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Cultivating Better Relationships in Remote Teams with Flore Dorcely-Mohr

Flore is the senior director of career services at Berkeley College and Online Paramus, New York, Woodbridge, New Jersey, with over 15 years of career and personal counseling/coaching for diverse populations. She’s won awards from developmental program creation and training workshop presentations and has offered career expertise for several online publications regarding students, staff, executive onboarding, management, and leadership.

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Luis:

Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to another episode of the DistantJob Podcast, a podcast that’s all about building and leading awesome remote teams. I am your host, Luis. Today, I have Flore Dorcely-Mohr. Flore is the senior director of career services at Berkeley College and Online Paramus, New York, Woodbridge, New Jersey, with over 15 years of career and personal counseling/coaching for diverse populations. She’s won awards from developmental program creation and training workshop presentation, and has offered career expertise for several online publications regarding students, staff, and executive onboarding, management and leadership.

Luis:

Flore, welcome to the show.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Thank you, Luis. I’m happy to be here.

Luis:

I’m very happy to have you. You’re an incredible prolific professional. We talked before we have started recording that in this short intro that I did, I left out a lot of stuff, so let’s stop talking about remote. You’ve done a lot of things in your career. What of those things do you think are most relevant for the new, brave, remote world that we suddenly found ourselves in?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Well, I’m not sure what you mean by relevant, but I mean, I do feel like I’ve had a pretty varied career in terms of how long that I’ve been working remote. I’ve had the ability, I should say, to work remotely for almost 20 years and in various capacities. It’s made it possible for me to, like you said, accomplish a lot of things, because I could do some side projects in addition to my regular work when I wasn’t able to have my regular work be remote. For example, I started my small home-based business called Career Resources, where I help client with career development needs.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

That was a side business. I wanted to just supplement my income at that time, and keep my overhead low, and then I worked remotely for a Wall Street executive recruiter. When my first child was born, they set me up from home. That was my main income at that time, and that was back in the ’90s. I loved it.

Luis:

Nice.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

It gave me the opportunity to balance work and home life as a new single mom. It was really a great opportunity for me to start to see that this is a lifestyle, so to speak. I’ve taught online at various ways with schools. Now as a senior director, I manage a remote team, and for the first time since COVID, they’re all distributed. That’s showing just the progression in how remote has influenced my life, and just how I’ve been able to see that it’s really a great way to have organizations still keep their valuable people, and also have people be able to be productive and contribute something to the world, and still be involved in their professional lives no matter where they live. You know what I’m saying?

Luis:

Absolutely. No matter where they live to me is key. That’s part of the premise of this job that you should be able to get the best talent from everywhere, and essentially opening the doors to geographic diversity, but I want to pick up on a couple of things. First of all, because you said that your remote team now is fully distributed, and you do manage it. There are a lot of places where I want to take this interview based on your past and career development.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Sure. Let’s go. I can’t-

Luis:

I do want to touch on career development and everything like that, but since we already went there, what strategies did you find to manage your remote team? How did you feel that it differed in managing a non-remote team? What things needed you to change your way of working? What’s your typical day look like versus what it looked like when you didn’t have a remote team?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Well, those are good questions. Let’s unpack that. As far as the typical day, there really is no typical day. There wasn’t a typical day when I was working on site, but I could say most days, I wake up. I usually spend about an hour curating online content that I’d like to share or comment on or like on LinkedIn. That’s one of the primary forms of social media that I use. I’ll occasionally write an article myself or create a posting about something that I find interesting in regards to career development or just workplace etiquette.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Recently, it’s really been focused on, and I’d say within the last couple of years, I really tried to focus on promoting remote opportunities, ways to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in organizations that are trying to stay remote or become remote. That’s a lot of things that I do. I do feel like I have a decent number of connections, so I’m constantly trying to just make sure that those connections that I get… I get about 20 or 30 requests per week that I’m sifting through, because it’s part of my branding, and then I’d be lost without my calendar.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I have appointments with students and grads. I still work with them directly to help them with their resumes, interview, job searching. I have video conferences like this one. I meet with colleagues in the field, webinar panel discussion events that I either coordinate or I’m participating in. Sometimes I get asked to be an expert in something, so I will prepare my remarks for those. Drafting conference presentation proposals, I’ve presented, as you can see, for a number of those.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I’m constantly thinking about what’s new and interesting, especially weaving in the remote idea, because in higher ed, this is still somewhat on the outlier, right? Many larger institutions or older institutions are just now really starting to understand the value of that.

Luis:

For sure.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Professional development associations duties, you see, I’m in the leadership with those, so sometimes advancing strategy and events for those and administrative tasks, of course, because I have my team, so performance evaluations, expense reports, logging in session notes. We have all those things to help the team grow and develop. Luckily, for me, I have a very supportive family. My husband is amazing. He works remotely as well. My leadership, where I work at Berkeley, is also extremely supportive. There’s almost nothing I’ve asked her that I didn’t get.

Luis:

Nice.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I’m able to give back to my team in terms of managing. I would say that it’s less that I’m managing them as people as I am managing the things that we need to grow, and then I’m leading them as much as I can by example. There’s nowhere that I want them to go that I can’t go first, so I’m constantly thinking, “How can we do the most with the resources that we have, and how can I help them to maximize what contributions they have to offer?” I recently wrote a piece about that actually on LinkedIn about leading a team with vision.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

You certainly have to have a shared goal, that you are constantly getting people to focus on. Openness, right, because that keeps me accountable. If I am letting you know exactly what’s going on, where we may be meeting or missing our metrics, then we can work towards achieving that vision together in tactical ways. Then being transparent means that you have built a certain level of trust. You can’t have a good team without trust, especially a remotely distributed team. That’s the foundation of the things that I do.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I can tell you nitty gritty, we have monthly meetings. I can tell you that I make sure to touch base every day that I know somebody is working. I can tell you those things. I over communicate. Of course, that’s key. We document almost everything. That’s key. You’ll see this as a common theme with most remote leadership, I think, but over all-

Luis:

You’d be surprised.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

No.

Luis:

You’d be surprised, but I wish it would be that way. I wish it would be that common.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Okay. Well, I just see in my experience that those that I follow that seem to be doing it right… I’m not working in those organizations, but I feel that they are keeping with the way that I want to be as a leader. I want to be treated with respect. I want to feel that I have the trust of my leadership to do the work in the way that it should be done, but not manage every step of the way. Sometimes I do need guidance, so when I need to be there more, then I’m hopeful that they can understand how I’m communicating with them.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I do the same so that I want them to be able to follow, right?

