🤩 Learn how to run great 1:1 meetings from expert Engineering Leaders (Oct 6th) 🚀

X
Guest

113

The types of people that succeed the most remote are not necessarily the same kinds of people that succeed the most in an in-person setting. And it's really important to have that self-awareness around what works for you and what doesn't work for you in the remote and hybrid world.

In this episode

In order to have a positive and productive workplace, there should be a culture of continuous feedback and engagement. 

Bilal Aijazi is the CEO and Co-Founder of Polly, an app that captures instant feedback. 

On episode 113, Bilal shares the importance of feedback in a remote world and why it is a requirement to successfully scale a company. 

He also shares what doorknob questions are and why managers need to really listen to them.

We talked about engagement versus collaboration, staying connected in a virtual world, and hiring remote workers. 

Tune in to hear all about Bilal’s leadership journey and the lessons learned along the way!


Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the podcast with your colleagues.


02:50

Transitioning from IC to the manager

10:04

Communicating continuous feedback

17:09

Doorknob questions

18:49

Engagement vs collaboration

23:46

Connectivity with remote work

25:57

Why remote workers need to be more self-aware

29:21

Tips for collective agreement

31:50

It’s all about listening


Resources


Transcript

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  00:36

Welcome to the show.

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  02:51

Hey, thanks. It’s great to be here.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  02:54

Yeah, I’m very excited to chat with you. I think like we were it’s funny, we got on the call here. And then we were supposed to press record. But we were just talking for 20 minutes, we have a lot of commonality, you know, obviously you’re the one of the cofounders. And now the CEO of Polly. And I’m pretty sure like probably everybody who’s listener, or like the vast vast majority of people have used Polly in Slack or in MS teams. It’s super popular pulling up at my previous life. You know, I worked at Survey Monkey, once upon a time. And so we definitely had some good chats there. But you’ve worked at other startups, you’ve written for various magazines, including Forbes and Fast Company. And you know, I’m super excited to start chatting with you about management and leadership. And what I wanted to do is maybe start from the beginning and ask you in those very early days when you first started to lead or manage a team. Do you remember what some of the early mistakes were that you would have made?

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  03:51

Yeah, absolutely. So while I’d been in industry a while when we started Polly, my first real experience managing was at Polly in building out the early team there. Man, there are so many so many mistakes, I think all of us make them as we get into that role. But some of the bigger ones I would say is, you know, I’ve been an IC for five plus years at that point. And like most founders thought myself being pretty good at my job and going into a role where you’re leading a team of ICs. Now, it’s turned out to be very different than doing the work yourself and where to provide space and leeway, and growth opportunities versus where to come in and guide and coach. It was something that I struggled with that and I still struggle with now. I think like just kind of being a founder makes that especially hard. Because you know the business so well. And you know what the customers want so well. And so you end up skipping a lot of steps that other folks really need to be able to get the context that they need and to have that space to be able to learn that stuff instead of just kind of leaning in or stepping into people’s work.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  04:58

Yeah, maybe we can dig in A little bit more. So do you remember an example or a story of maybe how you started to approach things? And maybe how you changed it over the course of time?

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  05:10

Yeah. So it was really interesting as an engineer, and out of wood, most startups, different employees that you hire are engineers, because you’ve got product to build, you got to go build something and sell it to the world. And so we were building product. And we’d already been operating my co founder, and I had the company for a couple of years. And so in those early days, it’s just kind of letting go of a lot of things that I owned for a long time. So one story that I have is around deployments, we would do deployments, ideally, every day. And I was just a real stickler for like, what a deployment should look like, what the quality of the deployment should be, what monitoring needs to look like, after the fact. And it took a couple of members of my team kind of being like, hey, you can sit back we got this and building out a deployment pipeline on their own and building out monitoring and alerting on their own. And realizing that like, hey, there’s actually ways that I was missing in ways that I could scale. And that actually turned into a double benefit, because it helped me spend less time and it gave somebody else on the team really valuable experience around DevOps and around being able to build stuff at scale. And that was a key eye opening moment for me around how effective management is a force multiplier, not just on the managers time, but also on the experience and skill level of the ICS. That that then get to step into bigger and broader pieces of work.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  06:35

