37. The Unmuted Framework with Heather Hansen

May 17, 2022


Summary

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