Luis:

Absolutely. There’s something that you touched upon there, which is I’ll trust is important even more, obviously, always, but especially in a distributed situation. I wanted to ask you about the chicken and egg problem with trust and remote teams, because yes, I always say that one of the main components in a remote team’s success is trust, trust between the teams and trust between the people in the team, including managers, trust up and down the chain of leadership if you are an hierarchical organization.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Absolutely.

Luis:

Even if you’re a flat organization, you need even more trust to be distributed horizontally.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Yes.

Luis:

I’d say it’s a chicken and egg problem, because it does seem that it’s more difficult to build trust remotely and to keep trust remotely. If you’ve noticed this situation, how do you feel you’ve managed to keep on building trust and maintaining that trust distributedly?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

That’s such a wonderful question. I’m actually going to be presenting on this Atlantic Career Counselors Association in… I believe it’s in November. They’re having their annual conference virtually, of course. My conference title proposal was Cultivating Trust in the Cloud. I really feel that I’ve heard this before. I don’t know who said it, but it’s rules without relationship equals rebellion. We take this as an attendance, right? It’s all about relationships. How do you build good relationships?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

The idea is that these relationships come first. I don’t care about what you’re saying unless I know that you care. I start there first. I can say one of my biggest challenges in building good relationships when I was helping even at the very beginning, working remotely with clients and then, of course, with my team, is sometimes working online can be too transactional, instead of relational, right? I need you to do this. You need to tell me this, and we’re done with the conversation.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

But in actuality, I’ve found it to be much more effective, because even if you’re in a very fast paced environment like Berkeley is… Berkeley is, I think, very different because we are a small institution that is career-focused, so there’s constantly things happening very quickly. If I wanted to have a meeting about my thoughts about possibly the pros and cons of something, well, somebody’s already done it. You know what I mean? Then they’re evaluating the results at that point, so I have to constantly balance this challenge, the need to move quickly and getting things done do that I can move on to the next thing on my list, but also giving enough time for those that I actually care about interacting and making a genuine connection with each other.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Because without that, there really is nothing, and you can’t have trust without that first connection, a true connection, correct?

Luis:

Absolutely.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

When you say chicken before the egg, really, there is no foundation without the connection, so the trust comes first, and then you can ask about results. Then you can see performance, and then you will see things that you are looking to achieve happen. I tell this to you not because it sounds good, but because I’ve experienced it. I have been an early manager trying to establish rules, and have a relationship, and don’t understand why can’t they understand how important that this is for everyone.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Well, they don’t think you care about them. That’s why. It’s easy to try to multitask during a phone call, and not really listen, avoid taking the time to ask how someone’s feeling before jumping on to the next topic, or even remembering to be present with the person before the end of the call and say, “Is there anything else that I might help you with or offer you assistance with as opposed to rushing off the phone? Any questions? Okay, no. Good.” I try to keep good feelings among the team, genuinely checking in often, a quick note sometimes.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

How did that dinner go last night? I know you were cooking this for the first time, or did your daughter make it school or whatever? I’m blessed, thankfully, because I get that back, so it’s a system. It’s a symbiotic relationship. You teach each other.

Luis:

My challenge here… Fortunately, I’ve been less challenged by it over the years due to practice and due to interviewing podcast guests like yourself, but I’m still learning here. If I put a dozen mammals in a cage, they’re either going to develop a bond, or they’re going to kill each other, one of the do. But now, there is no cage. Now there is no cage, and I do feel that it’s much easier to be dispersed. For example, now in the slack cage, how would you even know that that person, that colleague was going to cook something for the first time, because there is just less serendipity?

Luis:

I guess that what I’m asking here is what are the ways that you figure it out, if any, to substitute for that serendipity, for that proximity?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

You ask. That’s how you know. You have to ask. You have to be interested. It may never occur to someone to ask, “How’s your family today?” It may never occur to some to say, “I noticed that you were, I don’t know, talking about missing your family. Did you make time to sign up for a vacation, because I know you have a lot of vacation? This is important. I know family is important to you. If you’re not interested, you will never see these opportunities. It just will not occur to you, and it’s difficult to take the time when…

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

As I said, if you’re in a fast-paced environment, and you’re not within proximity of each other, it is very easy to forget that you’re working with human beings, and human beings, I believe, have very similar needs, desires, wants in life. If you keep that for most, you are a human trying to connect with a human, then some of those things, I think, will occur to you because they are things that you care about. If you assume that there are some commonalities there, and if you’re not sure, then you have to ask. That’s the only way you’ll know.

Luis:

Got it. Got it. I mean, maybe that’s just me, because I’m an introvert, but it does take discipline on my end to ask, right?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Yeah.

Luis:

It does take-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

They say vulnerability is the biggest strength, right? What happens is, as I said, wherever you want your partner, your person to go, you have to be willing to go first. That gives them permission to follow you. If this is behavior that you really want to foster in your life, when you intend to do that, then it puts it more forefront in your mind and then hopefully in your conversation. You might even say, “I feel a little awkward asking you this, but I’m curious. Are things okay at home?”

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

If you know that there is something that may not be right, “I’m sensing that you might be having a little issue today. Is everything okay?” Just a quick request. I like the interaction, maybe not so much on my team, but there are people within my institution that are much less likely to respond, “Oh yeah, let’s talk about it.” They’re more like, “No, I’m fine,” and so you leave it alone. You know what I’m saying?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Again, to remain open and to also venture forward first takes courage and vulnerability if you’re not normally thinking that way, so you try it with people that you’re closer with first, and then see how it goes.

Luis:

All right, so I think this is a good… Thank you for the clarification. I think that this is a good segue into talking a bit about communication. I read some of the things that you wrote, and among them was actually-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Oh, really?

Luis:

… a tiny but very glowing review of a communications workshop from a couple of years back, where you said that your goal in attending to it was to be able to speak to anyone at any time about any topic furiously.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Oh, yes.

Luis:

You wrote that since then, you’ve applied the tools that you acquired during that workshop many, many hundreds of times.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Yes.

Luis:

I guess I wanted to ask you, now that the whole world is remote, how do you feel those tools have served you, and how do you feel the transition from in-person to screen has changed the rules and strategies of good communication?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Yes. Very good question. With that training… That training was, I have to give them a plug, by Own The Room, by the way. They are amazing, and they offer their trainings to educators for free at certain times of the year-

Luis:

Awesome. Nice.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

… so something that maybe your listeners would want to check out.

