I feel like I’ve had writer’s block for weeks now. I’ve been most productive with the monotonous tasks that I had been putting off for some time. Some days I work for hours without moving, while other days I can’t sit still for more than a couple of minutes. There’s no doubt that we all have been coping differently with an anxiety-inducing global pandemic, and I have been no exception. But as the states are slowly starting to introduce phases of reopening, I finally feel hopeful that we’ll return to some sense of normalcy soon enough. And with that feeling, I can sense the writer’s block beginning to lift. I’m getting back to a place where I can reflect on the work that I’m doing and where my thoughts have been since mid-March.
As things start to return to normal, there’s one thing (read: more than a one, but I’d like to keep this blog post short) in particular that I don’t want to forget about how I’ve shifted during this time:
I have been paying more attention to the people I am supporting instead of the tools they have questions about. This is a lesson that I catch myself relearning all the time, and it cannot be overstated no matter how much we may think it goes without saying. This simple shift makes me more understanding and caring in my general correspondence and meetings. It makes me more observant, which as a result helps me anticipate problems and fix them before they even occur. Basically, I just become a much better human being and others benefit from it. It can be very easy to get wrapped up in the technology that we’re using, but it will never hurt to take a step back, breathe, and show grace.
With that in mind, I’ve had a chance to think more broadly about the type of manager I want to be for others at Reclaim Hosting. Where can I tweak and adjust and improve internal workings, and where do I need to sit back and listen more? How can I make sure that I’m ‘visible’ while working remotely? Where should I be showing grace and understanding, and where can I be holding others accountable? These reflections are healthy at any point, though I’m especially stoked to have had more down time to think through this over the last few weeks. Next Tuesday, one of our Customer Support Specialists, Katie Hartraft, will be joining Reclaim Hosting full time as an Account and Support Specialist. Her dual role will be the first of its kind at Reclaim, though not unlike others in the way that she will be wearing many hats. Katie will continue to support the good people of Reclaim Hosting for part of her time by answering tickets, writing documentation, etc., but she’ll slowly move into the account management and sales side of Reclaim for the other half of her time. Katie has plenty of experience with Domain of One’s One as a recent UMW grad, and she’s been killing it at Reclaim this last semester. I’m excited to work closely with her during this next chapter of her career, which also just happens to be a big milestone for Reclaim – a new hire for sales. :)
And on that note: Another noticeable shift at Reclaim has taken shape in the ability for Jim and Tim to slowly back out of the day-to-day and let the ship steer itself. My goal for them is to fully step back and become the Idea Guys while the day-to-day work moves on without them. I do think we’ve been well on our way to meet this goal for a while now, but in the last few weeks in particular the shift has felt real and attainable for the first time. This is most certainly a testament to the well-oiled-machine-of-a-team we’ve got going for us right now. Meredith as Customer Support Manager has beautifully handled growing pains as we’re moving into one of our busiest support years to date. Gordon, an all around workhorse, has been kicking ass on support and currently holds the sought-after lead on number of solved support tickets since the beginning of the year. Chris, meanwhile, is provisioning entire Domain of One’s setups in about 30 minutes. He’s a scripting genius, I tell you, and is no doubt keeping our sh*t secure, efficient and consistent across the board.
Jim and I recently spoke about these culture shifts, amongst other things, in our recent chat on DS106 Radio. He blogged about it here, and I’m attaching the recording below if you want to give it a listen.
whew. take that, writer’s block!