April 15, 2020

Cultural Preference Filters and the Challenge of Working Remotely, with Sara Taylor

Episode 41:

Sara Taylor earned a master’s degree in Diversity and Organizational Development from the University of Minnesota. She served as a leadership and diversity specialist at the University of Minnesota for five years and as director of diversity and inclusion for Ramsey County, Minnesota for three years.

Sara is the founder and president of deepSEE Consulting and has worked with companies as large as Coca-Cola, General Mills, 3M Company, AARP, and numerous others. She has a new book, “Filter Shift: How Effective People See the World,” that explores how our unconscious is actually making choices and decisions for us, all without our knowing — and how to change that.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How we have three kinds of cultural preference filters that exist as a spectrum: direct vs. indirect communication, hierarchy vs. egalitarian, and task vs. relationship
  • How the direct vs. indirect communication filter determines whether we prefer to address things face to face and with specificity, or indirectly and through metaphors and stories
  • Sara offers an example of a past client company in Germany looking for help dealing with Japanese employees where direct filters were clashing with indirect filters
  • Why working remotely creates a unique challenge due to missing out on conversational cues and body language that help us communicate face-to-face
  • What steps you can take to communicate with someone who prefers a communication style opposite your own
  • Why someone who prefers a hierarchy filter will look to leadership for decision-making, while an egalitarian expects others to make their own decisions
  • Why working remotely can create a disconnect between hierarchical and egalitarian team members, and why generational differences might also have an impact on this disconnect
  • Why trust and communication are the solutions that can help bridge the gap between hierarchy and egalitarian
  • Why working remotely is particularly challenging for people who have a preference for relationship-based work over task-based work
  • Why frequent check-ins and other daily touch points can help build trust and strengthen communication

Additional resources: