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Latest Episodes

37. The Unmuted Framework with Heather Hansen

It's a fact that good communication skills are essential in today's remote workplace. People tend to work better when they can understand each other. But what does that mean, really?

It's easy to throw around buzzwords and phrases like "communication skills" and "interpersonal skills." But in reality, being a great communicator boils down to one simple thing: showing empathy. This is especially true when it comes to working with remote teams. 

In this episode, I’m joined by Heather Hansen, a global communication specialist, TEDx speaker, and author of the book, Unmuted: How to Show Up, Speak Up, and Inspire Action. She’s the founder of Global Speech Academy, whose mission is to empower global voices to contribute to conversations that matter in business, politics, and life.

In our conversation, Heather shares how we can create a more inclusive workplace by encouraging people to speak up, the Unmuted Framework, and strategies to effectively communicate with confidence and clarity. 

In this episode:

[2:29] Our innate biases toward different accents.

[8:45] Recognizing our own biases is the first step in fostering a welcoming attitude toward non-native English speakers and promoting inclusivity in the workplace.

[10:34] Tips for creating an inclusive environment in which people feel comfortable sharing their ideas during virtual meetings.

[11:55] Effective communication is a two-way street. People with higher levels of English need to make the effort to listen, while people with lower levels of English need to make the same effort to speak up. The role of a leader is to strike the balance between the two to create a fruitful vehicle for inclusive communication. 

[13:58] Providing meeting participants with an agenda beforehand equalizes the playing ground for all participants even if they have varying levels of English proficiency.

[14:50] The Unmuted Framework

[18:20] A look at the evolution of working remotely and how remote meetings can be more inclusive and engaging.

[20:15] Virtual meetings, while convenient, leave out important human connection and body language.

[23:48] How remote working arrangements have helped many people to communicate and form relationships with people from different locations.

[27:11] Adaptability is a key leadership skill that will allow us to create a workplace that values all people regardless of race, culture, and language, leading to a more inclusive world.

[28:23] Leaders must be purpose-driven. They must have a clear sense of purpose, values, and goals. They must be willing to speak out about issues that are important to them in order to inspire others and lead their companies from a position of social responsibility.

[30:30] As more people work remotely, leaders must develop a digital brand that extends beyond the physical confines of the company to the online world.

About Heather Hansen

Heather Hansen is a global communication specialist, TEDx speaker, and author of the book, Unmuted: How to Show Up, Speak Up, and Inspire Action. She’s the founder of Global Speech Academy, whose mission is to empower global voices to contribute to conversations that matter in business, politics, and life. Her 2018 TEDx talk titled, “2 Billion Voices: How to Speak Bad English Perfectly” has had over 150,000 views and is used by university professors and English language specialists throughout the world in their own teachings.

Connect with Heather

On her Website

The Global Speech Academy’s Website

On LinkedIn

On Facebook

On Twitter

Heather’s Books

Unmuted: How to Show Up, Speak Up, and Inspire Action

Powerful People Skills

Resources we mentioned:

Heather’s TEDx Talk: 2 Billion Voices: How to Speak Bad English Perfectly

Tsedal Neeley’s Book: Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere

Latest Episodes

April 20, 2022

35. Time Agnostic w/ Liam Martin

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April 5, 2022

34. Spotify's Work from Anywhere program, w/ Alexander Westerdahl

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March 22, 2022

33. Open-source principles in digital workplaces w/ Niel Miller & Daphnée Laforest

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March 8, 2022

32. Async hiring w/ Willo - Startup Series

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February 22, 2022

31. Culture Operations w/ Ben Gateley, CEO - CharlieHR

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February 8, 2022

30. Transforming work w/ Tracy Hawkins, Twitter

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January 25, 2022

29. New Year, New Expectations w/ Modern Leaders

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December 6, 2021

28. Unlearning the way we work w/ Alastair Simpson, Dropbox

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

November 22, 2021

27. Wellbeing over climbing the ladder w/Dominic Price, Atlassian

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

November 8, 2021

26. Closing the gender gap with transparent salaries. w/ Jenny Terry, Buffer

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Season

4

|

April 5, 2022

34. Spotify's Work from Anywhere program, w/ Alexander Westerdahl

"Once you give that flexibility, people can also take ownership of their own destiny, their own setup, which will allow them to be a better version of themselves." Alexander Westerdahl, leads the Work-From-Anywhere program at Spotify and his team did an impressive job at offering the best location flexibility to 7000+ employees, while staying compliant and liable which comes with its set of challenges. In this episode you'll hear The challenges of Work From Anywhere Work modes at Spotify If a manager has to say no to remote, they have to motivate the decision. What meetings should actually be used for Alex's opinion about the need for discoverability of information within an organization. Read more about The Reality of Working from Anywhere : https://hrblog.spotify.com/2022/03/29/the-reality-of-working-from-anywhere/ Mentions: Facebook Workplace Sli.do Qatalog: Digital HQ Notion Follow Alex Hawkins: Connect on Linkedin Reach out - You can reach out to the host Daphnée Laforest on Linkedin :) Leave a review, help us get discovered! - If you found value in this show, we'd love your review on your listening app of choice. It really helps to get the podcast discovered by more and more people. RateThisPodcast.com/remotefirst  Key topics discussed: Remote Work, Remote First, Distributed-first, workplace, leadership, mental health --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/remotefirst/message

Season

4

|

March 22, 2022

33. Open-source principles in digital workplaces w/ Niel Miller & Daphnée Laforest

This episode was previously published on The Digital Workplace Podcast where our host joined Niel Miller to discuss the five levels of autonomy at work and how open-source principles influenced the best distributed-work practices.  While sharing an appreciation for Matt Mullenweg’s ideas of the 5 Levels of remote work, Daphnée pointed out that most of the companies that are leading the discussion about distributed work have something in common. They have a deeply distributed bias. Automattic, GitLab, Elastic, and many others were initially open-source projects that later formalized into companies. When a company has its origins in a decentralized and distributed community, it makes sense that they would also bring those principles to building a remote, or distributed company. And they’ve succeeded as distributed companies in large part because of their foundational principles. By pushing trust out to the margins and embracing asynchronous work (out of necessity often), they found a system that worked great. However, when a company doesn’t have the same foundations and tries to shift to remote work, they often run into issues. Remote work is not the hard part. The difficulty is the years of practice in asynchronous communication, decentralized authority, and building digital culture. Show Links Connect with Niel Miller on Linkedin Subscribe to the digital workplace podcast Connect with Daphnée Laforest on LinkedIn Reach out - We would love to get to know who you are and also hear any feedback about the podcast. You can reach-out anytime and we always reply! contact @ remotefirst . fm Leave a review, help us get discovered! - If you found value in this show, we'd love your review on your listening app of choice. It really helps to get the podcast discovered by more and more people. RateThisPodcast.com/remotefirst  --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/remotefirst/message

Season

4

|

March 8, 2022

32. Async hiring w/ Willo - Startup Series

Startup for Remote Work Series // As you know, our host loves discovering new products and services designed to change and improve the way we work. Which is why we are continuing this series to discuss specific remote work challenges that need solving and feature a startup just doing that. This week, listen to Euan Cameron, CEO of Willo, an Asynchronous Video Interviewing Software. Mind blown right? And you thought you had Async all figured out...

Show Links

Connect with Euan on Linkedin

Try Willo - https://www.willo.video/

Connect with Daphnée on LinkedIn

We would love to get to know who you are and also hear any feedback about the podcast.

You can reach out anytime and we always reply!  contact @ remotefirst .fm

Found value in this show? We'd love your review on Apple Podcast or Spotify. It helps us build trust with new listeners and provide more value for you! RateThisPodcast.com/remotefirst

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Season

3

|

November 22, 2021

27. Wellbeing over climbing the ladder w/Dominic Price, Atlassian

The narrative is changing. Instead of conversations in pockets about ‘the future of work’ it’s now: how do we let our remote team thrive? Or how do we even survive working remotely? In this episode, Dominic Price and Daphnée talk about hiring and onboarding remote team members, shaping the new normal, and mental health.

