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  • Dr. Julie Olsen

Thriving While Working from Home



As I was working on a project, Apollo, my “grand dog” who was home for a visit, began barking at something outside the window. His bark was so passionate that I had to stop what I was doing to find out what was arousing such interest. And WOW! There it was…a bald eagle, wings extended, and with a huge fish in his talons right in my backyard. Apollo was sure this beautiful creature was not only a danger to his new fish friends he met while kayaking, but to his entire household, and he was protecting us all from danger. After trying to capture a few photos of the eagle and calm down Apollo, I returned to my project. However, there were about 30 minutes taken out of my carefully planned day. I don’t know about you, but I am easily distracted and struggle at times to stay focused on tasks while working from home.


By now, each of us is either loving working from home or dying to get back into the office. However, either way, the pandemic has changed the way we communicate. Are you struggling with this new normal? If not, congratulations! If so, you are not alone. Working remotely is a huge transition for teams used to office life, and your communication might be suffering as a result of distance and change.


Over the past year, I have learned to schedule short breaks, schedule time to socialize with people after I’ve completed high priority tasks, and in the new virtual world, I’ve learned new communication techniques. For me, during zoom sessions, I like to see the video of people who are participating in the call and I need the details or action steps in writing after the meeting. However, not everyone has the same work preferences. Understanding how people prefer to communicate in this new environment can enhance your productivity and increase your satisfaction. Here are few tips to enhance your interactions with different styles:


Direct Style: These are the people who address problems and challenges head-on, make decisions quickly, and are straight forward. When working with them, whether on a zoom call or in person, move through the meeting quickly with focus, don’t waste their time, and provide concise bullet points.


Outgoing Style: These are the people who are friendly, enthusiastic, and are conversational. They enjoy talking with people and want to feel connected. Engage with them on a deeper level, they are not motivated by detail but by interactions, and you may need to keep them from getting distracted (remember the eagle!).


Steady Style: People with this style are patient, reliable, team players, and relaxed. Their pace is consistent and predictable. They don’t like quick changes or being put on the spot. Be careful not to call on them unexpectedly during a zoom session or in a live meeting. Give them time to collect their thoughts.


Precise Style: Organization is the name of the game. This style prefers an organized approach to discussions based on facts, not emotions. They are typically exact, specific, and compliant with procedures. Provide data to support your opinion and be clear about expectations for meetings and projects while providing clear accountability.


If you would like more information on your style or how to enhance your approach with others, let me help you make it easier with a free Working From Home report. The Working From Home Report is a new assessment tool developed by TTI Success Insights that will give you and your team the gift of self-understanding. Inside the report, you’ll find:

  • Personalized work from home tips

  • How to communicate with your team when everyone is WFH

Interested? Your report is just a click away.


A shout out to my protector, “Apollo”, who ensured I did not miss this beautiful eagle!

(Note, for his safety, he was inside and not near the eagle at any time.)




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