Yeah, I know that it makes a lot of sense. And it’s interesting, because what I’ve also realized is that sometimes it’s when you allow others to take over certain parts. It’s hard because you have to learn to, I guess, get satisfaction or a sense of accomplishment in different ways. Because when you’re actually doing the work, like you’re doing the work, you’re seeing the results, it’s more immediate feedback. But then when you step away, it becomes a little bit more gray. And the feedback cycles are longer. And you just have to almost get used to getting satisfaction or fulfillment from like a different set of outcomes. And it is hard and it never goes away. I’ve also found in my career, like as we’ve like, as I’ve progressed, I’ve had to relearn this lesson, but in slightly different ways. Because, like you said, as a founder every time things grow, your job changes every single year, too. And sometimes that’s hard to get used to.

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  07:31

Yeah, absolutely. But I mean, I do think like when it’s done well, the satisfaction you can get out of that is incredible. I still remember the very first time a deployment went out. And I had no idea that it was happening. My co founder and I were on our way to a board meeting. And we’re just we live in Seattle on our board members, we’re in San Francisco. So we’re getting off the plane. And I just got this like Slack notification that hey, deployment has launched, we just launched this new feature. And a couple of engineers going like yay, like bunch of emojis in the channel and whatnot. And we both looked at each other. And we’re like, we had nothing to do with this. This is incredible. Like, somebody else came in and built something amazing here and launched it to the world. And now today that happens every day at Polly, but that first time that that happened, it truly felt like magic.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  08:18

Yeah, I 100% agree with you. It’s odd how much satisfaction you get when you’re like, that was amazing. And I had nothing to do with it.

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  08:26

It’s so such an empowering feeling. Because that level of trust of knowing that that the organization has not just has your back has things locked down better than you could have ever done with like, you know, the 20% of your attention that you can get any single task as a founder. It’s really empowering.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  08:45

Yeah, you know, this is a funny thing. When you’re saying yeah, like the 20% of your time, I think like the other thing that is relevant here is I don’t know if you would also agree with this. It’s as a company skills, you have progressively less and less time. So maybe you would think about I don’t know, sales, two days a week, then it becomes one day a week, then it becomes an hour a week, and in an hour a week, you can almost do nothing. So like the best you can do is hire really amazing people so that they can spend every single day thinking about that problem.

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  09:19

Yeah, no, I mean, I think that’s what it comes back to is that the reason why I felt this was an early mistake is because it sets the culture, right, what is our culture in terms of autonomy? What is our culture, in terms of development, what is our culture in terms of leadership? And ultimately, that’s the founding mark, that’s the mark that founders need to leave on the company, because nothing else scales. Everything else is just work that you’re just doing to get through to the next day. And just the deeper you think about that, the more you realize there’s almost an infinite amount of time you can put into that and probably still not do it justice, because it’s not just the things that you say it’s the way that you do them. It’s the way that you model And then the way that you see others model them back to you and have that echoed throughout the organization.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  10:04

Yeah, I think it’s a really valid point. And since we’re talking about culture, we can shift the conversation maybe to talk a little bit about feedback. Polly obviously helps organizations get feedback in a lot of different ways. And I know that you’re a big believer in just continuous employee feedback. I’m curious, how do you all do this at Polly? How do you encourage feedback to always be communicated? And to just be a part of the culture there?

