Best Practices for Managing Remote Teams with Steph Smith

Steph SmithSteph is the Head of Publications at Toptal, a serial maker, and a supporter of women in technology.  Outside of leading a remote team of a few dozen, she is a self-taught developer that builds projects related to women in technology, remote work, and self-improvement. 
She’s launched products that have hit #1 on Product Hunt, articles that have trended the top of Hacker News, and was nominated for Maker of the Year in 2018.  She actively supports women in technology by speaking about the psychology behind inclusion and through building resources like FeMake and is a judge for the Toptal Women’s Scholarship.
On today’s episode we discuss some of the best practices for managing remote teams based on her recent blog post.”Managing Remote Teams: A Psychological Perspective.” Continue on for a great discussion with Steph.
Show Notes:
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Christian Mccarrick:
[0:00] Good morning Steph welcome to the show.Steph Smith:
[0:04] Thanks for having me.Christian Mccarrick:
[0:06] Absolutely so Steph I’m super excited to have you on the show today and as I do with all of my guests if you could give a little bit of a
kind of a background of kind of where you got to be to where you are today in any of the may be kind of interesting stops along the way.Steph Smith:
[0:23] Sure so I actually came from a little bit of a different background than where I am now
I did a degree in chemical engineering and then pivoted and went into management consulting,
during that time. Of my life I realized that I really wanted to do something far different from that and then that’s really when I started to look for a remote work.
And luckily I tell which is the company that I’m working at now and have worked out for the last three years or so and I,
I entered top towel on the gross team and did that for a year-and-a-half almost two years really really enjoyed it help me really get my sweating and in the remote space understand it but a lot and some of that,
I guess in Tyro skills that I have.
Brought through with me to where I am now and then around a year ago I started leading the Publications team at pops out and I’ve been doing that again for the last year and I
beat a team of around 20 people and it’s been awesome and also my first experience leading a team and learning through that so,
now I’m here talking to you and yeah that’s a little bit about me.Christian Mccarrick:
[1:33] Excellent and I know so dove
The Importance of Being on both growth teams and being kind of the Publications and getting things out there all cereal just like tacos are remote most remote also is is heavily in distributed
and they get such an important area for getting
new customer is employees and kind of getting brand awareness out there at such an important part of any company so and clearly the work you’re doing pays off one of things I found was your article which will definitely talk about in a minute.
Are you currently work
beautiful history company right and you mentioned you wanted to join when I was out like a conscious decision and said hey my next goal and career is I want to work in a shipping company or is it something that kind of opportunity presented itself in your like hey let’s do that.Steph Smith:
[2:24] It’s a good question and for me it was a very intentional decision and obviously this is not 100% the case but I think most people
actually also make a similar intentional decision I think obviously remote work is becoming more ubiquitous,
across in our organizations across people in general but I still think we’re not at the point where I’m people kind of just fall into remote work obviously that happen sometimes but I think.
Most decisions when people are opting to work remotely it is very intentional and from me,
that was ever mention when I was working in Consulting I was doing,
transition story where I was working in office I was doing you know the 60-hour week commuting 2 hours every day in a big city that I didn’t like and that really that lifestyle and the combination of all of those.[3:18] Things going on was the very clear indicator for me about something you need to change and I found out about remote works your friend and,
just got decided that’s what I wanted to do so I actually.
I’m spent around 8 or so months during that time. Of me working in Consulting trying a couple different freelance gigs and you’re just kind of,
dipping my toes in the water to find remote work and then luckily
throughout that time. At the end of it I found the rule the full-time or let’s talk so so we got to answer your question it was actually like a very intentional choice for me because I wanted to change that I was living.

Christian Mccarrick:
[3:58] And that’s a very good point because as we hire for distributed rolls one of the,
questions we try to suss out to is kind of motivation for people wanting to do a remote
you know sort of job especially if they haven’t done one before right and for us it’s also one of the.
The potential signs going to dig down a little bit more into now he’s doing this for the right reasons or right is it just cool to work remote and then we found
yo if you’re not doing it for the right reasons it also doesn’t tend to work out so well for you note for the for the employee to because it’s just it’s not something maybe they’re prepared for or mentally had made that conscious Choice like this is what I really want.

Steph Smith:
[4:43] Yeah so that’s something that absolutely is a consideration and something that I am very aware of in the hiring process is that I’m a part of my team in.
People at top tile and I think the key differentiator there is why someone wants to go remote so I think the.
The idea that someone is very excited I’m in and intentional about switching to remote work isn’t necessarily a negative although it certainly can be and the differentiator for me.
I think some people have this image of working remotely and having it be.
Very childlike working on a beach in Bali and I’m basically deciding that you are planning to.
Have less of an impact right here you you plan to divert some of your time and resources to other things outside of work or your career or,
impact in that segment of your life and I think that can certainly be a negative for the person and for the company if they’re not aligned in that sense because most companies is not going to be focused on,
career in the company and the impact there so that makes sense.
I think we’re can be a positive thing which is how I felt when I was transitioning to remote work is when someone wants to.
Because they’re looking to actually achieve more so for me it was the idea that I was spending so many hours every day and things like a commute and things like an office where I was unproductive working.

[6:12] A shower straight everyday.
Work you know it would have been much more successful for me to break it up into chunks like all of those things were conducive to me not actually being able to achieve so much and so.
Looking for remote work was really an attempt to design a better life and to design a life where I could achieve more,
both within my career and outside my career and I think a key part of the hiring process when you hear you know someone is like in love with remote work they want to pay that they want to live a new life is the key
differentiating why they want to do that is it because they want to do less or is it because they actually want to utilize those new.
The new Lifestyles actually achieve more.
And that’s actually help me in in the interview process to determine whether someone perhaps is if it or isn’t it.

Christian Mccarrick:
[7:06] Great so don’t my listeners out there take a note of that I think that’s a very very excellent if not a Verbatim question
you know I ate a steam of a question to try to get some of that motivation out for unit potential employees at a company so great points. I appreciate that.
One thing I ask all my guests is a little bit you know you are managing people now and.
Maybe we can put a remote slant on this a little bit but you any mistakes that you made you know kind of is except into the manager role and anything that might have been contributed to actually being were most and how that made things may be a little more challenging.

Steph Smith:
[7:44] Sure absolutely so I think for me as I mentioned I’ve only been a leader for around a year now,
and I entered the leadership role leading actually quite a large team you know I wasn’t just leaving like one individual contributor I was really.
And for me I think something I struggled with at the beginning was really effectively.

[8:09] Delivering feedback and being constructed with my team I was new to leadership I was unsure of myself and although I did convey that to them I do feel like.
I really really struggled at the beginning to deliver constructive feedback one because you know I wasn’t sure how she too into when you work remotely
I knew it harder to get some of those more human interactions where you really get to know your team they understand your person your human and you build some of those stronger relationships outside of.
Feedback loops around skills are performance and so I think that was actually a stumbling block for me at the beginning when I really struggle to do that but something that was helpful in me,
I guess getting over that or becoming better at delivering some of that constructive feedback is understanding that as a leader your job is essentially to help your team,
be the best they can be,
and part of that is delivering constructive feedback part of that is like for them to get from A to B they need to improve in your there to help them do that obviously needs to be done and not constructive an empathetic way,
I think kind of distilling that or internalizing that as a leader is important especially if you’re newer like me you need to kind of get comfortable with the fact that you delivering constructive feedback is in,
I’m about thing and it’s actually using to help your team.

Christian Mccarrick:
[9:37] Yeah awesome point and I think a roll a thing that a lot of new manager struggle with how do you do come across with constructive feedback
Neo you don’t want to be seen maybe is.
Being supportive or nice but it actually does you not giving you back actually is worse than giving it and it’s one of the reasons I recommend a book called thanks for the feedback to
I’m too A lot of my managers and just teams in general to help not only give but received a few.

Steph Smith:
[10:05] I’m sure many of the listeners and yourself have also heard of radical Candor but I think
text comparison to that framework I was edging on the side of me be like ruinous empathy where you’re being too nice and not really delivering the feedback that your team needs and slowly over time I vegged more radical Candor which is like.
Caring about your team and because you care about them you deliver that feedback.

Christian Mccarrick:
[10:29] Absolutely
today’s episode I like to focus in on a topic is most of my listeners know and this one is really going to be focused on remote work and distributed teams something I’m very interested and very passionate about is I am running
you know I’m mostly distributed in urine conversation all 0 and actually I’m remote myself right there going to be eating your dog to Adair is a leader in our org and.
For the listeners I reached out to staff after recently reading a very well written in an insightful article that you just published titled
best practices for managing remote teams a psychological perspective and they going to be focusing on that article for the majority of this episode and of course as usual I post a link to that in the show notes it simple leadership. IO.
Steph that was you know that our article probably unit took at least amount of time there’s a lot of research into it what was the prompting for you no feeling like this is something that you thought would be helpful to other people and the owners for receding on a rhino.

Steph Smith:
[11:29] Sure so I am as I mentioned I worked remotely for around three years and I specifically started leading a remote team around a year ago and throughout that process.
Really become obsessed with work about remote work and you know how to make it sustainable and how to make it truly,
the future of work not just a sad that we see you’ll come and go and as I’ve become more ingrained and in the space I have done some research and often I’ll search things like especially since I’m.
Become a leader I’ve searched things like best practices for managing remote teams or knew how to build a community,
and things like that and when I would look those things up I felt like the discussions that I was Finding and maybe it just had to do with the Google algorithm and what it was showing me but I felt like.
I wasn’t getting very much substance back like very deep conversations around.
What it really meant to to have a positive remote work environment or what it really meant what are the right conversations for us to be having us promote leaders what are the things that we should be considering.

[12:41] Since I didn’t find anything really kind of spark that conversation I wanted to do that so I I like reading a lot and most of the stuff that I read is nonfiction.
As I read books because remote work has been so ingrained in my thought process and snow it’s my everyday I started to relate some of the things that I was reading to the remote work space and so,
that’s really how I got sit to the article that you mentioned I basically took three books that I would definitely recommend giving take algorithms to live by and the four Tendencies and I started to think about,
those Frameworks are designed for work places are people in general and I start to think about what they looks like.
In a remote work environment and what we could learn from them but yeah the impetus really was the desire to start more of a deeper conversation around.
What a sustainable or more positive remote work environment what that really looks like.

Christian Mccarrick:
[13:44] Yeah I completely sympathize or empathize with that you’re going and searching and you get some articles from like Forbes and they’re like a couple of bullet points and they’re just.
Substance of it all it’s maybe it’s more geared for like maybe you’re going to hire one or two people that you’re you know companies like three hundred or thousand and it’s just not quite the same as in one of these quotes you have in your article,
what’s around,
at the heart of any I mean remote work isn’t just a different way to work it’s a different way to lives right and so we’re not just talking about the one z2z person it’s like how do you.
Embrace and deal with the challenges of a fully distributed team and being about yourself right I totally get that and what which is why I’m very appreciative of the time you spent in putting.
This article out so thank you again for that now in interesting you know I can quote from you here and I want to dive into some of the main points in the article,
at the heart of any organization you say distributor otherwise it is about the people and that is so true and you talk about a couple of core values and principles that are defining remote work.
And maybe have you can go into some of those and I think the first thing we talked about as the input greater than Alt.

Steph Smith:
[14:51] Sure so I think remote work.
Is designed in a way with where there’s certain I claimed them as emerging values and I think,
that those values which are at least in the Article II determine them output over input autonomy over Administration and flexibility over rigidity and I think
these values are inherent to making remote work 16th are some of the reasons that remote work is even
I think so for example output over input when you work remotely,
you know at least and most scenarios are not measured for the number of hours that you’re putting in your measured for the impact that you’re delivering or the output and the impact on the company
I’m so I think some of those.
Values that I identified are really intrinsic to not just top tile and not just us to Euro but any remote organization.
And I think they’re really fundamental and in most cases very positive but just like anything as you start to.
Redefine new values for certain systems you need to think about what are the potential pitfalls of those,
dollars and that was kind of something that I don’t been to for the rest of the article in that I think these values are very positive for the most part,
but there’s again certain pitfalls that we need to think a little deeper about.

Christian Mccarrick:
[16:14] Yeah I think that that’s certainly the number of hours in a chair and that FaceTime the.
It forces the hands of leaders in and come and managers in remote,
teams to focus a little bit more on that output right and and it’s interesting you know I had someone ask the common question is how do you know they’re doing any work if you can’t see them.
Are you not their desk and you know the turn that around you by saying well how do you measure that their work they’re doing when they are sitting at your desk.

[16:47] It actually forces I think it’s a forcing function to.
To show and to be able to get more you know Effectiveness out of out of people because so much of other Studies have been done to wear.
The interruptions and the coffee talk and not that those are necessarily inherently bad but sometimes other people were interrupted morning to have less Focus time when they are in an office especially with all of the.
You’re more the research research coming out now that the open open Office floor plans are actually terrible ride for focus and concentration.

Steph Smith:
[17:19] Yeah exactly I think the way I would like to put it when I describe two people what remote work essentially it is,
when you’re in an office you have,
a box right that you operate in and that box is very predetermined and it maybe is in a box that suits you but if there’s a box and you know as you mention there may be aspects of that box we are very.
Not conducive to your successful like meetings in the middle of the day lunch at the exact same time a commute all these things and when you start to operate remotely.
You are basically free design your own box.
And you have the potential to make that box much bigger much more optimal and ultimately ever talking about earlier I think deliver more output because that box is now design for output instead of.

Christian Mccarrick:
[18:11] And you go through when your article little bit more about how do you.
Expose that terrific giving Behavior more right now how do you optimize and measure the,
is there a big givers over the takers in an organization you talk about in hiring or just with giving people,
acknowledgement in things so any other specific examples that you can share with my listeners about ways that they could optimize for that or encourage that type of behavior.

Steph Smith:
[18:43] Sure so yeah as I mentioned the article I think the idea of output over input is for the most part good but I do think that I can.
Spark more taking Behavior because people are ultimately only judge for their their output and not necessarily know their ability to give or interact with others or be a good teammate and things like that I go over this more deeply in the article but I think.
The number one thing that we need to do is actively seek out,
Kudos givers are in an organization I mean having more givers in an organization is,
always in that positive it’s not just in that positive because of what they bring but their ability to influence other Behavior to also be
more mutually giving and I think what we need to do as leaders in remote organizations is Target that
even more so than an office because in an office you see a lot of giving natural you don’t see all of it but if someone is staying late to help their co-worker with a project you physically see that
giving Behavior happening in a remote work environment you typically don’t typically when someone helps another person.

[19:53] The only person who’s a witness to that giving is the receiver.
It’s very rare for someone to have someone help them on a project in like going immediately being their boss and say I like someone so just FYI so what we need to do is.
Look for these things and,
intentionally ask about them so some of the advice that I gave in the article is one like ask your team who helped them that we like whether it’s internal cheer team or someone external like who help you actually like,
create an impact this week to help you with a project like as anyone you know really been by her side as you’re doing these things that I don’t know about I’m so that’s one step like ask your team and then the second is
when you find out about giving Behavior you need to reward it because given take us to book that I base this,
Ariane and there’s a concept called Giver burnout and basically when givers continually give and don’t really have the right feedback systems in place or the ability to focus on the right things they burn as you would.
And so if we as Leaders do not acknowledge these givers they will burn out and that giving Behavior will subside and so.

[21:06] We need to one either just acknowledge them or you basically get people not just yourself as a leader but,
like that people to say hey so and so help me with this this week or so and so I’m did a really great job on X which benefited the entire company so.
Ignored and not giving behavior and then when possible actually rewarding it so not just designing I guess raises and promotions based on,
typically would but when you see someone who’s truly mutually benefiting the entire organization or specific team,
make sure you report them and don’t just base your incentive structures on some of the more typical taking structures,
that’s the advice I would give it’s not fully comprehensive and I I would love to share more of the idea that people have in trying to get,
more about giving Behavior rewarded and and notice but those are some of the ideas that I played with and then the final thing was actually directly from given take it’s this interview question that you.
Used to essentially say.
Is it with Canada to basically try to suss out whether they are givers or take his car to actually having them enter your organization.
And I think we can try to look for some of those indicators you know both in the hiring process and an Oscar.

Christian Mccarrick:
[22:35] Yeah great and I think that’s interesting and I’ve noticed as I run remote teams more is all the best practices that you should do even if you’re in an office,
right it’s part of being remote forces you to do them but it’s not like you shouldn’t do them in an in an office either write all these types of behavior.
Tell whether it’s communication with its codifying information whether its dissemination whether it’s actually rewarding this kind of behavior right that should happen normally but I think people on if it’s lazy or what not but it just it gets overlooked a lot in.
Situations so for all of my right listeners were there and they’re not remote I mean a lot of the best practices that we are talking about specifically for the remote really also applied to if you’re in an office as well so just wanted to point that out.

