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Range.co on meetings with remote introverts

Luke Szyrmer June 28, 2022 519


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About the speakers

Dan Pupius

Dan Pupius is CEO and Co-founder of Range, communication software that empower and strengthen teams, built specifically for the needs of the modern workplace. He has an MA in Industrial Design from Sheffield University, and a BSc in Artificial Intelligence from The University of Manchester. In past lives he raced snowboards, jumped out of planes, and lived in the jungle.

Jean Hsu

Jean Hsu is the Vice President of Engineering at Range. Prior to Range, she built product and engineering teams at Google, Pulse, and Medium, and co-founded Co Leadership, a leadership development company for engineers and other tech leaders. She’s also a co-actively trained coach and has coached engineers, tech leads, managers, VPs of Engineering, and CTOs. She loves to play ultimate frisbee and lives in Berkeley with her partner and two kids.

Links for more information

Resources mentioned in the show

  • get three months of range for free with coupon code MRT2022 which you can apply at checkout
  • In his first book, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Lawrence Lessig suggests that our behavior is regulated by four main forces: law, social norms, market forces and architecture.

Video interview

Transcript

[00:00:00] Jean: my team is all introverts. How do I, how do I get them to engage in these meetings?

They don’t say anything. So I just call on them, which of course increases the anxiety of going to these remote meetings that you’re going to be called on to, to, share your opinion at any given point. And so we do a lot of things. Like we have built into range meetings.

We have a spinner and so it shows everyone. And then, we have a check-in round where you spend the spinner and then everyone gets a chance to share how they’re doing. If we were discussing a topic and it’s a few people, if I notice that no one’s saying anything, sometimes I’ll set a timer and say Hey, I’m going to give you two minutes.

Just think about this question. And then we’ll use the spinner to go around the room and everyone will share, what was surprising or any insights you had. And I find that puts a lot of introverts more at ease, where they have a little bit of time to think about it before responding. And they know that they’re going to have to respond. It’s pretty mind blowing. How many insights, really good insights come out of that where people might not willingly volunteer them if you were just like anyone have anything to share, but if they know they’re going to get called on they’ll think of what they want to share.

[00:01:05] Luke: Welcome. Welcome. Welcome to the managing remote teams podcast. Today, I am super excited to be speaking with the team from range.co I’ve got Dan Pupius and Jean Hsu, the CEO and CTO, respectively. Let’s start a little bit with range itself, what is it exactly that inspired you to build this kind of a system, Dan?

[00:01:55] Dan: So first off, thanks for having us it’s good to be here and the important topic, especially given the state of the world today. So fundamentally today range is a set of integrated communication tools that empower and strengthen teams. So we’ve built it specifically for the needs of today’s world.

So work is more complex. Teams are more distributed and people are seeing more purpose, seeking, more purpose in their work so that some of the underlying principles. And at the core is a product that allows for teams through asynchronous check-ins. So it’s a little bit like you’re a virtual standup.

We integrate with all the tools. So it’s really easy to see your work and what you’ve got done. And then we have integrated team building components, which help build a sense of belonging and connection throughout that ACS process. Around that basically at its core, we have a synchronous meeting, facilitation tools goal set setting, and then a team directory.

So really we’re building a suite for remote work.

[00:02:45] Luke: When was the first moment that you started building something like this? Just in terms of timeline? Is it directly after the pandemic started or…

[00:02:56] Dan: so we founded the company quite a while ago. So as some background, Jean, I worked at medium along with my co-founder Jen.

So Jean and I were engineering and Jen was in people ops. And at that time, we were experimenting with alternative ways of managing the company, shall we say? And we saw the opportunity for tooling. So we actually had some internal engineers working on some tools to help us coordinate. And that was really like where we started having this idea of Winston Churchill said, “we shape the buildings, and afterwards they shape us”.

So if we build the software thereafter, the software shapes us, like what would it look like to build a new class of software specifically designed to encourage the behaviors that we think are important in today’s workplaces. So that became the impetus for range. And we started in 2017 and. Product and customer discovery.

We had early traction with remote teams and then since the pandemic, obviously everyone’s going remote and the value prop of remote oriented tooling has become very clear to everyone.