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  10:32

Yeah, I mean, I think it’s, it’s an ongoing struggle, like, that’s what I will always start with, even we don’t do it perfectly, or like, there’s things that we’re able to use Polly for, to really elevate our culture of feedback. And we obviously help customers do that. But there’s still a lot of room to grow. But you know, one of the things that was really important for us in the early days is we started out Polly as a remote company. So we were a remote company from 2014. Wow, I didn’t know that. Yeah, so my co founder, and I were in different cities when we started. And the entire team has never been in the same city ever since we did have an office at some point with a concentration of employees and Seattle, which is where I live now. But it was a short lifting over the seven year history of the company, there was maybe two to three years that that was true. By and large, the company has been remote over most of its history. And so having really great systems of feedback was a prerequisite to ensure that we were able to scale as a remote company and and have those relationships that are so critical to getting work done in an early stage startup where you’re constantly dealing with fires. So some of the key systems that we put in place pretty early on, you know, we’ve always had the ability to set things on recurrence and automation. And so very early on, one thing that me and my co founder used to do is we would check each other’s mood, we realized, like when we’re our mood is is down, it actually affects everyone around us. So just kind of using a lightweight Polly and a founder channel to measure each other’s mood and see like, how are you feeling this week, right? Like, you have your one on one. But like, if you can go into it, knowing how the other person is feeling and what kind of mood they’re entering it with. It helps a ton. And that’s one of the places where I actually feel like, even in any kind of a relationship, I feel like that’s true, not just in a co founder relationship or manager employee relationship. But even with spouses or friends, like having that sense of where somebody’s head is at before you enter that conversation is so so powerful. It’s something that I’m trying to do nowadays, I still haven’t found a great tool to do it, like Polly doesn’t slack and over email, honestly. But I tried to have like a monthly check in that I set up with my spouse, just to see like, Hey, where are we actually in terms of like, what’s a number that you can put on your what’s your relationship? NPS, if you will. And I think that is that’s just a really powerful way of building that culture of having kind of that benchmark, which you’re working off of, in terms of, of how that relationship is going. That’s just a really like, quick way that we have used Polly all along.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  13:09

Yeah, you know, I think this is really important, you know, in a number of different ways. I love the idea of a relationship NPS. That’s pretty cool. What I will say is just this concept of like when people come into a meeting, and you know, getting everybody’s mood and level setting and figuring out what the benchmark is, I think this is a really good approach, right? If someone comes in and says, I’m very, very grumpy, like, it’s probably good to get that out in front, before you actually dive into the meat of the topic. So that’s a really Yeah,

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  13:41

that actually, it feeds into some of my biggest learnings through being a remote manager, virtual manager have come through missing signals that I likely should have used something like Polly for are some other ways of level setting. But I’ll just give you an example. As a manager, you come into a one on one, and people will talk to you about their problems and talk to you about what’s bothering them at work. But one of the things that you can miss when you’re just kind of consistently talking about the same set of things week over week or month over month is what’s the degree of that? What’s the scale of that problem? Like I would say through the course of the pandemic, the platforms that Polly operates on Slack team zoom, obviously saw a massive uptick in their usage. And so Polly obviously saw an uptick in usage as well. And one of the folks on our engineering team who I would have regular one on one with was just like, you know, this thing is, like running the service is is getting harder and harder were like doing a lot more work. But over the course of the year, we got much, much better at doing it. And I was like, Well, this is awesome. Like these guys took on the load. They handled it and now like you know we’re on to the next level when it comes to scale. But what I didn’t realize is that even though that problem had been brought up repeatedly, it was actually building from a stress perspective behind them. And like it got to a point without that person just came back to me and want to want at some point, he’s like, Hey, I’ve been telling you all year that this is really stressful. And I’m just feeling burned out. I was like, well, all the numbers are showing that it’s getting better. He’s like, Yeah, but I’m feeling the stress of upholding the service. That’s where I was like, you know, what we should have had a policy on this, like, we should have had a way to, to kind of measure this person’s stress level, even though that’s not showing up in the work, but it’s showing up in how they’re feeling. And that’s, I think, just like a really key part of something that that I used to, to miss in the office would be like, you can see someone’s body language and their mood, you can get a sense of where their head is at or how they’re feeling when you sit down with them for lunch. And you when you miss that in a virtual setting, you need some way to replace it. And that’s one of the key use cases that we try to solve for,

