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When in doubt, 👍 🙌 😂 😊 😳 it out.

If you manage a remote team, you need to use emojis. You probably should use them more than you think.

Why? Because almost everything you write can be taken multiple ways. And when you have a remote team, you’re probably writing more than you’re speaking.

Let me illustrate: Imagine you’re working along when your boss sends you this message over Slack:
James, could you be more of a perfectionist?

Startled, you think, “Whoa, what does this mean?”
Is this praise… or sarcasm?
A gentle nudge… or a veiled threat?
Is it said with a smile, a frown, or a glare?

Of course, you have no idea. None. So all you can do is guess, and you’ll probably guess wrong. I always seem to.

So, here’s a guide I’d like to propose: Use an emoji with 80% of your written one-on-one communication. I don’t care if it’s over slack, email or text. Drop an emoji in to clarify the tone and mood of the statement.

Here are some examples of how it changes the tone:

  • James, could you be more of a perfectionist? 👌
  • James, could you be more of a perfectionist? 😒
  • James, could you be more of a perfectionist? 😝
  • James, could you be more of a perfectionist? 😑

Being a manager means communicating clearly. If you have remote workers, it’s MUCH harder for them to know your style and humor. So when in doubt, emoji it out.


About Marcus Blankenship

Where other technical coaches focus on process or tools, I focus on the human aspects of your Programmer to Manager transition. I help you hire the right people, create the right culture, and setup the right process which achieves your goals. Managing your team isn't something you learned in college. In fact, my clients often tell me "I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work". If you're ready to improve your leadership, process and team, find out how I can help you.

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