[00:03:48] Luke: Yeah, I have to say the least. Sure. Come March, 2020 how did things look as things started to, heat up for you, I would assume?

[00:03:57] Dan: Jean, you joined after the pandemic, right? Thanks for remembering.

[00:04:00] Jean: Yeah, I joined in the summer. Very different. From what I’ve heard from you, pre pandemic, early days of range of oh, is this a market? Some skepticism, I think after the pandemic and ever after everyone went remote, it was like, oh, clearly this is a huge pain point. Like team alignment and team communication tools for remote teams. And yeah, I joined, I think at the summer of 2020.

[00:04:21] Dan: That’s all right. And the peak.

Yeah. So in pre pandemic, we had customers we’d been taking a lean approach. So we had, we’ve been working with development partners since day one, essentially. We had big names like Twitter quite early on yeah, like Gina alluded to while I was like religion for people who saw the need for something like this, who cared about culture and cared about productivity and engagement and belonging, it wasn’t a widely held belief and it was a bit of an uphill battle.

But when everyone was forced into this remote world and many of them hadn’t been remote before just like the pain was just the amplified. So the need for a new way of working a new way of coordinating was much more.

[00:04:55] Luke: You guys mentioned alignment specifically, so which of the features, most dig into that or what, what seems to help the most?

Is it the the goal setting or is it the async check-ins how do you think about that?

[00:05:07] Dan: So async check-ins is really the core. And if you think about what alignment means, it’s not just about. It’s not just a, like a cognitive thing of like information.

That’s a feeling like we all feel aligned, right? So it’s feeling like you’re in the same boat. So checking in creates a habit, it’s a rhythm. We have these culture building components, which help you actually feel like a team. So even if you’re working on disparate work streams, you can, you feel like you’re all contributing to a greater whole, and then it provides visibility into the work that’s going on, which helps you understand how your work fits into the bigger picture.

And then the goal setting is a bit more about the north star and helping have a sense of purpose and tying your day-to-day work to an organizational objective. And even when, in many companies who are doing okay hours or, high-level goal setting is often very hard to connect day-to-day work to that goal.

So, range is designed to make that easier.

[00:05:55] Jean: I think a lot of times people think of the work getting done and then the connectedness and the feeling of being on a team of separate things. And so they’ll have project management tools and that’s where the work gets done. And then they’ll okay.

Every quarter I’d be like, oh, we need to do something team building related and then, pay an external party to run a, cooking event or something over zoom. They’re like, okay, we check the box. Like we did the team building or the kind of social connectedness part for this quarter can we get budget for next quarter?

And I think the unique part about range is it’s all integrated. So you do your async check-in and then you answer your team building question that then you can go ahead and read everyone’s answers.

[00:06:32] Luke: So what about the decision-making component of alignment? Like group decision-making? Is that, is that when the teams go and define their north star metric or how do you see customers doing that?

[00:06:46] Dan: Yeah, I think it’s a good question. I think the way we think about Ranger’s role in that is about building the foundation. So about building foundational context of what work is happening and what needs are emerging in the organization, but then also the foundational relationships. So imagine you’re in an office you come up the elevator site your day, you make eye contact with Jean across the office.

You go over to the. The coffee kitchen, make a coffee and have a chat with someone, all these little moments these really informal ad hoc belonging cues is the term. And they’re just a way of reinforcing the relationship. So range takes over some of the responsibility of those belonging cues which helps you believe that you’re on the same side, you’re on the same team.

And that you’re like in the same tribe. Based the human instincts. So then when you go into these situations of having to make a decision or have a, a synchronous conversation over video chat to discuss some nuanced strategy, you have that foundation. Whereas if you come in cold it’s just very hard to get into the flow and into the creative state, if you’re feeling disconnected and essentially unsafe from a psychological point of view.

[00:07:43] Jean: I think people often think that that sense of belonging. Much the kind of default to thinking that, okay, remote teams, it’s much harder to build that you need to spend time in person. I think one thing we’ve seen is that’s not always necessarily true. Like we, we ask the team building question every Monday. That’s like, how are you? How was your weekend?

And you can upload images. And so we get to see like pictures of people’s picnics, their living rooms that they’re painting, just like all the things they’ve been doing that. Share broadly with a team if you were in an in-person office. And we’re doing that with such intentionality.

And we also get to see, of course people’s pets and kids, and all sorts of more personal elements of our lives. I’m on zoom as well.

[00:08:24] Dan: Yeah, I think the worst version of remote workers it’s incredibly sterile. You’re isolated, you’re alone. The only interactions you have with other humans are transactional.

Approve this tickets, or assign this this task and that’s not going to lead you to make good creative, good decisions. Either you’re not going to get the most out of people. That’s fine if you’re running a factory, but within creative work, which requires novelty and inspiration.

So we think a lot about how do we create the conditions where you can actually have these like higher functioning interaction.

[00:08:54] Luke: So what about working with developers? In terms of I guess these queues and in particular, this connection, I think because I, myself am pretty much an introvert. I think a lot of developers also tend to tend more in that into that direction. How how do you get that in ways that it doesn’t feel let’s say imposed but at the same time, people do feel like they can join in?

[00:09:23] Jean: Yeah. We find that the async elements really do speak to people who. It may not be in an in-person office, the loudest person in the room.

Like having async check-ins where you can add more context about how you’re doing. We also do a lot of optional game times, things like that, where you can join, but if your head’s down in something, you don’t have to join or a lot of like audio only syncs. So a lot of different ways to cater to people who have different preferences. I’m a pretty extreme introvert as well. And so like, almost all my one-on-ones are like audio only, or I’ll go for a walk. And I actually find that it helps me pay attention to what people are saying more than just I have to look straight at the screen because this person is like, expecting me to be paying attention.

Not having to worry about what I’m, what facial expression I’m making.

[00:10:07] Dan: Yeah, I’m also massively introverted. And I think the thing that we don’t realize is that introverts still want human connection. It’s just difficult. And so how do we make it easier for them? And early on, actually we saw, we did some studies where people self identifying as introvert versus extrovert and the introverts engaged more on the the team-building features that extroverts and the hypothesis was that the extroverts have their social needs fulfilled elsewhere because they’re able to seek it intentionally, whereas the introverts don’t have as many opportunities to, to find this connection. So they, we’re creating this easier way of connecting actually.

So I think it actually speaks well to a developer audience.

[00:10:44] Jean: The way that we run meetings also really is well-liked by introverts, because I think when I’ve been running these like effective meeting sessions, and one thing that people often bring up is oh, my team is all introverts. How do I, how do I get them to engage in these meetings?

And they’ll say they don’t say anything. So I just call on them, which of course increases the anxiety of going to these remote meetings that you’re going to be called on to, to, share your opinion at any given point. And so we do a lot of things. Like we have built into range meetings.

We have a spinner and so it shows everyone. And then, we have a check-in round where you spend the spinner and then everyone gets a chance to share how they’re doing. If we were discussing a topic and it’s a few people, if I notice that no one’s saying anything, sometimes I’ll set a timer and say Hey, I’m going to give you two minutes.

Just think about this question. And then we’ll use the spinner to go around the room and everyone will share, what was surprising or any insights you had. And I find that puts a lot of introverts, more at ease, where they have a little bit of time to think about it before responding.

And they know that they’re going to have to respond. It’s pretty mind blowing. How many insights, really good insights come out of that where people might not willingly volunteer them if you were just like anyone have anything to share, but if they know they’re going to get called on they’ll think of what they want to share.

[00:11:56] Dan: Yeah. I think also creating other opportunities to surface things you want to talk about. So that’s another power of async is that it allows people to engage in the, on a timeframe that’s comfortable for them. So if they think of a meeting topic, ahead of the meeting, or even after the meeting to bring to the next one, that’s that should be totally fine.

You don’t have to be on the spot thinking like, what should I talk about? Because some people in that context, it’s just they freeze. It’s like deer in the headlights. Really speaking to different types of communication and also information processing. Some people prefer to go away and think about things and come back 24 hours later with a feedback.

So how do we build organizations where we actually cater to all these different types of types of people?

[00:12:31] Luke: Dan, you mentioned experiments. What was what was your approach? Was it more kind of structured customer development? Was it surveys?

Was it, how were you, or were you going about doing that out of curiosity?