Luis:

We’ll put the link on the show notes.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Yes. Perfect. One of the things that the leader of that organization taught me that I still use today is that you have to not only give the content of your information, but when you’re speaking, you need to touch the listeners emotionally. This is a key tenet in all advertising and promotions. If it doesn’t touch you emotionally, what are those emotions? It can make you angry. I could make you sad. It can make you happy. It could make you feel confident. There’s a range of emotions, right? In your content, the message is not the medium. It’s the reverse, the inverse.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

The medium is the message, so you have to think about how it is that you are saying something. What’s an effective way to create that emotional connection? Tell a story. This is a key thing. This is why storytelling and career development circles is such a big topic, because when you’re in an interview, you are crafting another part of your story. They heard about you, hopefully, through your application or maybe through a reference. That’s even better. They saw your materials, your resume. They are maybe checking you out online with your LinkedIn profile, all of your posts, your social media presence.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Now, even if you are remotely interviewing, this is all going to be part of your story. It could be a visual. It could be where you’re video interviewing, or it could be over the phone where they’re listening deeply to what you’re saying, your pauses, things in the background. Did you sound hesitant? Everything is part of crafting your story, and the more you can make a positive, of course, emotional connection with something, the more they want to be with you, the more they want to work with you, the more they want to talk to you maybe, the more they want to hire you.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

This is a key thing that I… Of course, we all know this. It makes sense, but it’s not something that we are, I think, consciously preparing to do with anything that we say in however we communicate. This is not just in, what is this, vocal or oral communications, but in written communications as well. Why are books with no pictures yet can give us such vivid descriptions of situations and characters? Because human beings have an imagination, and so when you work with that imagination, your words can create a story, can create an image, can create a whole scene without ever showing a picture to anyone.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Using that as part of your communication style, whether you’re documenting an email, whether you’re speaking to a group of 50 or a group of one, is a very powerful tool.

Luis:

For sure, that makes sense, but there are also some unique challenges. I’m interested in knowing what you think about it. For example, in this interview, every now and then, I refer to my notes because I have interview notes. Now you know this, but before you knew this, maybe you would see my eyes drift to the side, and just think that I don’t particularly care, that I’m just phoning this interview in, and I’m disengaged. I know, but it’s true. It’s true because it’s harder to know what the other person is up to when we’re separated by the sea of the internet, right?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Yes.

Luis:

I tend to default to generosity. I tend to say, “I assume that the other person is paying attention and engaging with me, and if they don’t look like that, it’s probably something to do with their setup, and not with their intention,” but this is a hard sell to some people. What would you add if anything?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I would say it depends on the purpose of the communication. Are we trying to engage someone? You’re in an interview, so certainly, I’m assuming that you’re listening to what I’m saying. You’re assuming that I’m listening to what you’re saying, and then I’m not looking at my notes or checking my emails while I’m talking to you, but I do feel that the purpose of the connection dictates how much you can or cannot assume. There are different tricks. I’ve worked online with students enough to know that if I’m on the phone with you, and there’s a pause, I’m going to ask, “Are you there?”

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

If you say something that takes a while, you’ve been talking for maybe even longer than a minute, I might break in and say, “Wait a minute. Let me just recap what you said so that I can focus on what you’re saying,” because after a while, people stop focusing. They’re not hearing what you’re saying. They’re just waiting for a chance to respond, so a true dialog is an opportunity for the other person to say something. If you are a good conversationalist, you’re going to check in. Does that make sense?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Do you want me to tell you more? Do you have any questions about what I said? What do you think? These are prompts that you can use if you’re a person that is presenting and trying to engage the other person to have them engaged and for you to test whether or not they are engaged. If they say, “You know what, honestly, I didn’t hear a thing you said,” well, you’re not being very successful, right?

Luis:

Right.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

The other thing is there are little tricks. If you are in a video conference, your camera… As you can see, I’m looking straight into the camera. The lens is your eyes, so if you pretend that the lens is your eyes, that’s what you should do. I have several monitors as well, but I know that this is the one that I’m going to be looking at. If I didn’t, I might have to set up a second camera so that I know if I look over here, I can switch the cameras, and I’ll still be looking at that person.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Certainly, it’s a little bit more of a challenge as an interviewer because your notes are wherever they are, and it might be a little bit more difficult to make sure that the notes are in front of you. But I always think, like you said, the conversation is organic. If you’re interested in the person, you’re listening to what they’re saying, and other things will come to you. I’m not sure if that helps. Did I answer the question? I mean, I feel like.

Luis:

No. No. No. There were actually some good points and good tips.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

[crosstalk 00:28:35].

Luis:

Maybe you didn’t notice it, but there were some good points and good tips that I think people will be able to extract from the conversation and improve their communication, so thank you for that.

Luis:

You mentioned online schooling. Where I’m based off in Portugal, that’s actually a huge controversy. Personally, I think it’s a bad idea to put kids at school right now. I have my reasons for that, but in any case… I do have some medical background, so I do think that I have good reasons for that. But when I talked to my friends who are parents… I’m not a parent yet. When I talked to my friends who are parents, they say, “You know, Luis, it was terrible. The months that they were doing online schooling, the kids learn nothing.”

Luis:

I’m like, “Okay.” As an advocate for remote work, I find myself troubled by how little people have come to trust online schooling and learning. I have to admit that as someone who likes learning and who has done several, let’s say, marketing courses and other different courses online, I did find it much harder to engage and to commit to the workload of the online courses versus when I was at the college or faculty.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Why did you find it harder? Can I ask?

Luis:

Actually, you can. Actually, you can.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I’m curious about. I’ve been biting my tongue this whole time, because I want to ask you questions too.

Luis:

Well, feel free. Feel free to ask me questions. Number one, I learned by doing the work. That’s where I really feel that… I enjoy reading books. I’m a voracious reader. But at the end of the day, if I don’t do a project based on the book that I finished reading, I lose it. I’ll forget it in one month, so I do need to apply the skills. Online workshops, I have trouble committing to doing the work. I’m not sure, but I suspect that is because I don’t feel as much peer pressure. I don’t feel that connection with the fellow colleagues.

