When You Don’t Collaborate

The world of remote working can be really challenging. This is especially true if you’re not a communicator. If you were that person who sat at the back of the class, understood everything and made straight As but never really contributed, you might be an Ill Communicator (Just like the Beastie Boys record. Get it?)

So let’s get this out of the way: the most productive, hard-working kick ass team member in the world might not be the best communicator. I’m certainly not implying that people who aren’t team-oriented naturally can’t get work done above and beyond the call of duty. They have and they do. I’ve seen it happen.

But here’s the thing: unless you’re telling your clients how great you are, showing them how great your work is, giving them and yourself actionables and communicating regularly, they don’t know what you’re doing.

So let’s say you’re a remote worker who happens to be the world’s foremost pool shark, cueing people out of thousands of dollars at night and really only putting in about two hours of work a day. But those two hours really get the job done and you have your phone on you throughout your hypothetical shark-ing, always checking in, sharing opinions and being a true part of the team even while you’re making grown men weep with your mad pool skillz.

Now, let’s say there is another version of you out there. You are the bomb dot com at getting projects done. You work 10 hours a day, always try to hold yourself accountable to deadlines – but you miss some and you don’t really check in to tell anyone why. It seems like a better idea to hustle and get the work done, right?

You don’t check in, because you assume everyone know what good work you’re doing. You built a kickass report, right? You created something beautiful only two days after deadline, right? So nobody really cares … right?

So which version of you do you think will keep the project and the client?

I have lost clients – and I’ve seen people lose really great opportunities with clients – because of this lack of communication. You can’t assume someone is sitting behind a desk noticing your good job. You have to be a part of the team, a part of the movement the company is trying to create – and above all, YOU have to be the one to showcase your skills and your talents.

In our remote work force, you can’t assume someone else is going to do this job for you. No client ever knows what we’re doing – and if we’re even really getting the work done in a fair and timely way – if we’re always working in the shadows and not contributing.

It’s better to contribute now and show your worth than it is to lose an amazing opportunity just because you didn’t take a few minutes a day to check in. Right?

Amber Turrill

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