[00:12:42] Dan: Yeah. Early on it was it was it was all of the above. And we had a psychology advisor, so she was an organizational psychologist who who worked with us. Obviously, you’re working with companies with their consent and understanding.

We would look at some of the data that they were sharing and what insights could we take away from that. And there’s some pretty cool things that came out of it, which we haven’t productized yet, but in the future it would be really awesome to revisit. Cause I think. Wait, when an organizational psychologist goes into a company they tend to do surveys people.

So self-reported, and it’s very time-consuming. So what we found is some of the data range could provide insights in a very short amount of time that, would take multiple hours of interviews. And then we just did, did a lot of user feedback and user testing.

So to be clear, the tools that we’re building at medium was very different to range. It was the principles that were interesting. It was that the software provides architecture and that architecture can support organizational behaviors.

In an organization Lawrence Lessig talks about this actually in I think it’s the new Chicago school of economics. But that behavior is motivated by forces of laws, norms markets and architecture, and in modern workplaces. So many of our behaviors or norms like named channels in slack this way, send an email on Monday.

With the reports, don’t do this, do that. And it’s really hard for people to remember it. It’s really hard to onboard and it’s really hard to sustain. So if you think of software as a type of architecture, that can actually facilitate behaviors, you can make lives a lot easier for everyone and make organizational behaviors more resilient.

So that was like one of the key takeaways. So we had a team directory that made it very easy for people to reallocate their time. So I’m spend 20% on this project this month. And that made it very easy for Jean and I as like managers to know what people are working on. So I think that was like the key takeaway and that filters into the range of products.

[00:14:29] Jean: When we were working at medium together, we were in the office, but it’s really important to have a place people can go to learn about people when they’re working remotely cause you don’t get to be like, oh, that’s the person I see across the office. Now, I need to ask them for something for this project I’m working on.

Let me, they, I they’ve smiled at me a few times, so I know that they’re a friendly person. So actually when Dan and I were still at Google we actually had probably the counterexample to the type of interactions we’re trying to build where like I had been trying. Get some code committed into the code base that Dan was a tech lead for.

And I think I was probably one year Gmail, front end. And I was on a separate team was trying to work on a Gmail lab that I had started. I don’t remember exactly the interaction, but I think it was just purely through code review where Dan had, it was probably fielding a lot of external teams trying to put code in the Gmail code base.

And I think he said something, just like probably slightly negative. And I remember telling my coworker that I wanted to TP his office. Cause I was like, so offended by this negative interaction we had, that was completely async I didn’t know what he looked like. I didn’t know anything about him.

I guess we think of remote work as like the last two years, but teams were working remotely. He was probably. We were on the same campus. We were just like, probably a few buildings apart and just like never interacted in person. Building some of that positive sentiment, like async foundation of trust so that, when things like this happen, you have some sense of.

Oh, this is like a human with a life outside of work and probably has a reasonable reason for responding the way they did, which is just, it’s just a very funny beginning to our working together because now it’s vastly different.

[00:16:07] Dan: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s like a, an important lesson there, which is, it goes to this transactional state of work.

And like for me, I was just getting all these change requests. And the only context I had in the change request was an LDAP name. And the LDAP name didn’t seem human to me. So I would be requests in a very transactional way. And, we were getting inundated. Tons of people wanting to integrate with Gmail and it was causing some like technical debt issues.

So I was probably like shutting it down quite quickly, but over my time at Google actually, I started using, we had an internal team directory at Google. So when I get a code review from someone, I would go off to the team directory actually look at them, see their photo with the, some of the history. And it would like humanize them a bit more.

And then I’d come back and I’d actually be much more reasonable and friendly. So it wasn’t, I wasn’t intentionally being mean. It’s just, I was I’m curious. That was before or after we had that. I think it was much later. Yeah, I was when I was on Google plus I was on the infrastructure team. We had 400 people contributing to our codes code base.

So we were defending the code base against 400 seemingly random people. And that sets you up for a lot of conflict, like us and them. So by humanizing people through the tools, and I think slack did this really well early on, you can actually change some of how you interact with people because know, you humanize the recipient and then that can increase the level of discourse.

So in range, profile photos, everywhere people’s moods you can hover over and see like some backgrounds, Wednesday, birthday, what their pronouns like, where do they live? All this, seemingly superficial context that has nothing to do with work is really important in helping frame the conversation.

