Listen First – GoTeam’s Discover You Event for May 2021
Communicating and connecting with distributed global teams will challenge most business leaders. Stephen M.R. Covey came up with this observation in 2006, long before the COVID-19 pandemic turned most organizations all over the world into distributed teams. We learned a tip for how to hurdle that challenge in our Discover You events for the GoTeam tribe in May 2021.
Before we repeatedly said “You’re on mute” in a year full of video calls, the thing we probably said most often to those we work or have personal relationships with was “You’re not even listening to me!”
That’s why “Listen first” is such powerful advice. It’s one of the 13 behaviors of trust that Stephen M.R. Covey teaches in The Speed of Trust (Free Press, 2006). Fourteen years before lockdowns, travel bans, and other public health precautions turned most of the world’s businesses into remote teams, he saw how challenging virtual communications were about to become.
See, there’s more to listening than using one’s ears. “So Listen First means to listen with more than your ears; it also means to listen with your eyes and your heart,” Covey wrote. “This becomes more of a challenge in today’s companies where so much communication is done remotely and with people whom you’ve never met face-to-face.”
For the May 2021 Discover You event, the GoTeam tribe learned some helpful language to reassure those we communicate with that we are listening to them as best as we can. Before we get to that, though, here are some of the highlights shared with the tribe.
Growth Figures: We had 79 open job roles as of Friday, 11 June 2021, when our two Discover You events for May took place. In both April and May this year, we had more team members than we did in the same months in 2020 and we are very close to our pre-quarantine peak in March 2020. One of the best impacts of all this growth is that more than 1,000 individuals (team members and dependents combined) enjoyed private medical insurance as of May.
Raffle Prizes for Top Referrers: Ivy Marie M., an Operations Supervisor in the night shift for one of our U.S. clients, won one of two raffle prizes for team members who have recommended at least one new team member since 2021 started.
Our GoTeam Ambassador Arielle F., who works as Bookkeeper in the day shift, won the second raffle. This was exclusive to the 10 team members with the most number of referrals who were hired this year.
Book of the Month: Sometimes, we don’t think as well as we think we do. That’s why discovering how we actually think offers great lessons that may help us make fewer mistakes when we make big decisions.
Our Book of the Month recommendation from CEO Fiona Kesby is “Thinking, Fast and Slow” (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2011) by the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman.
Discover You: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
For this month’s Discover You training session, Founder and CTO Matt Kesby focused on Habit 5 of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
All organizations face different communication challenges, some of which may be more pronounced when work teams operate away from one another.
The challenge of the first half of this habit (“Seek first to understand…”) has been made more complex by the fact that most of our conversations since last year have not been face to face but mediated by different messaging and conferencing tools.
Empathic listening, which Stephen R. Covey described as the highest form of listening, requires more than our ears. It requires more than listening to the words that are being spoken.
This brings to mind what the psychologist Albert Mehrabian has said about how spoken words account for only 7 percent of what is being communicated and how tone accounts for 38% and body language, 55 percent. In some virtual communications, the latter two may be hard to discern.
Empathic listening is “reflecting what the other person is feeling and saying in your own words. It is not listening to advise, counsel, reply, refute, solve, fix, change, judge, agree, disagree, question, analyze or figure out.”
While empathic listening may often be easier in face-to-face situations, there are word choices we can make to make that happen even when we’re communicating virtually. The second part of the challenge (“…then to be understood”) takes courage, clarity, and specificity.
To be effective, Dr. Covey has also written, a message needs to rest on:
(1) “an understanding of the listener’s needs, interests, concerns, and priorities;” and
(2) the sender’s “own ideas, communicated clearly and specifically.”
Our Values Awardees for May 2021!
One thing we’ll always look forward to listening to is the feedback our exceptional team members get from the business leaders they work with.
In revealing our Values Awardees for May 2021, Matt also informed the tribe about the updated definition for Humility, one of our seven core values: “We are open to listening to others. We seek the third alternative. It may not be my way or your way but together we commit to finding the best way.”
CARE: Earl Johnson works as an AR/AP Analyst for a corporate housing provider and property management business that serves more than 30 cities in the U.S.
“Earl, I speak for the whole team when I say that you are a joy to work with. I appreciate how respectful you are to everyone you work with, how you are always up to learn something new and provide a helping hand when needed,” wrote Earl’s client Nichole S. “You are very dependable, responsive, and overall a great fit for your team.”
When Earl won the Care Value Award, he was just in his third month in the GoTeam tribe. What a great way to start, Earl! Earl works with Results Coach Benson’s team on the night shift.
DRIVE: Mark works as an Operations Assistant-Reactive Maintenance for a body corporate and strata management business in Australia.
This GoTeam Value Award rewards teams or individual contributors who demonstrate an internal drive to help clients exceed their goals.
Mark, who won this award in just his fourth month with the tribe, helps attend to the needs of both residents and property owners in Australia by making sure each property stays safe, well-maintained, and compliant with all health, safety, and other regulations.
Mark works as an Operations Assistant for an Australian business that takes care of property and the communities that live in them. He works in the day shift with Results Coach Alpha’s team.