Connect with Dom

The report Dom mentioned: The Return on Action Report 2021 &  The State of Teams

Reach out - You can reach out to the host Daphnée Laforest on Linkedin :)

Leave a review, help us get discovered! - If you found value in this show, we'd love your review on your listening app of choice. It really helps to get the podcast discovered by more and more people. RateThisPodcast.com/remotefirst

Our Partner: Remotive - Since 2014 Remotive.io is helping top distributed companies hire remote workers. Going remote has opened your company to the world. So going Remotive we'll channel your jobs to the best talents out there.

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Season

3

|

November 8, 2021

26. Closing the gender gap with transparent salaries. w/ Jenny Terry, Buffer

Buffer is a fully remote company that is recognized for their culture & openness and transparency. Especially when it comes to Salaries - a topic that is quite a debate recently as companies are looking into the longer term impact of remote work. This week I have the pleasure to chat with Jenny Terry, Director of Business Operations at Buffer.

In this episode you will hear:

  • How Buffer set their formula to adjust the salary with benchmarking and bands.
  • If employee get a salary decrease if they change location
  • The challenges and benefits of transparent salaries
  • Why Buffer chose to go with transparent salaries - building trust
  • Gender-pay gap analysis
  • Average salaries of men across the company compared to women
  • People new to WFH experienced that productivity often goes up when people are working from home.
  • Giving equal benefits around the world

Links:

Reach out! - You can reach out to the host Daphnée Laforest on Linkedin :)

Leave a review, help us get discovered! - If you found value in this show, we'd love your review on your listening app of choice. It really helps to get the podcast discovered by more and more people. RateThisPodcast.com/remotefirst

Our Partner: Since 2014 Remotive.io is helping top distributed companies hire remote workers. Going remote has opened your company to the world. So going Remotive we'll channel your jobs to the best talents out there.

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Season

3

|

October 25, 2021

25. Hyper-growth while fully-remote w/ Camilla Boyer, Hopin

How do you set the foundation to enable a team to go through hyper-growth entirely remotely? While recently founded in 2019, Hopin has always been fully remote. In 2021, the team quadrupled its size and to do so, they've put together a team dedicated to support this growth which Camilla is part of. 

In this episode you will hear: 

  • The Vibe Team at Hopin 
  • The Pillars of Internal Communication in a fast growing Remote-First company 
  • Picking the right tools that will allow your company to scale 
  • That influencing change in ways of working is like an internal marketing campaign 
  • The importance of Story Telling in the Remote World 
  • About the quarterly interactive business review and kick-off event at Hopin 

Links

-- 

Reach out - You can reach out to the host Daphnée Laforest on Linkedin :) 

Leave a review, help us get discovered! - If you found value in this show, we'd love your review on your listening app of choice. It really helps to get the podcast discovered by more and more people. RateThisPodcast.com/remotefirst 

Our Partner: Since 2014 Remotive.io is helping top distributed companies hire remote workers. Going remote has opened your company to the world. So going Remotive we'll channel your jobs to the best talents out there.

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Season

2

|

September 13, 2021

22. Building an equitable culture w/ Eimear Marrinan, Hubspot

This week episode we dive deep into the "culture code" at Hubspot which helps build a culture that enables people to do their best work in their location of choice. Be it @office, @home or in a flex mode, employees at Hubspot can choose which mode works best for them. Eimear Marrinan, Director of Culture at Hubspot explains how they do it so you can too!

Learn more about Hubspot Hybrid work

More about Eimear Marrinan : Linkedin link

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Season

2

|

August 30, 2021

21. Equity in a hybrid workplace w/ Samantha Fisher, Okta

The biggest challenge companies are facing at the moment is going through doing the heavy-lift of foundational work. How an organisations works at its core is what will make it succeed or not at working in a hybrid way. This week, I am with Samantha Fisher, Head of Dynamic Work at Okta. Sam is a brilliant leader in the industry and thrive at building people-centric workplace experience no matter where an employee is located. You will hear her opinions on creating an Equitable Employee Experience remotely vs in office and how companies need to make this heavy lift to succeed in their digital workplace transformation. 