[00:17:38] Jean: Yeah. And Luke, you’re asking about and engineers and who I tend to be more introverted. And I I think it’s especially important for engineers because if you just default to like code reviews, right? Like code reviews are super transactional. Usually it’s, people think that their main job is to point out the things that are wrong, but like very rarely do you get comments like, Hey, you did a really great job on this code change. Like this section looks great, right? Like you just get the kind of what could be better? And so I think without some intentional, like positive sentiment building, it can be pretty, pretty hard to be like, oh, this person really doesn’t like me.

Or this is so challenging.

[00:18:14] Dan: Code reviews is another good example that can often go off the rails for many reasons. And when we think about coders, architecture github pull request templates are really valuable, right? So we have one which nudges you to. Like, why are you making this change? Why should the review of starts? Are there any tickets are excellent and contexts that they should be aware of? And then we have a funny one, which is a gift of how does this change make you feel? Actually, you can divert some of the things that often go wrong with pull requests of like, why the hell are you making this change? I don’t understand. I don’t have any context about this change. And then also just make, adding a bit of fun to it as well.

[00:18:49] Luke: So speaking of context, how. How do your customers use range to build context as they’re going about, their team interactions?

[00:19:00] Dan: Jean, You said about how you use range to manage, maybe that’s like a good example.

Yeah. Yeah, I guess I start my day in range. I share my plan. So I’m not a very like getting things done. Like I don’t have a separate to do list. So I use range as my, what I’m going to do that day. And then it’s nice. Cause then it’s communicated externally.

And then by the afternoon, when I’m feeling in a slump, then I can just check on what I said, I would do that morning and kind of get back to it. But then after I check it. See what everyone else has said. Maybe later once everyone has checked in, first I’ll see all their answers to the team question, which today was like, how are you, how is your weekends?

I get to see how everyone’s weekend was. We can also really easily see everyone’s main focus for the day. And that’ll give me a bit of ambient context. If I know oh, this engineer is working through this one feature usually people will. Integrate or bring in the they’ll attach their, like a asana ticket to the check-in and then they’ll add some context of hoping to get this done today.

So that makes my job easier. So as we’re planning for next week or next cycle, I don’t have to go around to every engineer and say, Hey, what’s the status on this thing? Feel like I’m nagging them or micromanaging them. Every other Thursday, I sit down with the product manager and designer and we are able to piece together from like range check-ins like where everyone is on their projects. And then that makes it easy for us to plan for the next cycle.

[00:20:24] Jean: Then we also have team dashboard where, because everyone checks in with their mood every day. So green being like good to go, yellow being like a little bit iffy and red is pretty much like I’m in crisis.

So we can see over time a two week period of the team’s mood trends. And if half the team’s yellow and a few reds here or there. That’s not great. And so I’ll, check in with people during one-on-ones maybe bring it up in a team meeting of Hey, is it the work or is it external stuff either way?

Let’s figure out how we can alleviate some of the pressure, maybe think about cutting scope or moving out a deadline further. So that’s one of the most useful things that I use kind of day to day with range.

[00:21:04] Luke: Mostly JIRA, I think yeah, JIRA, slack of fuse different, like speaking of async check-ins I remember I had tried a M for awhile, tried a kind of a slack bot to do stand ups or something, but the thing that was missing, actually what you brought up Gina was really interesting. The thing that was missing for me was first of all, the relationship of what the person wrote in the daily stand up to their daily goal.

And then also how that maps to what the group was doing or trying to achieve. And that’s we tried for a while, just completely canceling stand-ups and doing it only async, but then that was the kind of weak spot let’s say, right?

[00:21:47] Jean: Yeah. What I’ve heard from teams who do that is Usually that all gets funneled into like a slack channel.

And that’s just like this black hole where no one reads it. Everyone just puts in there. You know what I did yesterday, what I’m planning to do. And then it just no response, no reactions. And that kind of defeats the purpose of a standup where you feel. That’s a good opportunity for you to tell people they’re blocked, but if they never read your check-in like that’s, they’re not going to know that you’re blocked.

And range has something that’s called flags. And so you can flag when you’re blocked or if there’s things that need discussion and that those things can bumped up for higher visibility. So like they just don’t get lost and then you can also slice it to see okay, let me see check-ins for everyone on this team.

