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?
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”:
- Bring the backchannel forward. Written communication is the great social equalizer.
- Positive Niche Construction, Differentiated Instruction, and Neurological Pluralism
- Design for Neurological Pluralism with Caves, Campfires, and Watering Holes
- Dandelions, Tulips, Orchids and Neurological Pluralism
- Classroom UX: Designing for Pluralism
- Design is Tested at the Edges: Intersectionality, The Social Model of Disability, and Design for Real Life
- Cognitive diversity exists for a reason.
- Neurominorities, Spiky Profiles, and the Biopsychosocial Model at Work