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How to Motivate and Empower Globally-Competitive Teams of Content Professionals

On Management
Barry C.
• Technical communications leader
• 32 years of technical documentation
• Led writing teams at 6 US companies
 Who are we?
 Management: A Sacred Trust
 Keys to Success: CARVE (Caring, Access, Respect, Vision, Expect Excel...

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How to Motivate and Empower Globally-Competitive Teams of Content Professionals

  1. 1. On Management Barry C.
  2. 2. • Technical communications leader • 32 years of technical documentation experience • Led writing teams at 6 US companies • Founded Saiff Solutions, Inc. in 2011 • Provides content development to Fortune 500 companies in Japan & US • Loves acronyms About the Speaker: Barry Saiff
  3. 3. AGEND A  Who are we?  Management: A Sacred Trust  Keys to Success: CARVE (Caring, Access, Respect, Vision, Expect Excellence!)  The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Technical Writers  THRIVE (Training, Heard, Respect, Vision, Empower)  Integrity  Powerful Motivation: SLAP! (Success, Learning, Accurate Feedback, Praise)  Managing Cross-Cultural Teams  What is your challenge?  Questions?
  4. 4. QUESTION: Where are you located? Please type your country and city in the chat window.
  5. 5. QUESTION: What are Your Interest/Experience in Managing Technical Writers? Have you experienced: • Managing a team of writers? • Leading a team, without management authority? • Managing outsourced or off-shore writers? • Hiring? Firing? • Working for a good manager? • Working for a not-so-good manager? • What else?
  6. 6. Management is a sacred trust. As a manager, at any level, you have the power to: • destroy careers • destroy jobs • destroy morale • destroy the enterprise
  7. 7. • build careers • achieve miracles • treat people fairly • develop lifelong relationships of trust Management is a sacred trust. As a manager, at any level, you have the power to:
  8. 8. •turn lives around •empower people to be more effective and more productive •enable people to learn things that make them more successful •turn the enterprise around Management is a sacred trust. As a manager, at any level, you have the power to:
  9. 9. Caring The fundamental way of being of a manager is caring. • A manager cares about the results. • A manager cares about the process. • A manager cares about the people. • A manager cares about the enterprise.
  10. 10. Picture a mother in an inner city. The city is very loud. To be able to sleep, she must ignore the sounds. Yet, when her baby cries, she wakes up. That is the level of caring that a manager is. Caring
  11. 11. • A manager is trusted with power that they must always use to benefit the enterprise and support the staff. • A manager faces many opportunities to abuse that power, and cause harm to the enterprise and the staff. • A manager must, at times, be selfless, and act against their own (narrowly conceived) self-interest. Caring
  12. 12. Caring • A good manager is a creator of healthy administration, and an enemy of bureaucratic corruption, inertia, and injustice. • The mission, the customers, the enterprise, the people, and the results are always more important than the rules. • Rather than offering excuses for ineffective actions or policies, a good manager strives for continuous improvement, rational administration, fairness, and productivity gains. Caring
  13. 13. Caring Have you ever thought about management in terms of caring? Please click Yes if this is not a new idea to you. Caring
  14. 14. AccessAccess Your people need regular access to you, and you need access to your management. Have you ever had difficulties or stress at work because your manager had no time for you? Please click Yes or No.
  15. 15. It is unacceptable to accuse or blame someone in front of others. It is counterproductive to accuse or blame someone in private. Even if you don't think you are accusing or blaming, if the other person thinks you are, you are responsible for their perception. This is particularly important in Asian cultures. RespectBeing Respectful
  16. 16. It is unacceptable to raise your voice in anger, use profanity, or act in a less than civil or business-like manner. A manager knows how to manage their emotions, without dumping them on people in the workplace. A manager understands the difference between passion and emotion, and is not controlled by emotions. A manager is responsible for the impact of his or her actions. A manager does not react. A manager creates. RespectBeing Respectful
  17. 17. Expand the realm of what you consider yourself responsible for. Do not accept being treated with less than respect. Give yourself a break. You will make mistakes, in fact, you must make some mistakes in order to learn how to improve. RespectBeing Respectful of yourself
  18. 18. Vision Without vision, management is damaging. Be inspired, and you will inspire others. Keep the mission, vision, and values of the organization alive, in everyone. Make sure people understand how their work forwards the whole. Are you clear about the mission or the vision of your organization? Please click Yes or No. Vision
  19. 19. Dr. Wayne Dyer was well known for the idea, based on extensive research, that we create what we expect. Be very aware of your expectations. Choose them wisely. Expect Excellence!
  20. 20. QUESTION: What, in your experience, are the most difficult management issues? Please speak up, or type in the chat window. We’ll address a few issues now, and others later.
  21. 21. Vision 1. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY a (learn) 7 Habits of Highly Effective Technical Writers Great technical writers thrive on criticism. They understand that it enables them to improve, and to improve the accuracy and readability of their content. So, don’t take criticism personally. Use it to your advantage. 2. LEARN BEFORE ASKING a (respect, impress) Learn as much as you can from available resources before asking questions. In this way, you can respect others’ time and impress your colleagues with your ability to ask intelligent questions. 3. ASK a (often) Technical writing requires good people skills. Don’t attempt it alone. Ask questions. Ask for help. Pick 3 of your favorite writers. If you were able to see their first drafts, you’d probably think, “I can do much better.” The best writers in the world are the best re-writers. Always rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite some more. 4. REWRITE a (always)
