I haven’t skied in a few weeks now.

I know…I know…

“How in the world are you still skiing???”

Here’s what it looked like the last time I skied:

It’s hard to appreciate how steep and skinny that chute was.

We hiked 2 miles with skis on our backs to get there.
Communication is critical in skiing in the backcountry.
Talking through the current avalanche situation, talking about terrain, and slopes are a constant part of what we do.
Each partner needs to know what’s going on at all times both to avoid an avalanche and in case one happens.

I bought radios to make communication easier when skiing.  They sit on the shoulder strap so that there’s nothing to fiddle with.  Just push the button and talk to each other.

Working with people on the other side of the world is similar.

Open communication keeps people on their toes.
It can alert you to problems.

Even better, it can foster a relationship where they’re willing to tell you when they have better solutions.

If they don’t get regular communication from you, they’re unlikely to speak up when they have a problem or a solution.

Miles Beckler says:
“Encourage open communication, especially about tasks they do day in and day out. So when they have an idea on how to do things easier or do things better, they can tell you.”

Here’s how I communicate with my VAs.

1. I use Snagit to make videos.  I do this every day.  Not to everyone every day (I have 40 full-time people right now), but often enough.

2. We use Basecamp for tracking projects.  Basecamp has a feature called a “daily check-in”.  It asks everyone on my team “what did you do today” every work day. I can use it to respond easily and quickly.

3. Email.

I personally don’t use chat.  You can, it’s totally fine.  Most Filipino workers will be good with it. I don’t because chat feels like an obligation that can’t be ignored while I do something more important.

I don’t do phone calls. You might.