De-centering Yourself in Distributed Work

Not everyone communicates the same way. When you work to make a distributed model inclusive, it is best if you can de-center yourself, your norms, and your experience, and start thinking primarily in terms of the experience of others. For example, how would a person with an auditory processing disorder experience a video meeting? A deaf person? A blind person? What avenues are there to make communication effective between all people?

Source: 18F: Digital service delivery | Building distributed teams

Auditory processing disorder makes video calls, phone calls, and the lecture model difficult for me. Before I retired, I was lucky enough to work somewhere that supports differentiated instruction, positive niche construction, and neurological pluralism. My career would have been much different and much shorter if I hadn’t spent 15 years helping build a distributed company that appreciates these things and tries to build them into the culture.

Here’s some framing to help “de-center yourself, your norms, and your experience, and start thinking primarily in terms of the experience of others”:

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