  22. 22. Vision 5. ACQUIRE FEEDBACK a (test, reviews) 7 Habits of Highly Effective Technical Writers Technical writing is almost never 100% on the first draft. Without adequate testing and review, accuracy is often unattainable. Make sure you get the feedback you need to excel. 6. UNDERSTAND a (before publishing) When you start, you may not fully understand your subject matter. That’s fine. By the time you publish, make sure you do understand. If you don’t understand what you write, your readers are not likely to understand it, either. 7. CONTRIBUTE Notice things. Does the prototype work as expected? Are the user interface labels capitalized consistently? Ask questions. Make suggestions. Be a part of the product team. If you write something, you need to understand what you wrote. Even if it is just a draft to show your editor, you need to either a) fully understand what you wrote, or b) have a list of questions. Do not write a sentence that you yourself do not understand.
  23. 23. Expect Excellence!Empower Excellence: THRIVE A manager operates at a high level of INTEGRITY. This requires a deep respect for the power of your own words, actions, and ways of being. This includes: • Being careful not to promise too much, or raise expectations too high. However, not too low either – expect great things of yourself! • Being responsible for your impact on the self-image and performance of others. • Keeping your promises. When you cannot, pro- actively take responsibility for mitigating the impacts on others. • Modelling the behaviors, attitudes, and approaches you want to develop in the staff.
  24. 24. Expect Excellence! I – Integrity: Empower Excellence: THRIVE • Always examining how you might be the source of the problem • Learning from every mistake or failure, and from every success • Not cutting corners with integrity – do not deceive, break the law, or let yourself off the hook; do not share information prematurely or inappropriately • Working at least as hard, and smart, as your staff. • Holding yourself accountable for the performance and results of your team
  25. 25. Managing Cross Cultural Teams Three Key Success Factors: 1. Mix cultures and locations. Having a mix of cultures in one location makes a huge difference. 2. Ensure editing, quality control, and inclusion. Make sure writers in each location/of each culture have the advantages they need to succeed. One of the key success factors for Saiff Solutions, Inc. is that our Filipino writers in the Philippines work with American, Canadian, and Filipino editors and managers in the Philippines, as well as American and Indian editors who are remote. Our editors have at least 9 years of technical writing/editing experience each.
  26. 26. Managing Cross Cultural Teams 3. Embrace differences by increasing your awareness! Understanding cultural differences – between countries, professions, departments, companies – is crucial to your success. Consider: • How do these people learn best? • How do they typically handle conflict? • What does “Yes” mean to them? Learn how to listen newly, to hear what you are missing, and to speak newly, to add what you assume and others do not. You’ll need to continually expand your awareness to new levels. You cannot succeed in this without getting to know people well.
  27. 27. Managing Cross Cultural Teams • Management entails awesome responsibility and awesome opportunity. Both are magnified by a mixture of cultures. • For example, many Asians are socialized to defer to authority figures, and foreigners, even those not in positions of authority. They may be unwilling to say “no” or disagree with you, to ask questions or ask for help, especially if you (even unknowingly) raise your voice or exhibit frustration or anger. • They may hide from you the impact of how you are being and what you are doing. This can lead to very damaging situations, that you only become aware of when it is too late.
  28. 28. Managing Cross Cultural Teams To be successful with people in other cultures, you need to be sensitive. You need to be willing to change. You need to give up the idea that your culture is better. All cultures have strengths and weaknesses. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your culture and other cultures. Managing Cross Cultural Teams
  29. 29. QUESTION:What management challenge a are you facing now? I could benefit from a conversation about…? Please complete the sentence above in the chat window. We’ll address one or two now. If you type your answer in the chat window, I promise to contact you for a private conversation.
  30. 30. BONUS: Resources • BALANCE infographic (Respect) – We will send it, with the presentation, to all webinar registrants. • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Technical Writers • Global Content Creation – Making it Work • A Motivating SLAP • The 21 Dimensions of Respect for Foreigners • 2016 New Years Free Gifts • What do good technical writers do? Why do we need them?
  31. 31. Email: barrysaiff@saiffsolutions.com Skype: SaiffSolutions Contact: +1 415 350 2959 +63 917 872 0929 Web: www.saiffsolutions.com Join us at: LavaCon Dublin, June 5-7: http://lavacon.org/2016/dublin/ UA Europe, Budapest, June 9-10: http://www.uaconference.eu/ LavaCon Las Vegas, October 26-29: http://lavacon.org/2016/vegas/ More webinars, more conferences, our blog! ALL QUESTIONS ARE WELCOME!
  32. 32. BONUS: Creativity in the Face of Stress A good manager creates and protects a healthy culture. Culture lives in the details. In every moment, every action and interaction. Think about how you deal with stress. You are a role model for your team. Successful managers rely on the 3 Cs: Caring, Competence, and Creativity