Outsourcing is the what. Communication is the how, right? Ever tried to outsource without some form of interaction?
I had a great time speaking with Virtual Assistant Advocate and founder of Virtually Yours Rosie Shilo (same spelling as the Neil Diamond song!) on her ‘Outsourcing Mysteries Exposed‘ podcast recently, so naturally I got to thinking about outsourcing conversations.
I have one current example of this in my professional life. I have a client, a rather well know musical comedian, who I record backing tracks for (yes, I am a musician as well as a communication skills trainer). He’ll text me to see if I’m available to record a track, usually with 4 or 5 days turnaround. If I say yes, which I invariably do, he will then email me a rough demo with instructions. From there, there’s usually a couple of rounds of email feedback, suggestions for changes, etc. The constant? It’s all one-way, written communication.
The rest of the time, whether I’m the outsourcer or the outsourcee, I find I have to speak to people – face-to-face or on the phone. That’s where Learn Teach Explore comes in. It’s an end-to-end holistic process for all professional (and lots of non-professional) communication, including outsourcing. Here’s how it works:
- Put the word LEARN in your head, then ask the other person you wish to outsource to a bunch of question – e.g. their availability, expertise, experience, love of the task, recent similar work etc. When you’re done, ask the other person one more thing – permission to brief them on your work. Hopefully they’ll say yes!
- Next, put the word TEACH in your head, and take them through your needs. I always aim for a low word count and high meaning. Why? Briefing is statement-making, and no-one likes being talked at for too long!
- Finally, put the word EXPLORE in your head, and ask the other person for their questions, thoughts, feedback etc. Then… have an authentic, 2-way conversation about it – exactly what the work EXPLORE supports.
LTE outsourcing conversations save time, create clarity, foster collaboration and grow relationships. There are literally hundreds of other LTE conversations to be had, and they all flow the same way… first learn, then teach, then explore!
Here’s the link if you want to listen the full conversation I had with Rosie.