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Season

2

|

August 23, 2021

20. Psychological safety linked to innovation w/ Brian Elliott, Slack

This episode is the second part of an interview with Brian Elliott about the Future Forum, a Think Tank launched by Slack. Lately, they've recently done a study on the impact of remote work on creativity and innovation which is closely intertwined with Psychological safety.  

Brian also follows up on the topic of flexibility and add his thoughts about creating of "Flexibility with Predictability". 

https://futureforum.com/2021/06/15/future-forum-pulse/

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Season

1

|

May 17, 2022

37. The Unmuted Framework with Heather Hansen

It's a fact that good communication skills are essential in today's remote workplace. People tend to work better when they can understand each other. But what does that mean, really?

It's easy to throw around buzzwords and phrases like "communication skills" and "interpersonal skills." But in reality, being a great communicator boils down to one simple thing: showing empathy. This is especially true when it comes to working with remote teams. 

In this episode, I’m joined by Heather Hansen, a global communication specialist, TEDx speaker, and author of the book, Unmuted: How to Show Up, Speak Up, and Inspire Action. She’s the founder of Global Speech Academy, whose mission is to empower global voices to contribute to conversations that matter in business, politics, and life.

In our conversation, Heather shares how we can create a more inclusive workplace by encouraging people to speak up, the Unmuted Framework, and strategies to effectively communicate with confidence and clarity. 

In this episode:

[2:29] Our innate biases toward different accents.

[8:45] Recognizing our own biases is the first step in fostering a welcoming attitude toward non-native English speakers and promoting inclusivity in the workplace.

[10:34] Tips for creating an inclusive environment in which people feel comfortable sharing their ideas during virtual meetings.

[11:55] Effective communication is a two-way street. People with higher levels of English need to make the effort to listen, while people with lower levels of English need to make the same effort to speak up. The role of a leader is to strike the balance between the two to create a fruitful vehicle for inclusive communication. 

[13:58] Providing meeting participants with an agenda beforehand equalizes the playing ground for all participants even if they have varying levels of English proficiency.

[14:50] The Unmuted Framework

[18:20] A look at the evolution of working remotely and how remote meetings can be more inclusive and engaging.

[20:15] Virtual meetings, while convenient, leave out important human connection and body language.

[23:48] How remote working arrangements have helped many people to communicate and form relationships with people from different locations.

[27:11] Adaptability is a key leadership skill that will allow us to create a workplace that values all people regardless of race, culture, and language, leading to a more inclusive world.

[28:23] Leaders must be purpose-driven. They must have a clear sense of purpose, values, and goals. They must be willing to speak out about issues that are important to them in order to inspire others and lead their companies from a position of social responsibility.

[30:30] As more people work remotely, leaders must develop a digital brand that extends beyond the physical confines of the company to the online world.

About Heather Hansen

Heather Hansen is a global communication specialist, TEDx speaker, and author of the book, Unmuted: How to Show Up, Speak Up, and Inspire Action. She’s the founder of Global Speech Academy, whose mission is to empower global voices to contribute to conversations that matter in business, politics, and life. Her 2018 TEDx talk titled, “2 Billion Voices: How to Speak Bad English Perfectly” has had over 150,000 views and is used by university professors and English language specialists throughout the world in their own teachings.

Connect with Heather

On her Website

The Global Speech Academy’s Website

On LinkedIn

On Facebook

On Twitter

Heather’s Books

Unmuted: How to Show Up, Speak Up, and Inspire Action

Powerful People Skills

Resources we mentioned:

Heather’s TEDx Talk: 2 Billion Voices: How to Speak Bad English Perfectly

Tsedal Neeley’s Book: Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere

Season

1

|

May 10, 2021

Bonus: The journey of workplace disruption

Catching up on Season 1 and looking back at everything we've learned in company of guest from Shopify, Radical Candor, Prezi, Doist, Mural, OysterHR & Human Made. We are taking a break for the month of May to prepare for the launch of Season 2 on May 31st. 

Big thank you to remotive.io for supporting the making of this podcast. 


Transcript: 

Hey everyone. So this is a quick bonus episode to thank you for taking part in the remote first podcast for this first season, it's been an incredible experience and I am going to be telling you a bit more about what's coming. For the season one, we've had amazing guests. It's been an awesome time to listen to other leaders who add experience in a remote first workplace.

