Developing People in a Distributed Environment
Originally posted on LinkedIn on May 1st, 2017
Engineers want to believe that distributed relationships can work perfectly; that you can just do your work and not be bothered with the people aspect. That’s false. In a distributed environment, it’s even more critical to form human relationships and prioritize “noise” so that we can all better calibrate the signal.
Embrace the Noise
As many have said, one-on-ones are essential. Currently, I have weekly one-on-ones with my direct reports, and bi-weekly ones with all of their direct reports. That face time is so valuable, for pairing, for collaborating and especially for getting to know each other. These one-on-ones are time spent fostering ‘noise’ which is the key for building trust and calibrating the signals in your relationships.
Just like mastering anything, the more you improve the more you’re aware how far you have to go. In my
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