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  15:48

from a perspective of when you’re actually talking with someone, I do agree with you, it’s very hard to miss signals sometimes, especially if you’re just having conversations over zoom. And I think it’s a very smart idea what you said, which is to maybe if you hear something once cool, maybe if you hear it a second time, especially if you hear it a third time, maybe like dive in a bit more and say, Well, how are you feeling about this? And I’m getting the sense that it’s getting better. But where are you emotionally? And I think it’s a very valuable lesson. I don’t know that I do that. And now that you mentioned it, I’m like, yeah, there are things that I’ve heard, and maybe I should dig in on those a little bit more to I think that’s a very clever way to approach

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  16:30

it. Yeah, no, I mean, for me, what I’ve just seen time and again, is just that what people are telling you, you kind of have to be able to dig into and understanding their baseline and understanding where they’re coming from in terms of their overall, whether it’s work life balance or personal stress level, or what else is going on there. Life will tell you the degree to which you need to dive into that. Because obviously, you know, as managers, we have a lot of meetings, we’re constantly in zoom, we don’t always have like that ability to double click on everything that we hear. But you need to be able to build signal in other ways to try and accelerate those conversations and make sure you’re having the right conversation at the right time. Have you ever heard of the concept of a doorknob question?

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  17:11

No. What’s a doorknob question?

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  17:13

So my brother is a doctor. And he basically talks about this concept where doctors should be listening all the way to the end of a conversation, because the patients have this habit of asking the most difficult questions as you’re reaching for the doorknob.

17:28

That’s so true. That’s so so true. What a great analogy.

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  17:33

Yeah. So as managers, we have to be really careful about doorknob questions, because we’re thinking about the next thing already at that point. And we have to, like stop ourselves and really listen at that moment. And it’s something that I’m still learning and getting better at.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  17:48

Hey, there, just a quick pause on today’s episode to let you know that we really appreciate you helping us spread the word about the Supermanagers podcast, if you’re enjoying what you’re hearing so far, dial into your podcast app of choice, whether that’s on Apple, or Android or Spotify, and just leave us a quick review. Now back to the interview. Yeah, it’s so true. But like, as you say it you’re so very right that once you hear something, and you know, to some extent, we have to, we can’t pay attention to every little signal, right? Because then you’ll be like a chicken with their head cut off. You’re just like going from place to place. But you definitely hear something more than once, and maybe twice and three times. I think it’s definitely you know, something should kick in that, hey, I need to maybe ask a little bit more about this, this might go deeper than than I expect. I mean, you know, it’s easy to say harder to do. But I think like the example that you brought up was a really good one. I did want to also ask you about the because you’ve been remote for so long. One of the things that I know you’ve written about in the past is the difference between engagement and collaboration in both hybrid and remote world. What is the difference? Like maybe let’s start from there, like what is the difference between engagement and collaboration? In your view?

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  19:08

Yeah. So for me, engagement is really about how you’re feeling and your motivation and your kind of drive when it comes to your approach to work. And collaboration is more about how you put that in practice. How do you take that awesome, hopefully motivation and excitement and drive that you’ve got and put it to work and driving the work across the organization. And they tend to get confused because collaboration looks like engagement, right? Like when you’re talking to somebody else, you’re you’re potentially very engaged. You’re producing some kind of activity, whether it’s a Slack message or a task or an email or something. Maybe it’s an emoji you’re throwing in there. Yeah, exactly. But they’re very correlated but distinct concepts in my mind, and I think that that is a It’s a really key part to understand in remote work, because a lot of things that look like collaboration can be taken for engagement. But really, it’s important to measure those two things separately. And to have a clear understanding of like, driving good collaboration will drive good engagement, driving good engagement will drive better collaboration, and you kind of want to feed both of those cycles in your organization.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  20:20