Steph Smith:
[23:21] No it’s a good point I think we there’s a lot of things that happen naturally in an office doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be Amplified in office but things like building a community come more naturally in an office right by something that you,
need to Foster right and it needs to be intentional and I think.
As you mentioned I think that’s true for a lot of things things are just amplifier with remote work where you need to really really focus on them to make sure that they are happening.

Christian Mccarrick:
[23:48] Exactly
what are the second mean to the points in your article you should have talked about the algorithms to live by in and where the boundaries and this is something near and dear to my heart to man get into this conversation a little bit but what are you going to
can I put a high-level what did you mean by that means section that Albums Live by aside from it being a good book but you leave the premises of enough power replies to remote work.

Steph Smith:
[24:13] Sure so yes to start off its it it’s a wonderful book and would recommend it to basically anyone whether you work remotely or not but I sent her the section around this idea of essentially like.

[24:27] The lack of boundaries with remote work and that’s the beauty and the Pitbull ever met work right like as you mentioned
when you start working remotely it’s not just me working remotely if you live in completely differently as is ingrained into your entire life and as we start to do that
remote work.
Diffuses into everything and we start to lose some of those defined boundaries which is okay as long as we learn to Define them again in the right ways and I’ll wear them so if I talked about.
A great example of this which way is unlimited vacation policy
what’s all implementation everything will be fine but the book talks about.

[25:13] Concepts in the frame of Game Theory and imperious actually have something called the Nash equilibrium which is the stable state that people end up at when they’re all kind of operating.
In their own frame of mind without really thinking about.
I guess necessarily the best outcome for them they’re operating within the game and how that structure and so.
With unlimited vacation policy you would think that’s great people are going to take a lot of vacation but truly what ends up happening is.
People end up wanting to take a lot of vacation but what’s more important and what Trump’s that is people wanting to see more dedicated and therefore take slightly less vacation than anyone else.
With other people essentially and approaches 0 and so the Nash equilibrium of unlimited vacation.

[26:07] Is zero and certainly not what you would expect when you first hear the concept and so the whole idea was around the section from my article is.
We need to think a little deeper about these things and not just design perks or systems to say we think this is going to be the outcome.
Give me some people will operate this way but like how are people actually operating and.
What I think I realize they’re thinking through this is that even though.
One of the key tenets of remote work is that we have less Administration less rules there may be some,
indication that we should actually at a slightly more Administration but obviously in positive ways and so some companies are implementing things like the minimum vacation policy,
which means that like you basically are reducing. Nash equilibrium to a certain number right so if it’s like.
20 days for that system and so not just with unlimited vacation but the concept is that we need to as a milliliter is remote companies we need to start thinking about.
How we Design Systems to essentially.

[27:20] Incentivize or encourage people to act actually in their best interest because we can’t always guarantee that they will do that automatically on their own.

Christian Mccarrick:
[27:28] Yeah and I completely agree and even as a.
Person that lives in the lifestyle of being remote I agree and you you quoted I think a buffer survey to about when the biggest struggles of the Millwork was about unplugging and how that was number one.

[27:46] And I get that right and I think it’s a sign that with a number of my teams as well where there’s no natural boundary like commute home on the train or walk or in a car.
Caserta for stack close the laptop and leave and it’s one of the biggest struggles I have right it’s one is work and and slack is on all the time,
and not only I think does it is it exacerbated by remote work it’s exacerbated I think with companies are fully distributed worldwide wear.
You’re the team people are working you know the equivalent of 24/7 because they’re scattered throughout the world in every timezone the ribs and
you’re not stealing As Leaders I think it’s important to that and we put in some very specific guideline when the expectation is like maybe you’re on call or the reproduction type issue,
maybe that’s an expectation exception to be able to be available at any time but however if you see a stock message that has a simple question.
It’s okay to answer that corner quote when you get into the office or like when you start your your office hours.
And you know deal with it that because people like they want to be helpful and I I see myself to.
And some of the people that are always answering question than how do you how do you stop that right I think you talked about so some kti’s and how you can help improve that work-life balance.

Steph Smith:
[29:05] Yeah and I mean I totally agree with everything you’re saying because I have the same problem especially I actually mostly operate in Asia so I’m normally on the opposite time zone as people and it is very hard to.
State like this section of the days
I’m not going to work or I’m not going to text back and it was jokes that you know like are you really working if you’re checking a slack message at dinner and my answer is yes
it is very hard to differentiate between life and work when you’re working remotely and yes some of the suggestions that I gave our,
against some of that additional Administration which you know we try to shy away from with remote work but I think it is actually beneficial to some of the things you said like,
having off hours right like literally on your calendar having a time. Where your offline no one can schedule a meeting with you,
you don’t text like you know you got your notifications on snooze and you’re offline and that’s what you would have in a normal work environment and what you should have in a remote environment.

[30:05] At least to a certain extent and then similarly like having an open discussions about,
how to work remotely effectively and having these like this Mutual understanding that.
Now you’re not always going to be available having a mandatory set of holidays for people to take off because they’re not always going to take them off,
automatically on their own and then one example I gave in the article is no I just stumbled upon this on Twitter actually but this guy can you threw a remote leader he leads for people remotely and he decided to,
basically say that next Friday no one can work like the office is closed at is a three-day weekend mandatory and he gave everyone $50,
to their favorite restaurant and you know that may seem very mystical but it’s actually very important in Siri,
he was helping them like create that border between life and work he was helping them actually achieved that balance and,
he said he was hoping that like giving them that would actually encourage them to do just like little things like leave the house get some fresh air or like spend time with people they care about and I think.
Those are some of the things that we need to start doing more of as a leader is to ensure that no again is if someone if one of our workers doesn’t know how to create that balance we need help to teach them and facilitate that understanding and then also.
Implement some of this this additional Administration to make sure that we help them get there.

Christian Mccarrick:
[31:34] Excellent points I want them to happen to me recently to which is interesting because I’m always aware of the.
Impact you have is a leader in an organization at any level write the things you say in the things you do carry weight.
And people use that as an example but it’s hard sometimes I’ll write some things on the weekend because that’s what work out of my schedule and then I might publish them.
And you know I’ve been told sometimes I could set an example of your publishing something on the weekend that means you’re expecting us to do that and weekend is like no that’s not really it was just as you’re trying to find that place so you know it’s not the eighth to 595,
a Monday through Friday but you have the flexibility to do work around a little bit more of your schedule and really as Leaders making sure that.
People will take their cues from you and you know some things like for me I I I put in my calendar is always public so at least during the week,
and you might put on things like their lunch hour gym so that I’m trying to get people to understand it’s okay to block these times off and people will follow your example.

Steph Smith:
[32:41] Ivan got so great and I actually had an experience like that sometime last year where you’re just by chance I haven’t taken a vacation in a long time and now I decided to take a week off and when I did I actually had multiple,
people both on and off my team team a saying.
Hey that’s great lakes people on my team or like I’m really happy that you’re taking some time off and people actually who I worked with that weren’t on my team for life.
Stuff that’s really great that you’re taking time off because that conveys the message to your team that they can write and I obviously never communicated that they couldn’t but by me you know taking that vacation is it really enforce them that that’s something that.
The Canon should do.

Christian Mccarrick:
[33:22] Absolutely then kind of going into the last main section of your article you calling instead of the four Tendencies and
and do you know your team going to go into a little bit for for the listeners about why you know how you made that correlation and what kind of information that you are able to
find from doing that research.

Steph Smith:
[33:42] Sure so the four Tendencies is a book by Gretchen Rubin and it’s it’s a framework essentially you take a quiz and labeled you as one of four Tendencies and something that I want to,
I guess reassure anyone listening is that there’s not like a i smarter or happier healthier tendency like all of them have you know.

[34:04] Very successful people in very unsuccessful people within each tenancy but it’s people who understand their tendency and are able to harness it,
who really are our most effective so it’s not about being one another or one being better than another but it’s a way to better understand how you operate and so the four Tendencies are upholder questioner obliger and rebel,
and the key takeaway of the framework is that it essentially is your response or relationship to
accountability or expectations so there’s inner expectations and outer expectations and whether you meet them
or resistant and I actually am a questioner and questionnaires were this outer expectations and meet in our expectations so I am very easily convinced,
if I can rationalize something
but I am not very good at the you know meeting an expectation if it’s external so good example of this is very trivial but you know if I can justify why going to the gym is important to me,
I can just buy that if they’re for my house or that I enjoy it like I will be there.
If someone tries to convince me to go and like so you know they’re my gym partner that’s that’s much less.

[35:25] Convincing to me and I won’t be able to actually Implement that into my life.
So as a questioner I actually I’ve known about this framework for a while and I have talked to a lot of other remote workers and.