Luis:

I don’t have the walks away from campus. I don’t have the having lunch together. I don’t have that exchange of ideas over having a cup of coffee while we try to get ourselves ready for the first class. It’s just I sit at my computer, and there are much more enjoyable things to do sitting at my computer than being in an online workshop. I can play World of Warcraft. I can listen to one of my music albums. I can go and look at the silly Swedish dude on YouTube speaking with a weird voice, right?

Luis:

I feel that it’s not an optimal learning environment for me.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

What fascinates me about that is that what it sounds like you’re missing is the community, the sense of community. That’s important, because what people seem to forget, I think, is that when you go to college, the learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. The learning happens oftentimes in the in between times, so getting a good online college program together takes not just excellent faculty. Although this is necessary, it’s not sufficient. You also need excellent support systems.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

At Berkeley, our entire online campus is 100% remote. That includes financial aid, student development and campus life, all of our groups and clubs. There is a social network that we have created for students, so they can talk about things that they’re learning in class in a non-class environment, and still feel some type of connection. It’s definitely not the same. You can never say that it’s going to be the same, because it simply is not. It’s different, but it can still be effective.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I challenge schools that are looking to create an online environment for students to learn to look at not just the instructional piece, but the support services piece, which is, I think, just as important. I’m not going to say more so, but it’s just as important. There are people that are just not that self directed, and really, it takes a lot of discipline and self direction to be working remotely on assignments that you may… I mean, you’re in class to learn, right, so you don’t know it, so you need motivation to even get you to the point where you are learning something that you don’t know and maybe don’t even care to know.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Don’t like this subject, but it’s unnecessary, right? You’re working on your programming, so you know that this is something that you have to learn. The social aspect, like you said, the teamwork, the idea that you are working together with a group of people that are in your shared experience is key for a lot of people. Some people do online class because they actually enjoy learning on their own, but many, especially now, due to COVID are doing it because they must. They have no choice. They’re being forced.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

It’s a much different experience, and maybe not genuinely showing the true value and nature of a good online educational system or program. Berkeley, we’ve been doing this for… Well, the school has been in existence for almost 90 years, the online, over 20 years. Over time, there’s been some protocols put into place so that we can work more as a system as opposed to individual places. I’m just listening to what you said. Instead of logging into class, I want to play World of Warcraft.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Right, because that’s a community, right? You’re having fun. You enjoy each other. You probably recognize some of the players from playing with them before. They know you. You know each other. You’re not just in the environment. You’re developing relationships.

Luis:

Yeah, and at times, it’s eerily familiar to work, but it doesn’t feel like it. It doesn’t.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

No, it doesn’t. You’re working together, and you have shared experiences, positive relationships. That’s what needs to be created in an educational space to change the paradigm, because all of that is lost. What they’re focusing right now is on test scores. I mean, I’m not at these other schools, and thankfully, I do not have a child in public school right now. Both of my children are working, but I sympathize, because it’s not easy. I know that there is promise for online education for people that really need it.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Right now, it’s very, very… It’s in the baby stages is what I want to say. You know what a baby is like, right? A baby is still learning, is making mistakes, needs the guidance of their parents. I’m hopeful that some of the leadership that I know exists out there that’s been doing this for years can be called upon to really help to guide these programs, because it’s possible to have very successful online education, but there is definitely a long way to go, definitely.

Luis:

What do you think that are the key things to do? In some programs that I’ve enrolled in the past, let’s say, two, three years, it seems that their best effort at this is that it is almost like homework. It’s almost like, “Do your task, and then comment on three other tasks in the work group.” That’s better than nothing, but it just feels way too forced. I’m not commenting because I’m particularly interested in the other people. I’m commenting because it’s part of my homework.

Luis:

In my own experience, I haven’t felt a lot of-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Connection.

Luis:

Yeah, and even necessity for connection. Why do I have to connect with 40 people in World of Warcraft? Because five people can’t kill the big bad monster. You need 40 people to do that.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

But they’ve engaged you emotionally in this mission, so it’s something bigger than yourself. I’m going to talk from my experience not as a career counselor now. I’m going to talk from my experience as an online teacher, instructor. One of the main ways that I would engage with my students was every first class… Well, actually, every class… First of all, let me say this. The school that I was in had the setup where things were asynchronous, so no one had to attend class at a specific time, but you did have a deadline by which within the week, you needed to submit your assignment.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Not all schools understand the importance of this. Why is this important? Well, it’s important because to require somebody who’s in China to sign in to a class, usually Eastern timezone, which is the biggest bias that ever was, at the same time as somebody who’s in New York, at the same time as somebody who is in Texas, is unfair and unnecessary. That is something that many people do not even recognize or realize. Having that setup allowed me to make it a choice if people wanted to join me.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I also was very intentional about setting up two different times in which I was going to present the exact same information so that people could join me if they wanted to. One was earlier in the morning. One was later in the evening. There are, I think, something like over 30 time zones worldwide, and so people don’t understand that this little thing would help in online instruction greatly, because it the creates the choice that people have real choice, an option for people to join the professor’s online.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Now, what else? I always start… I said, again, you want that emotional connection. I always started with music. You know how when the boxers come into the ring for their fight?

Luis:

Yeah.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a boxing match. A boxing match, the boxers come into their fight. They’re playing their fight music, right? They’re getting in the mood. Everybody is gearing up. They’re feeling good. They’re excited about what’s going to happen, and it builds their confidence. That’s the feeling I want. I want you to come to my class ready to go, feeling like you’re a boxer coming in, and you’re going to get what you need to accomplish. I start my first few minutes before the class, so I’m getting people to come in on time.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I put an announcement out that, “I’m going to start on time, but if you come in early, you get to listen to one of my favorite songs on my playlist. It’ll get you motivated, whether you’re working out, whether you’re trying to clean the house.” I’m thinking about the situations that my students are in, and could they use a good musical recommendation? Everybody loves music.

Luis:

True.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Connecting-

Luis:

I haven’t found anyone that said otherwise.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Right, so I’m connecting with them that way. I care about-

Luis:

The tone deaf people are feeling excluded right now.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Maybe. Maybe not.

Luis:

Sorry.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

But then for them, I also end every class with a motivational story. I’m book ending the beginning and the end with an emotional touchstone, with something that I feel is going to touch the students emotionally so that they are connecting with me in various ways. The information is still there for you to be able to do your assignment, but I’m also trying to connect with you emotionally. I’m checking in with them, “How’s your equipment? Can you hear me?” Make sure that you comment in the chats. I’m checking in with their questions. I’m always on camera.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

This is another thing that I found just really crazy. How are you teaching, and people cannot even see you? It’s a disembodied voice. This should not happen. Online instruction, at the minimum, you’re going to be facing your students. It’s less important that they face you, but what I found was many of my students turn on their camera only for my class, because they felt like they wanted me to see them too.

