he’s extremely open to the opinions and ideas of his teammates.
Christy – Siberian Husky
They’re free-spirited and typically good-natured with people. They’re playful and athletic. They love being outdoors, so if they seem distracted, they’re likely pining out the window. Strong, but with a humorous side, Christy is a working dog who likes getting the job done right!
Nickie – Basenji
They don’t speak up much, and when they do it’s usually not something you’re expecting. Calm, wise, and amazingly creative, Nickie brings a quiet fortitude of genius to our design team.
Jason – Samoyed
They’re positive, go-getters who are enthusiastic about everything. Jason isn’t deterred — not by difficulties or misunderstandings or anything else. It makes him lovably tenacious when it comes to getting the best out of the team and for our clients.
Becca – Saint Bernard
Mostly all floof and on occasion enjoys brandy. Becca is another steady working dog who’s as loveable as she is hardworking, ingenious, and innovative about solutions. She asks the questions that forces her team to think through their plans, resulting in much better plans from the get-go!
Ali – Karelian Bear Dog
Fearless. They usually keep silent until they’re ready to retrieve whatever they’re after. But once Ali picks up the scent of her goals, she’s fearless and brilliant about hunting them down!
Linda – Corgi
Always willing to round up information but not easy to pin down. Linda gets to the bottom of what’s going on. She brings all of the best elements from the entire team and manages to assemble those ideas into smart action plans. Then, she makes sure the actions get done!
Alyssa – Border Collie
Completely focused on the task and what needs to be done. Alyssa doesn’t bark much, but at the end of the day, she has an amazing body of work to show for her focused efforts.
Laura – Bouvier De Flanders
With a calm and pleasant nature they can be great to work with. After all, what’s the point if you can’t make work fun?
Sammy – Bunny
Warm and approachable, and their very exaggerated facial expressions help to be extra communicative. Sammy is smart and funny, but don’t let that fool you. Behind those huge, gorgeous eyes lies a keen mind that comes up with more great ideas in a day than many marketers conjure up in months!
Abby – Greyhound
Quick to respond and take care of all the communication, but also enjoys cozy nap time. Go Go Go Nap. Abby’s coworkers are continually blown away by how much she’s getting done behind the scenes and how stunningly FAST she gets it done!
Sabra – Black Lab
Energetic and filled with endless patience. Which is a very good thing, because our tech department needs a lot of patience to make all of our techie thingie majigs work right. Also, explaining our complex tech infrastructure to us non-techies requires a barking lot of patience!
In all seriousness, we spend a lot of time here making sure that our team works together in pack-like harmony. One of those strategies is understanding personality types and communication styles so that we’re on the same page. Working day in and day out to provide a stellar customer experience for all our clients!
Are you ready to put these hardworking pups to work for you? Give us a call today!