[35:40] Basically asked them to to also take a quiz at cuz I wanted to understand more you know about these individuals and.
Know whether the other question or are there other types of people on and what Tennessee they fell in.
And a lot of the people I met were also questioned her eyes and a couple of rebels and I found that kind of peculiar because the,
free market solve the two most common ones in the general population are questioners the other one that’s very common is obligor and obligor is the opposite of questioner which is the essential expectacion and struggled actually,
Keep Their Own,
inner expectations so naturally as a question or once I started to get some more data and I really want to know why is this a thing and he also regression is never
at least to my understanding analyze this for remote workers so I put on a Twitter poll.
400 people ended up responding to it and it was specifically for remote workers to see if your remote worker what tendency to fall into and interesting lie enough it was.
Distinctly different from.
Typical population so again the overall population the two most common question Iran obligor or remote workers that you must comment were questioned her and rubble and the Common Thread across.

[37:00] The most common in remote work was that they resisted outer expectations I thought that was very interesting because as I mentioned earlier in.
I think most people who go into remote work to it very intentionally and I think this all kind of ties together and in the sense that I think most people who.
Enter remote work you’re so out of I wouldn’t say rebelling but in an effort to.
How to resist the expectation of society that you need to auction working,
live a certain way and it said they’re designing better lives and and you know opting to do something different so I thought I mean the results are very interesting but I think the main takeaway.
For me is it as a remote leader that.
People who work remotely not everyone but there is kind of some distinct Tendencies across a lot of remote workers and as a leader you should try to understand that and embrace it and try to kind of more deeply understand your team.

Christian Mccarrick:
[38:02] Yeah and as a remote leader running a fairly large organization I can anecdotally tell you that I agree with with the assessment and the Twitter poll that you that you’ve done and.
Which is interesting because some of those Tendencies actually make it a little more challenging.
As you’re trying to kind of scale and growing organization through transformational change right because I think you’ll probably find that.
Is the web URLs in question is too might be height higher index in smaller startups as well and they’re certain amount of.
You need to talk about Administration with a certain amount of things that you know we have to sort of get on board with as you scan & Go in relation to be effective and successful so to your point about knowing your audience and knowing your employees think it’s very important to have that,
concept of of the understanding so that when you are rolling out a change,
or asking to get feedback or trying to get something done that you understand the intrinsic motivation of.
The particular employees that you have so that you can help to get that message across and be more effective in how you do that.

Steph Smith:
[39:12] Yeah absolutely and that’s part of it I think the book bags into it even more than I understand but,
the idea of of knowing your team is is to connect with them on on a better level and like you said If you’re trying to get,
where was something or even 2 to get my behind it there on kpi is or to really understand the mission of their,
I think,
understanding that you know it sounds like at least from the data I collected a lot of people who work remotely are more intrinsically motivated how do you get them to understand and really get behind these initiatives will you get them to.
To really dig deep and believing it themselves so how do you guide them there you.
Give me some information so that you’re not telling them by this unfortunate you’re giving them information so that they can build up why something is important on their own.

Christian Mccarrick:
[40:03] Yeah perfect and this is the part of the show where usually ask my guests for a recommendation that you have for books blogs Etc that you know I think they would think will be beneficial for my listeners
and your case I happen to stumble upon your book list on your website and I am absolutely linking to that in my show notes it’s going to be in simple leadership that I owe,
there were number on there I haven’t read yet and I like immediately went to Amazon and you.
Change bought a whole bunch of them cuz I’m So Into psychology too and put them on my Kindle so now I have my reading list you know for the next.
Next couple of months but I know there’s three that you kind of Base this particular article on butt.
Anything else that you would recommend like of a highlight of that your book list or anything else that you that you would recommend to promote leaders or new leaders that you think might be helped.

Steph Smith:
[40:54] So I think.
The book was that I that you’ll think I think is there is a really good start but the thing that I would say about leadership or becoming a better leader.
Is I would actually stray away from some of the more typical leadership books or websites are newsletters or blogs on for some of the reasons that I mentioned earlier I find a lot of those,
sites and blogs are very high-level right and they’ll tell you things which are helpful but I think our.
Are quite widely known and not very not very helpful hands things like trust your team or.

[41:35] Make a sentence with confidence.
Yes true like those are all things that should be done by leaders or not leaders but I don’t find them actually conducive to you actually becoming a better leader in the app because they’re not that tangible implementable.