“Mark is very passionate about his work and he always has this can-do attitude,” wrote Mark’s client Pedzi. “He takes action on tasks with a cautious approach. We are happy that he joined our team, and we look forward to his continued development.”
HUMILITY: Crisferd and Jay are both on-the-job trainees with GoTeam’s IT Department.
Our Results Coaches nominated our IT trainees Crisferd and Jay for this award in May 2021.
“Both our OJTs have been very hard-working, humble, and polite. They’ve taken some of the tasks that we used to have such as bringing the equipment from the ground floor and securing gate passes. And this has helped us save time,” our Results Coaches wrote. “They’ve also been very responsive (together with Clint, our IT Network and Admin Support for the GoTeam Internal Team) when we ask for their assistance. We hope they realize that we truly appreciate their help.”
Incidentally, Clint also won the Humility Value Award in January 2021, when the Results Coaches nominated him for this recognition.
DISCOVER: Christine works as a Data Management Assistant for a real estate sales and property management services business based in Australia’s New South Wales.
Christine won the Discover Value Award in the same month that she celebrated her first GoTeam work anniversary. She works in the day shift with Results Coach Carlos’s team.
This award recognizes teams or individual contributors who possess a thirst for discovering new skills and always commit themselves to extended learning. So it’s no surprise that Christine’s profile in her client’s website commends her for having “a thirst to learn and master anything that comes her way” and for being “exceptionally focused and driven.”
For her award, her client Michael commented: “Christine is both highly intelligent but a great communicator and a willing and helpful team member. Both Josephine and I are very pleased with her. She always has a smile, a willingness to learn new systems and to help any person on our team (local and remote) at any time. She is very diligent and accurate, and this engenders respect and trust in everyone who works with her.”
GRATITUDE: Brhya Alexis works as a Contract Coordinator with a U.S. corporate housing provider that is seeing growth, particularly in its remote work customer base.
Brhya Alexis joined the GoTeam tribe near the end of March 2021 and won the Gratitude Value Award in just her second month. She works on the night shift with Results Coach Benson’s team.
This award recognizes those who do not take anything for granted and who acknowledge everything that clients, other team members, and mentors help them with. In this, she also gets an exceptional example from the client she works with: the business celebrated this year their most profitable first quarter in the company’s 6-year history, something that business leaders announced with gratitude and grace.
“Brhya is very motivated to learn fast and do an impeccable job. She’s been very vocal about expressing gratitude for the training we provided and just trumps the tasks I’ve given earlier than the project’s deadline,” wrote her client Karolis K., who leads the Portfolio Management team. “This has been a real big help for my team and business function.”
EXECUTE: Regina works as a Delegate Telesales Rep with an SaaS business based in Sydney that supports companies, especially in education and technology, as they market to Chinese consumers.
Regina joined the tribe in June 2019, which means she won the Execute Value Award just a month before her second GoTeam work anniversary. She works in the day shift with Results Coach Franchesca’s team.
“Regina has been fantastic to work with. She was able to pick up the tasks quickly and has been very proactive and really communicative in order to complete the tasks at hand,” wrote her client Maxime. “She completes the tasks faster than what was expected, with no errors.”
This award honors entire teams or individual members who focus and execute to get the job done.
FIND A WAY: Marjorie works as a Contract Admin for an Australian business that has financed energy-saving equipment, including solar power solutions, for more than 5,000 other businesses so far.
May 2021 turned out to be a double celebration for Marjorie, who successfully completed her six-month probation and won the Find a Way Value Award at the same time! Marjorie works in the day shift with Results Coach Carlos’s team.
This award recognizes those in the GoTeam and Global Office tribe who embrace challenges and commit to finding resolutions to any obstacle. This core value is all about taking responsibility, accountability, and ownership of all our actions.
Here’s how Marjorie won this award:
“Marj started in December 2020, which was a difficult time in the year to begin, given the rush to finalize business before the Christmas holiday. As a result, she didn’t receive as much training as we would normally like to provide,” wrote her client Lisa.
“However, she maintained a good attitude and showed maturity in being self-sufficient and filling her time with researching how solar energy systems work to gain a better understanding of the equipment we finance. Marj has been a great team member and always happy to do whatever it takes in her role.”
CEO AWARD: Amelita and Rhizza both work as Sales Support Specialists for an advisory, certification, and training group that helps travel and tourism businesses become cleaner, safer, and more sustainable.
“How can we put into words the value that Rhizza and Amelita bring to our organization? They are an integral part of our sales team and what we like to call our EarthCheck family,” wrote Amelita and Rhizza’s client Andre.
“Their dedication and commitment to our mission have been greatly appreciated and I personally am so grateful for their camaraderie and the support they provide. Knowing that we have the support of Results Coach Marnie and the team at GoTeam is so important as we enter a post-COVID-19 marketplace.”
Amelita will celebrate her sixth GoTeam anniversary in July 2021, while Rhizza will mark her third work anniversary with us this August.
Congratulations to all the Values Awardees for May 2021!