Luis:

Nice.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I can only go by the feedback. I’m not saying that I’m the best teacher online, but the feedback I got from my students helped to encourage me to make it better. They said, “Yes, this is great. I love hearing that music. Please continue to tell us inspirational stories about someone that you know that didn’t have a formal education and was able to still overcome adversity, and make themselves a success, or someone who maybe had a physical disability and was still be able to be successful.”

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Did you know that there was a famous American football player who played with one leg?

Luis:

Wow. I have no idea. Is that actually true?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

It is true. It is true. It is true. I researched these types of things. Did you know that there was a famous American airline pilot who was legally blind?

Luis:

At some point, you’re just going to be fooling me into believing something that isn’t-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

No. No. These are true stories. The reason why is that I want people to understand. I don’t know what your story is. I want to know, but I don’t know what your story is, but I know that something that I am doing is going to hopefully motivate you, because a lot of these students are not in the perfect situation. They may not have the best equipment. They might be doing their homework on this phone, this tiny little screen. Let me smaller. How can I encourage even them to say, “You know what, you do your best, and it will be all that we need.”

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

There’s got to be that human connection. There’s got to be that human touch. There’s got to be that way that you are making that person feel that they are part of a community that is on their side and wishing the best for them. You can do that, despite what many people are experiencing in a creative way. You just have to care enough to really listen to what their needs are. I realized that the students, they want to do the work, but they might have been tired because their kids were screaming all day, so having a little music to uplift their mood was all the boost that they needed to change their energy.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

These are some of the things. I don’t know if I addressed your question either. I went all over the place.

Luis:

No. You did pretty good. I think it’s-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I went all over the place.

Luis:

I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction at least. I felt that could work. I do want to… Gosh, time is flying by, but I would be remiss if we didn’t talk a bit about career development, because that’s your-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Sure.

Luis:

I believe I’m not mistaken when I say that is your main area of expertise.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I feel I know a little something about it.

Luis:

As someone who works at recruitment agency, I’m not a recruiter myself, but I interact a lot with recruiters, and I do try to know the process because I think that it’s important for the business that everyone knows the main thing of the business. If I was running a software business, I would want everyone to be familiar with coding, even if they could not develop an app themselves. I do think that it’s important for everyone, especially on the marketing team, which I lead to know about recruitment.

Luis:

When I interview people, I am surprised to the degree at which they come unprepared. Just yesterday, I was interviewing someone with my direct report on the marketing department. After interviewing the person, we had the call talking about how the interview had gone, and I talked to my direct report., “Did you realize that the questions that I asked could have been answered by merely reading the job description back to me?” I think that a lot of people in the past… I might be wrong. This is your area of expertise more than mine.

Luis:

I think that a lot of people expect to arrive on the job description, and get through… sorry, arrive to a job interview, and expect to get through on the strength of their character or personality alone. I don’t think this was ever true, but online, via Zoom.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

It’s even less so-

Luis:

It’s terrible. It’s terrible. I guess for the people applying to jobs online, how do you think they can do a better job at telling that story that you think it’s important for them to tell about their career?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Yes. One-

Luis:

My tip is read the job description.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

At the minimum. Here’s the tip.

Luis:

Yes.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

At the very minimum, yes, please read the job description. Yes. Even if you’re in face to face, it’s the same. You need to do some research. If you are blessed to have gotten a response back, and the response back was positive enough to take it to the next level, which is an interview, do not waste anyone’s time with simple questions. You’re showing that you really do not care about this opportunity, and that’s the last thing that you want to leave the impression of. Yes, you want to do some research. Maybe even research the person that you’re interviewing.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Don’t think that I didn’t look you up online. Of course, I did. Of course, I did. I care about the people that I am communicating with. If your time is at all… See, what I find with people like that, they really do not value their time, because if you valued your time, you would understand that you don’t want to be somewhere that you have not prepared for if it’s something that you really want, because now, you’re not able to really convey the message that you want to convey. Do you really want this job when you don’t even know what the job is?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

You don’t know who the people are. You don’t know anything about the organization. I mean, these are basic things that you should be researching, of course. Now, the other part of it is certainly, you should also be able to have in your mind what it is that you want to leave them with. This is where people do get confused. Certainly, they already know… I was working at an executive recruitment for a number of years. In that-

Luis:

You probably have your share of forced interviews.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I have stories. I have stories, but in that experience, my boss who was amazing, is amazing, he’s still around, said to me, “They’re looking for three things in that interview, competency, which they assume that your resume is the truth, but they might test you a little bit. They’re trying to see if you’re affordable, so compensation is going to be a question. They may not ask you at that first interview, but they’re thinking, “Can we afford this person?” Compensation and competency, and the last is character, certainly the most important, because now, we are getting a chance to not hire a piece of paper.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Nobody hires this piece of paper, this resume that’s a piece of paper. Nobody hires. They want to hire a person that they believe is going to not just do the work, but be a good member of the team, because you’re not working alone. They want to know about your character. They want to understand what motivates you. They want to understand how you think. They want to understand what your personality is like. What are your pet peeves?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Will you be able to work together to achieve the common mission of the organization? If you don’t know what any of that is, you’re going to have a problem. The biggest problem is not so much that people don’t research these other things. They don’t research the company. You’re right, they’re going to get some of that information during the interview, so if they’re halfway listening, they’ll be able to maybe fake some of it, but the worst part is when they don’t understand themselves.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Now, you really have no preparation, because the interviewer is going to ask you about yourself, and if you can’t answer, “What are your goals? What made you apply? Why are you leaving your job? Why should I hire you?” You can’t answer those questions. You’re really lost. I feel that certainly, in doing an interview, it’s like applying to jobs on steroids, because anybody can fill out an application. Anybody can create a resume.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

To a certain extent, an effective resume is different, but I know through my own training working on both sides, working in executive recruitment, and also working in career services, that this is a key thing that makes or breaks a candidate in an employer’s eyes. 100%, you’re correct. You can sense if somebody has prepared. If they’re not prepared, it will be evident in the first five minutes.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

My husband, he interviews people. He’s a hiring manager, and he says, “I don’t need a 30-minute interview. I need about a 10, 15-minute interview to know if I’m going to hire somebody, and I’d probably know within the first five minutes.”

Luis:

For sure. Exactly. That’s actually what… It’s very interesting that you say that because our senior recruiters tell me the same. The situation is that I think that people don’t realize actually how little homework does it take. It’s so uncommon that people does this, that if you take five minutes to learn about the business that you’re applying for, the people that are interviewing, if you take five minutes, you will be ahead of the pack. That’s my experience. Am I wrong?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

N, you’re not. No, you’re not. It’s like they say, a large part of success in life is just showing up, and showing up for real. I agree. You’re not wrong.

Luis:

Along the showing update, let’s talk a bit about… This podcast tends to be aimed at leaders or people who have the ambition to grow to be leaders. This is actually a question that I’ve been asked a lot, and I don’t find a satisfactory response. I find myself at the head of a marketing team, and people ask me how did I get here. I stumbled into it. Really, I just did my… I was just doing my work until one day, a marketing director was needed, and I looked around and there was no one else.

Luis:

I was kind of, “Okay. I guess I can do that for you. I’m going to get paid more, right? Okay, I’m in. I’m in,” but really, I’ve helped people in the past prepare for remote interviews, explained to them how can they build an online career, because I did it myself. But when it comes to leadership, I’m a bit flying blind. I really think that I, again, stumbled into my position. People that are working routinely either as contractors remotely or maybe even as freelancers or even if they’re doing full-time work…

Luis:

I realized these are three very different categories, but people who are working remote, they tend to feel a bit… That might be true or not, but they do tend to feel a bit removed from the way to climb the career ladder. How true do you think this is, and how do you think people can work to climb that ladder?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

It’s a big problem for sure. I actually am researching this myself, because I’m finding that there’s not a lot of intentionality on behalf of employers in professionally developing remote workers. There’s not a lot of intentionality in organizations in developing workers period nowadays.

Luis:

True.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

When we look at career management and where the responsibility lies, you really can’t assume that your employer is going to develop you. You really need to look at how you’re going to develop yourself. You said it yourself, you did not plan to be in the situation that you’re in. It happened to you. Well, the time is going to come anyway, so the time comes and goes, and if you’re not planning for what happens during that time, somebody else will. The decisions will be made for you.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Someone’s going to say, “Hey, we need you to do this. Can you do it?” You’re not going to have anything better else to say, so you’re going to say, “Okay, I’ll do it.” Intentionality has to be on both sides, so I encourage my students, my grads, my employers to say, “What do you intend for your organization and for yourself to see happen professionally within the next two years, within the next three years, within the next 10 years?” If you don’t make these plans, time will come and go anyway, and you leave yourself open to wherever anybody else wants to take you.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I think it’s important for most people… I can honestly say I practice what I preach. I do look at what I’ve done over, I’d say, a year, and I would say, “There were some things that worked really well, but what else did I want to experience for myself that I didn’t give myself a chance to, because I was so busy with regular everyday life, whether it be work or things at home?” If we’re not intentional with that, and looking, purposefully seeking for ways to improve ourselves either professionally or personally, I do feel that other things will fill that space.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I don’t know of any specific formal program. I can tell you that I’ve been exploring this. Actually, this is really good that you’re saying. I do like some of the things that I see with this organization called Workplaceless. They do training and professional development. You know of them.

Luis:

I’ve had Tammy on the show.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Oh, you have. Fantastic. I didn’t realize. I like them because they do have a good, I should say, kit of products that helps to train and develop people and just look at it from that remote lens, because it’s different. You’re right, you’re not in close proximity, so can you be sure that your employee is happy and growing and feeling that they are fully engaged in moving forward in their career if you’re not being intentional with the things that you have in place? Performance evaluations, but are there workshops? Are there trainings? Are there resources that they could use, basic things, equipment?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Are they happy with their setup at home? These are the things that you definitely want to look at, and then within yourself, same thing. I found that when I am in touch with what my needs are as a professional and as a person to focus on these things that I want, once I’ve articulated it, maybe written it down and made it a tangible thing, now it’s time to build those habits on a day to day, little changes.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I’m also obsessed with this author. His name is James Clear. He wrote the book Atomic Habits.

Luis:

I know that.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I love it, oh my God. This is what I mean. Development, career development, professional development, personal development, it’s all about change. When people want to make changes in their lives, is it about setting a big goal, or is it about setting up a systematic way to make those good habits easy, and the bad habits more difficult? It’s really interesting to me that you’re asking that because definitely, the type of leader that I am, I am concerned that my people don’t feel fulfilled.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I want that for them. I’m hoping to be a catalyst, but I also want it for myself, so it’s a constant challenge. I don’t know if that answers your question, oh my gosh. Again, I’m off the… I know that I need to be specific enough but…

Luis:

It’s foods for thoughts, right? The thing about doing an interview like this is that when these things are stuck in our mind, they’re stuck in our mind. We don’t do anything with them. There are two different ways of thinking, right? One is writing. That’s why it’s good to write stuff down, even if it’s not to be published, because while you’re writing, you’re thinking in a different way.

Luis:

The other is stalking. The reason I have this conversation, this webcast is because it gets me thinking, and hopefully it will get the guest thinking as well. Consider this as doing work. I hope you consider this as productive.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Very, very, very, very.

Luis:

I do, and it is definitely.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I’m always concerned that I’m giving enough information or enough concrete information. I’m addressing the question.

Luis:

We don’t need to save the world in one podcast.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Okay, good. Pressure’s off.

Luis:

No, definitely, you… A couple of things that I think I would be remiss in not mentioning, there’s a very powerful quote. I believe it’s from Joseph Campbell, but I might be wrong, the writer of The Hero with 1000 Faces, that says that there are these numbers of stories, and every one of you fits one of those stories. You better know what story you fit, because if you don’t, someone else will put you on a different one. That’s-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

The appropriate story. Absolutely.

Luis:

Exactly. If you don’t like your story, sure, you can change it, but if you don’t look up what story you are in, you’ll never know, and one day, you will reach the end, and maybe it’s not the end you wanted or expected. The first step in changing your story is actually knowing what the story is.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Absolutely.

Luis:

The other thing that you reminded me about is that it’s actually important to have these conversations with a friend or a coach even or something like that about what are your goals. I was talking with a dear friend, a couple of weeks ago, about our goals for the future and our professional goals. The conversation took me to say what I expected for my future as a professional, and the place I arrived, I realized that that was not new information.

Luis:

I knew that I had that professional goal many years ago, but somehow in the day to day operations, I just forgot. I just lost sight of it, right? I should get back on track for that. I should, so it’s-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Isn’t that beautiful? The thing is… As a current counselor, I’m telling you I love my job. I love what I do. I enjoy learning about people and hopefully being a resource to them, and just getting a sneak peek at a moment in time when they are looking to improve their situation, whatever it is, but what you just said is exactly what it is. Sometimes I’m not doing anything except holding a mirror to them, and I’m saying, “Luis, this is what I see. Is this you? If this is not you, tell me who you are, because this is what I see.” That way you can see it too.

Luis:

Exactly. It goes back to the story, right? What is your story? Again, one day, you’ll reach the end, and you might as well reach your end that you like.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Absolutely.

Luis:

Let’s wind down because time has flown by, and I want to be respectful of your time, but I do want to wind down with some rapid fire questions. The questions are rapid fire, but the answers don’t need to be. Explain as much as you’d like. First, just about your virtual work environment, what are the apps that are open in your PC or tabs that are open in your browser as soon as you start your morning? What are the apps and websites that you cannot live your workday without?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Oh my gosh, so Microsoft Outlook, Zoom, Skype, RingCentral, Salesforce. Oh my gosh, we have a bunch of educational things, PeopleSoft. I think those are the main things that we… Of course, I have to have my browser open, so Chrome. Those are the things that we have that I pretty much… LinkedIn, of course, LinkedIn is always open. I think that’s it.

Luis:

What about LinkedIn specifically, because many people in my area certainly find it very distracting? I guess that’s because, well, recruitment agencies do tend to spend a huge amount of time on LinkedIn, so I understand why they would have it open. But for yourself, you are first and foremost an educator, right? What is a bit about LinkedIn that’s so powerful for you?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

For me, I am an educator, but I work in career services. I have over 14,000 and a half connections on LinkedIn. I am not even the highest on my own team. My VP has almost doubled that. We are in the business of finding people jobs, internships and career opportunities. I’m always constantly… If you go to my LinkedIn feed right now, I’m sure you will see that I have spent an inordinate probably unnecessary amount of time on LinkedIn already this morning. It is where I live and breathe, because the students come to me because they know that I have relationships and contacts with people that are hiring.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I’m an online campus as well as… I always also manage a few on the ground campuses, but primarily, I have to be able to place an intern or a grad anywhere almost in the world. I’m constantly developing resources that are remote and on site at various locations. That’s one of the reasons why I came across DistantJobs. I was like, “Wow, this is a great website.”

Luis:

Thanks.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I mean, I’m constantly curating resources. I’m not even kidding when I tell you one of the first things that I do, and this is probably not healthy, but I wake up, and I look at my phone notifications from LinkedIn. It’s on my phone. I don’t think that it’s typical, certainly, for a lot of educators or even career services professionals at maybe other schools. I don’t know what they do, but I know at a career school like Berkeley, this is what we are known for, especially in career services.

Luis:

Got it.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

In fact, Berkeley pays for all of our premium accounts.

Luis:

Got it. Next question, if you had 100 U.S. dollars to spend with each person working for you, or in your case, maybe we can do a special version and say with each of your students, what would you give them? The rule is you need to give the same thing to everyone. You can’t personalize, and you can’t give money because that would just be cheating.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Well, can we do my team because the students, their needs are so varied? I don’t know. I would probably give… I don’t know about the students. The students would be very difficult because they’re from every socioeconomic and multicultural, multi-ethnic group you can imagine. But my team, I feel that I would want them to have the $100 for a day at the spa or a day somewhere where they’re able to take care of themselves. That’s what I want for my team.

Luis:

Awesome. I’d like that. What about yourself, what purchase has made your work life easier or more productive in the past year?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Something that I purchased or something that somebody purchased for me?

Luis:

It can go either way, but

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Within the last year. I’ve had all these things for much longer than a year.

Luis:

You should treat yourself soon.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Maybe, or I’m just very satisfied with the basics. Well, I love this. This I got within the last year. This is a little desk fan.

Luis:

Okay, a desk fan.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

What’s great about it is that it also has a an aromatherapy pad in the back. I believe in aromatherapy. I’m kind of crunchy granola, kumbaya like that.

Luis:

I don’t know if I believe in it, but I like it. It’s pleasant. Feeling good is nice.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

You like feeling good, right?

Luis:

Exactly.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

It’s removable. You can put essential oil in there like lavender or lemon or something like this or whatever your favorite scent is, and it blows. It, of course, has a setting, so it’s high or low, because with all the lights… You don’t see my setup, but I have lights to make it bright in here. You can get warm. That’s one of the… It also has a clip so you can clip it to various things, and hold it in place. I love it. It’s USB, so it plugs into my computer. It doesn’t need an outlet, and battery powered so I can take it off as well. This was wonderful.

Luis:

Nice.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I’m glad. I had to think about it. I was like, “What did I get you?”

Luis:

Nice. All right, so maybe this will have you to think less or more. I don’t know. What book or books have you gifted the most?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

There’s no comparison. I have given this book to three different people, and it was given to me, Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink and… I don’t remember his other partner who wrote it.

Luis:

Leif Babin.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Yes. It was the audio book, because I was at the time traveling a lot driving and so forth.

Luis:

That’s great. Jocko reads it himself, and he has this gravely voice that it looks more fit to-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Exactly.Love it. Love it. Love it.

Luis:

… to a movie than a leadership book.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Yes. You feel like you’re on the battlefield. For people that don’t know, it’s really… For anybody who thinks that they really want to be a manager or a leader, it’s not what you think it is. Two former Navy SEALs, they talk about their military backgrounds, explaining, I feel, what’s the true nature of servant leadership. Basically, all successful teams are that way, because the individual ownership of responsibility embraced by every member of the team. If you’re looking for someone to blame for why your team’s unsuccessful, look in the mirror, because that’s what the authors’ views are. I love it.

Luis:

I can say that I love that book as well, so it’s officially one of the books-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

What about you? I’m always looking for good books.

Luis:

I have a few, but the book that I’ve gifted the most-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I will write this down.

Luis:

The book that I’ve gifted the most has, no doubt, been The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Really?