Or, everyone that I work with. And sometimes I’ll look at the whole team, rather the whole company, rather than just the team you can depending on what you’re looking for, you can look at different views.

[00:22:36] Dan: So tools like JIRA and Asana, definitely essential. And they’re great for building a backlog and kind of understanding where you are in the grand scheme of things, but it’s pretty hard to get a sense of in the moment what’s happening and what’s changing and what’s stuck.

It doesn’t really show you that Delta. And if you think about what happens in a standup it’s often you get that data point every day, I’m working on ticket 451 then, and then you’re sensing in the background. Wait a second. Is that it’s not the third day in a row that they’re working on this ticket and then you have to make the meaning of that was just this person that stuck.

And that doesn’t need to happen in. Like in person either, that can happen asynchronously. So range really surfaces the sort of the deltas and the, and how work is changing and moving through these phases. And then there’s a lot of work that happens outside Jira. So you have calendar events, you may be doing interviews.

There’s Google docs, confluence. Work is spread over so many places. So range brings that all together. And maybe the reason that ticket isn’t moving forward is this person’s been sick for three days, or maybe it’s that they’ve had a lot of interviews. So surfacing that context is really valuable for managers.

[00:23:35] Jean: I think the other thing that the stand-up slack bots don’t do is they don’t integrate into other tools. Like range check-ins, if you flag anything, it’ll show up in the meetings. So if we have a team meeting it’ll share all the flags that haven’t been resolved and we can review them there.

And anything that needs to be discussed can be pulled over to the agenda. So just much more integrated. So it’s not just check-ins is the side thing. And then this is where the work gets done. Like it’s all part of the same system.

[00:24:01] Luke: So I guess the key thing is that it’s pulling together everything really, so that at least you’ve got this overall view

[00:24:07] Dan: One of our the customer said they said that Jira is the place to go see the state of a project; range is get where you go to see a state of a person she says the state of a person or the team.

Yeah that’s interesting, but you could maybe get an office setting a little bit, right? Go to where this team is sitting and you get a sense of oh, everyone seems really low energy. Or, someone seeming really upset, but with everyone, you don’t see them unless you’re in meetings.

And you really have no idea if you don’t have a tool like range or some way to check in on folks async or I guess you could be in meetings all the time, which is also not great, but you wouldn’t have a way to know people are having a rough day or like they just went through something really frustrating.

[00:24:47] Luke: How do you think about balancing async and sync correctly, both within your company or within the products?

[00:24:55] Dan: Don’t get us wrong. We think synchronous communication is incredibly important. We just think that’s historically the default. So it’s more of a.

To get people to go asynchronous and synchronous is a crutch. Cause it’s, it can be easy, but there’s certain things where, async is going to be really slow. So anyway, there’s like nuanced conversations, the nuanced discussions decision-making also like deep team building and emotional connection.

You. You can go a long way with some of the async tools, in-person is really where it’s at. So we do things synchronous is important. I think the reality of the modern workplace with distributed teams and people needing flexible schedules is it’s just the amount of time when you can have synchronous time is so much shorter, so you have to optimize it.

Yeah, so we, we really think about like, how can we maximize the value of that time you spend together and move everything that doesn’t need to be synchronous outside that meeting.

[00:25:44] Jean: We’ll often do things like say there’s some company announcement, right? Dan or Jen might share something by email the more just transactional Hey, this is what’s going on.

But if they think that it’s something that people might have a reaction to, like I might check in with people in one-on-one so that we can just say, Hey, did you read Dan’s email? Do you have any thoughts or concerns about it? And so like pairing async with more of the status update and then following up with synchrony.

Checking on people, how are they feeling? Their reactions? That can be really useful. And then then we’re not spending that time in the one-on-one like sharing all the updates, like with each person, just like trying to use that synchronous time, but a bit more efficiently.

[00:26:22] Luke: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, no, that’s great. That’s great. Fabulous. Do you have any particular suggestions in terms of team building? I guess you mentioned the thing the image at the beginning of the week or just team-building yourselves within your company. What works in a way that that everyone feels comfortable with.