We've had guests from Shopify, Prezi, Radical Candor. We had people from Doist also from Oyster HR. It's been a really interesting, I loved to have all this conversation with everyone. We talked about remote leadership. We talked about hiring compliance, the limits of asynchronous communication and keeping your team engaged in a remote workplace.

I hope that like me, you really appreciated the content and the interviews and discussions we had with the leaders. It's been really fun for me as well to discover also the world of podcasting. So I hope you also liked the experience, I'm taking a little break for the month of May to prepare the lineup that will be launched on May 31st.

So on May 31st, I'm launching season 2 where we will be having amazing other guests again, but this time I'm so excited, because we have guests coming from larger companies. This time, we will talk a lot about distributed-by-design at scale. So this is very exciting and I hope that you'll be joining us.

Subscribe to the podcast to make sure you won't be missing out on the next season. And if you like to show. I would really appreciate and be so grateful if you could leave a review on any of your listening app of choice, it definitely helps the podcast getting discovered.

So thank you so much for taking part of this first journey of the remote first podcast and see you on May 31st. 

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Season

1

|

April 26, 2021

8. Keeping your team engaged when apart w/ Laïla von Alvensleben, MURAL

In this episode, you'll hear from Laïla von Alvensleben, Head of Culture & Collaboration at MURAL, who will share some of her precious insights around what makes a team stick together in a virtual workplace. From energizer, facilitating skills to a truly inspiring virtual offsite. 

Keeping your team engaged virtually has been a challenge many of you have brought up recently. For those who found themselves suddenly remote, it was like if you were a conductor that lost their orchestra. Many people completely fell out of their comfort zone and were lacking at the right facilitating skills to bring their team together and keep the momentum. 

Show note links 

Icebreakers: https://www.mural.co/blog/online-warm-ups-energizers

Virtual Retreat: https://www.mural.co/blog/2020-mural-virtual-offsite

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Our Guest

This podcast features interviews with leaders of the industry who will provide insights into a long-term transformation from traditional office work to remote work.

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Elastic

Leah Sutton

Slack

Brian Elliott

Okta

Samantha Fisher

MillerKnoll

Ryan Anderson

Hubspot

Eimear Marrinan

Dropbox

Alastair Simpson

Shopify

Maureen Burke

Gitlab

Darren Murph

Twitter

Tracy Hawkins

With words from

"The episode with Jason Rosoff from Radical Candor really resonates with me. (This) podcast tackles remote work issues, which we all face today, and topics that might help you or your business go remote-first."

By bombeztic, Netherlands 🇳🇱

I love the calibre of guests that appear on Remote First, it’s so interesting to hear what they have to say! Daphnée is a fantastic host who gets into the nuts-and-bolts of workplace transformation.

by Whan, United Kingdom 🇬🇧

"Great guests with insights that help in remote strategy. Daphnee let’s the guests share their expertise and is often asking the questions I have in my head! If you are running a remote company, you won’t go wrong with this podcast."

by Joe, Germany 🇩🇪

"So helpful to have tips and strategies for how to optimize the shift to remote work setups. Can’t wait to hear more !!"

By PatrickJBurns, United States 🇺🇸

We just wanted to thank you for this fantastic website! We are so grateful for being able to advertise our Petite cabin and receive feedback from people from all over the U.S. and even further.

Adam Morph — CEO Alfatech

We just wanted to thank you for this fantastic website! We are so grateful for being able to advertise our Petite cabin and receive feedback from people from all over the U.S. and even further.

Adam Morph — CEO Alfatech

We just wanted to thank you for this fantastic website! We are so grateful for being able to advertise our Petite cabin and receive feedback from people from all over the U.S. and even further.

Adam Morph — CEO Alfatech

The Host

Daphnée Laforest

Daphnée is a Distributed Workplace Consultant who is on a mission to help executives, people ops and team leaders drive a company-wide shift toward remote-first ways of working. Within 10 years of experience in fully distributed companies, she played key roles in establishing scalable workflows for growth, facilitating business decisions remotely and building internal products dedicated to digital-first teams.

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