Christian Mccarrick:
[41:52] Actionable.

Steph Smith:
[41:54] Exactly and.
The things that I would say which is why they’re most of the book set I suggest is to actually focus more deeply on on learning about psychology right and not just your own psychology but how do people think how do people interact how,
how are habits formed,
things like that I think actually help you to become a better worker a better leader but also help you understand your team and that’s why.
I talked about some of these things like the three books that I base this entire idea of remote leadership on are not leadership books right it’s like given take his behavioral psychology algorithms to live by is probably like a mix between.
Personal development and something else or.
I like psychology so I think the idea here is that you know leadership books are science or information.
Can be I think a little too high level and for people that almost just like want to hear what they want to hear right where is I think the best way to actually become a better leader is true
learn about yourself and your people and the best way to do that is I think through more psychological.

Christian Mccarrick:
[43:16] Excellent yeah I mean I agree to you got a lot of these you almost H-E-B like the motivational posters to see on the wall like trust will excellent like how do you get.

Steph Smith:
[43:24] And like I said they’re always liked is listicles that are like you know they’re always like nine bullet points that are all the same and like you just can’t really get anything.

Christian Mccarrick:
[43:39] Although to be to be at I don’t know if this is like a good thing or or sad state of things but sometimes.
Some of them are just common sense and then I look around and I realize just how little people are actually even using just the basic conference sentence.
But you’re also part of a number of other groups as I’ve seen on your website you’re part of the maker Community indefinitely
supporting I kind of underrepresented groups in technology in Temecula can you if you go into a little bit of some of those groups you are and how my listeners can help support them.

Steph Smith:
[44:15] Sure so yes I actually.
I’m in the maker Community I started learning to code around a year ago so early 2018 and have since belts on a couple projects and watch them on product and all that jazz so I.
I guess.
You can check out the things I’ve made or the things that other Indie makers are creating on product and that’s probably the best way to find them and I think that’s really important because I think there’s a lot of emphasis stays on,
the typical path of creating company which is like you know pitched it to BC’s raise money and,
yeah hopefully make it through like years of of hyper growth and I think there’s another story that can be told which is,
no actually there’s many stories which can be told but I think the idea of basically like learning skills like taking things slow building a company sustainably who’s dropping like these are all things that you don’t see in,
Publications like TechCrunch because they’re not super Jazzy they’re not outliers right well they are outliers but they’re not you know these flashy.

[45:22] Stories that you know probably don’t really exist but are perceived a certain way so I think it’s actually really important for people to hear stories of people,
or building things slowly getting you know creating tools that are only bringing like,
maybe two, but that’s enough for them to live so I would definitely encourage people to look on places like Indie hackers or product hunt work,
you know you’re not seeing these big PC deals but you’re seeing some people who are creating. So that’s where I hang out outside of my,
my main roulette table towel and then as you mentioned I’m a big fan of supporting women in Tech because I think well as we all know there’s there’s definitely an imbalance there and I just think,
as we move forward as you know certainly as someone who’s much more technical than me technology is going to be even more either quit as overtime and I think as we move forward it’s just going to be more and more important,
for more people to be part of that industry and specifically for that industry to become more diverse so we have more pinions we have.
Like more people from different backgrounds who have an understanding of this fundamental space and yeah so I give talks and I.
Try to encourage other women to also start learning to code so that hopefully we can kind of have a more diverse future.

Christian Mccarrick:
[46:43] Excellent totally agree with that in and I’ll see you know any personally definitely trying to support leaders there to you know take those things into consideration and really trying to help support
and bringing more diversity into the technology space so
the offer for my listeners out there if any of them wanted to get in contact with you what is the best way for them to reach out to you I’ll post some of the things that you that you know of your links on simple leadership that I owe but if anyone just listening website
if you kind of talk out to where they might be the best way to reach you.

Steph Smith:
[47:16] Sure so you can either find me on Twitter my handle is Steph Smith Steph Smith
I owe at the end or email me at hello at Steph Smith. IO or go to my website which is Steph Smith. IO so any of those I would love to hear from you or whether it’s about remote work women in Tech
I learn to code or anything like that those are all a bunch of my passions and I’d love to hear from you.

Christian Mccarrick:
[47:43] Steph thank you so much for your time this morning I really appreciate it I really had a great conversation and again thank you very much.

Steph Smith:
[47:52] Thank you so much for having me.