[00:26:45] Jean: I’m pretty enthusiastic about better meetings. And I think that’s one of the areas that people have gotten used to bad meetings, inefficient meetings, I’ll say. And I think that could be a place where if you’re a facilitator for a meeting, familiarizing yourself with the tool, setting it up using the spinner, that could be a really good place to just like immediately.

Way better experience, right? Like one half hour, one, one hour meeting where you have an opening round where you have an icebreaker or just like checking in on how people are doing and the one at the end. And then having more structure in between where you can take notes. I think that could be like, choose your worst meeting and run it on range because it’ll be a night and day difference.

[00:27:27] Dan: The meta point there is that there’s a lot of ways of Engaging and growing and building, but there’s also many work processes that are just so poor that they are actively making people feel less engaged and less happy and more burnt out. So often removing some of those things first is probably like the best bet.

If people are in. Eight hours of meetings a week. And they’re not feeling that they’re worthwhile, they’re not feeling listened to and not feeling engaged in those meetings. They’re going to become less happy with work less connected to their colleagues. And any team building you do is waste it because it’s just it’s like a band-aid.

Fixing your team processes is step number one, and building a cadence of communication, getting into the rhythm. And then you can build on top of that to get better connection. Better camaraderie. Then you get a bunch of the benefits.

That’s great. Just on the spinner, how exactly does it work? Do you put what the values are in there? So you can put anything you want, like people’s names

it’s pretty simple figured ones

or

if you imagine and it’s also a bit silly, right?

It’s designed to be silly. You have attendees of the meeting, which should get sync to your Google calendar. So we bring in names and photos and then it’s literally, you press a button and it spins. Who’s it going to stop on? So it’s like the wheel of fortune. And it’s probably not your work context, but And the reason is it’s a bit of levity.

It stops one person going around the room and like randomly picking person. That’s are you the person that’s going to get left the last, every single time? Are you like super anxious about the call order. And it just, it’s just a way of just making it a little bit easier to have everyone engaged and get a moment to speak.

And a lot of the evidence suggests that if you speak early on in the meeting you’re more likely to speak later, so that has a bunch of positive impacts on inclusion for people of different backgrounds and personality.

It also takes the onus off the facilitator to remember who has spoken. So if you were to go around the room in a physical room, it’d be pretty straightforward, but on a zoom room, you have to keep track of who’s gone. Or then sometimes people do this thing where they’re like, whoever just went like call on the next person. Everyone has to keep track of who’s gone and who hasn’t gone. And then sometimes someone gets left out and then they, they make up stories about why they were excluded or like someone whose name is maybe a little bit difficult to pronounce, like no one calls on them. And then they’re like always last and just like removes a lot of that.

[00:29:45] Luke: Yeah. Yeah. I like alphabetic basically. Get everyone on the call to just do freedom by first name.

[00:29:53] Dan: But then it’s the same every time. So you got like poor Andrew and who’s always ready? And zebedee, who’s he’s always last.

And then some of the other things we have, we know we have a topic timer, so you can make sure that overrun certain topics, you can shut them down and you can track action items and notes. As Jean said earlier, you can bring in work from the asynchronous check-ins. So you can review, essentially the review people’s stand-ups or certain flagged items.

Yeah. I’ve been running panels with the meeting tool. I had one, one panelist who, you know, the first time she saw it and I clicked the spinner. She’s whoa can we talk about how cool that spinner is? I need this for all my meetings. yeah, it’s just a simple thing, like going around the room and calling on everyone, just yeah. It’s just like an unnecessary piece of friction. We just removed that.

Yeah, no that’s simple, but very effective.

[00:30:47] Luke: So where do you suggest people go to find out a bit more about range?

[00:30:52] Dan: So you can go to www.range.co. It’s a self-serve product, so feel free to sign up. Free up to 20 users. And if you would like to try the premium .Version, happy to extend the coupon to the listeners of managing remote teams.

So we’ll include the details in the show notes. Great. And then yeah, reach out and talk to our team. We’re always on the intercom chat.

[00:31:14] Luke: Great. Thank you for coming to chat today and sharing your insights and talking about the platform and your journey.

So

[00:31:22] Dan: cool.

[00:31:23] Luke: It’s been a blast. Great. Thank you. Thank you very much.

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