How To Get Started With Asynchronous Communication
Introducing asynchronous communication is a big change, especially for Office First companies. In this essay, I am explaining how to get your asynchronous journey started.
Communicating asynchronous enables a much deeper and broader collaboration. Everyone can contribute on their schedule. Because of the written form, they are documented. Discussions and decisions are replicable.
Unfortunately, many people don't adopt asynchronous collaboration because they think it's cumbersome.
Asynchronous Communication Is Cumbersome.
Some reasons why people think asynchronous communication is cumbersome:
- I am not a good writer
- It takes forever to decide
- I like to talk to people
- I have to think more before communicating
I feel you. It was hard for me, too. But it's worth the effort.
Here's how to make the switch, step by step:
Step 1: Don't start with heavy, profound discussions
By starting with lightweight discussions, communicating asynchronous is more approachable.
Instead of discussion about whether to close your office or not. Discuss which game to play on the next board game night. Start light. Make it fun. It will help drive motivation to use the tool and participate in discussions.
Step 2: List All Your Meetings And Pick One That Could Be An Asynchronous Discussion
This is crucial, don't try to make ALL your meetings asynchronous in one big bang. Start with one.
Make a list of all meetings you have in a week or month. Pick a recurring one that you might think would work. Write a good introduction post and point out why you want to do the meeting asynchronous now. Then cancel the meeting.
Step 3: You Have To Engage And Provide Value
Next: Make more and more meetings asynchronous. Start discussions, invite others to participate, share your opinion and stories. Be an active community member. Don't expect everyone to jump ship from day one.
Like every change in a system, it's led by a few people. They pave the way for the others. Eventually, the benefits of asynchronous communication will outweigh the concerns.