Luis:

It has a companion. It comes with a companion book, so it’s basically a book where every day you open. It has 365 pages on each one. There is a small talk from the stoic philosophers. The idea is that on that day, you open the page for that day. Let’s say today, as we are recording this, the 16th of September, so you open up the page for the 16th of September, and you have a specific stoic thought for that day. Then the companion book is just a little book where you can write what came to mind as you were meditating on that stoic thought.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I love it. Thank you.

Luis:

I find that it’s an incredible ritual to start the day or to go through whenever you’re stuck, just to get your mind off things and to put you… The thing about the stoics is that they were men and women in the arena. They were people. They were extremely practical philosophers, that they did philosophy, and then they went to the market to sell their wares, or to the workshop to build their crafts, or to the battlefields to fight for their home, for their king and country.

Luis:

They use their philosophy to this instead of just using philosophy as a way to pontificate the world in general.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I love it.

Luis:

The number two, which I think is maybe more relevant to your audience, is-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Oh, there’s two. Fantastic. Go ahead. I’m glad I asked you.

Luis:

… Musashi by Eiji Shimura. My Japanese is terrible, but it’s Musashi. It’s the tail of the-

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Can you spell it for me?

Luis:

Musashi, M-U-S-H-A-S-H-I. I put a wrong H there, but I will write it. I will write it to you on the chat.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Excellent.

Luis:

It’s the story of one of the legendary sword saints of Japan, the guy who historically created the school of sword fighting where you held two swords, one in each hand. You use the katana and then you had the smaller, the wakizashi. The thing that the book is so good is that it’s a real illustration of the book that we were just talking about, Extreme Ownership, because it chronicles the story of Musashi, but it also chronicles the story of his childhood friend that was raised in exactly the same way if not in a bit of more privileged situation.

Luis:

But at some point, because they were such good friends, they got into trouble together, and from that day forward, their lives mirrored each other, except that Musashi at all the things that we talked about, he had a vision for himself. He took ownership, et cetera, while his friend really didn’t. You really see that these people who are so tied together during their youth, and that had the same starting point, the attitudes they brought to life, one became the sword saint of Japan. The other one, well, became something else.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Wow.

Luis:

You can clearly see the parallels in their journey. It’s a huge book. Some people have said that it’s like The Lord of the Rings in Japan. I don’t think it’s exactly the same thing, because it’s much more a story of personal growth and a personal journey versus a quest. Again, the Lord of the Rings is much about teamwork and fellowship. This is about the person following their paths.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I love it. I can’t wait to read them. Thank you.

Luis:

Those my two most gifted books.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Thank you. Thank you.

Luis:

Well, my pleasure. Thank you. Now before we go, I do have one last question. This has a bit of a longer setup, so bear with me. Let’s say that you are hosting a dinner where leaders from the top tech companies from around the world attend, that in this dinner, the topic of discussing for the evening will be remote work and the future of work. The twist is that it happens at a Chinese restaurant. As the host, you get to pick the message that these people are going to get inside their fortune cookie.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Oh gosh.

Luis:

What is the fortune cookie message?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Oh my gosh, I want to say something about expecting them to be intentional in building their organizations, so maybe something like start with the beginning in mind. Start with the ending in mind. That’s what I want to say.

Luis:

Nice. I have to say I liked start with the beginning in mind.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I know, but it’s a little redundant, I think. I think what I really want them to say is start with the ending in mind. The idea behind that is everybody says that remote work has this promise of having a lot of diversity and richness and cultural and age and genders, but we’re not seeing this right now. We really aren’t in a lot of organizations, and some of the biggest ones where it’s very difficult to see this. I want them to really put this into practice and say, “What are you doing every day in your practices that is going to get you there, because it’s not a one thing where you just say you’re going to do it and it happens? You have to be intentional.”

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Again, start with the end in mind.

Luis:

All right. Flore, this was an absolute pleasure having you on the DistantJob Podcast.

Luis:

Thank you so much.

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

I’m honored. Thank you.

Luis:

I have no doubt that the people listening to us will want to reach out and continue the conversation, so please tell them where they can do so. Where can they reach out to learn more about you, about what you do, and to continue the conversation with you?

Flore Dorceley-Mohr:

Sure. I’m on LinkedIn. I am personalized on my LinkedIn, and so it’s LinkedIn/floredorcelymohr. That’s really the best place. I have writing there. I certainly would love to connect with any of your readers if they want to know more.

Luis:

Ladies and gentlemen, this was Flore Dorcely-Mohr. I am Luis, your host in the DistantJob podcast, a podcast about building and managing awesome remote teams. See you next week.

Luis:

We close another episode of the DistantJob Podcast. If you enjoyed the episode, please, you can help us out by sharing it on social media. That would be great. It’s how we reach more listeners, and the more listeners we have, the more awesome guests I can get in touch and convince to participate in these conversations that are a joy to have for me, and I hope they’re a joy for you to listen to as well. You can also help a lot leaving reviews on iTunes or your podcast syndication service of choice. Reviews are surprisingly helpful in helping the podcast get to more listeners.

Luis:

Now, another thing that you might want to do is go to this distantjob.com/blog/podcast, click on your favorite episode, any episode really, and subscribe. By subscribing, you will get a notification whenever a new episode is up and whenever we get the transcripts of the episodes up, so you can actually peruse the conversations in text form. Of course, if you need to find a great employee for your team, a great remote employee, you should take the whole world into consideration, and not just look to hire locally, not just look to hire in your country.

Luis:

Look around the whole world because that’s the talent pool that contains the best talent. To help you with that, again, distantjob.com is the perfect place to start. You will tell us who you need, and we will make sure that you get the best possible candidate 40% faster than the industry standard. With that, I bid you a gift. See you next week on the next episode.

 

More ways to listen:

Managing a distributed team always comes with challenges to overcome. One of the biggest concerns is in how to build strong connections in teams located in different countries of the world.

With more than 20 years of working in a remote environment, our guest, Flore Dorcely-Mohr, shares practical tips to help leaders cultivate better relationships in remote teams. She emphasizes the importance of building connection and trust in a virtual setting.

''There is no foundation without the connection, so the trust comes first, and then you can ask about results'' Click To Tweet

Highlights:

  • Differentiating leadership with management 
  • How to encourage trust remotely  
  • How does building relationships affect (positively) remote teams
  • Tips for building strong connections
  • The importance of storytelling in leadership
  • Insights on online learning 
  • Strategies for building emotional connection 

 

Book Recommendations:

Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

 

Tools:

Own the Room (Training for educators and leaders)

 

Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE so you won’t miss all of the other interesting episodes that we have coming up in the next few weeks!