And in terms of how to do it, obviously, using tools like Paulie, do you recommend, you know, an annual or maybe a semi annual employee engagement survey or an enps? Or how do you go about this, or

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  20:35

Yeah, so the recommendation that I would have is to do a baseline annual, larger survey, and then break that up into something that you do on a much smaller level, especially within a team based context. So I wish I had a whiteboard here, but I’m going to try and sketch this out in an audio fashion. But if you imagine an org chart, right, the large employee survey is one that’s going to come from the top of the org chart or somewhere near the top of the org chart. And it’s circling through the entire or a chart, it’s top down when you’re getting a lot of feedback, which is great. But it’s usually pretty heavy. People try to keep it under 50 questions, but it takes time it takes energy, then you get all that data, you cut it up, you send it back to the team. And by the time you’ve kind of worked your way through that cycle, like four to eight weeks will have passed. And so that’s just not a quick enough baseline for any real action, right? It gives you a sense of like where the organization is at a point in time. But what that needs to be augmented with is something that’s more team based. And so now if you think about the org chart, again, near the edges of that organization, you need to be running something else between a manager and their direct source, or most like a skip level manager and their directs. That is a lighter, smaller version of that, so that you can compare it against the baseline. And you can catch things like this engineer, I was talking about who experienced that burnout, that’s just not going to happen on an annual employee survey. And you need something that’s more lightweight, that you can run more frequently. So that you have the context to go and use something like followed run a better one on one because you’ve got that baseline data to go with?

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  22:09

Yeah, I think this is a very good point, because what you’re saying is that both of these things are necessary, they have two different purposes. And the two different purposes shouldn’t be confused. And you’re absolutely right. Like the annual survey, it’s a great benchmark, maybe it’s good for a strategic plan of how you’re going to change something or create more engagement holistically, but it’s not going to give you your basically real time data to go in and parachute in and solve a problem. So I think like, that’s very interesting.

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  22:38

Yeah. And it’s really, really important. I think, like, I think one thing that folks, like as we’re going remote really would benefit from learning is that like doing this maybe was somewhat more optional, the lighter survey that you do with the edges of your team, or the edges of the tree, in a world where you had a physical watercooler and people largely in the same office where you could get a sense of the mood, like, I’m sure we’ve all had this feeling where you kind of walk into a room and you get a sense of the room, as soon as you step in, like, Oh, everybody just looks defeated in this meeting, or everybody is feels like super excited. As soon as a deal closes or something, you don’t get that signal in the remote world, right? Everything at the end of the day you like shut your laptop lid, you get up and you walk back to your bedroom or kitchen. And so when you don’t have that feedback loop, you need to augment that with some kind of a virtual feedback loop. And that has become so much more important as we’ve had fewer opportunities to interact with our teams.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  23:40

Yeah, it’s definitely harder. And so since we’re talking about when we talked about water cooler, let’s talk about staying connected, which is very related. So how do you stay connected? And what do you recommend for remote teams?

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  23:56

So I think you have to mix up the serious with the fun. And having an element of fun having an element of lightness is really, really important. So whether it’s things like you know, we will run trivia with our teams, we’ll do breakout groups, at the end of our all hands where we’ll do random icebreaker questions are that kind of thing. And some of these things are built into Polly as well. So teams can just pick up Holly and run a trivia game in a Slack channel. And anybody who’s online and connected to that time can just jump in and join and use that as a conversation starter to keep going. You know, there’s some great tools out there like donut that really helped enable, though that level of connectivity within the organization as well. But I think it’s a moving target. It’s not something that’s easily forced or easily done. You need to have some combination of asynchronous and synchronous and opportunities to jump into a call and opportunities to just interact through channels or emails. I do think that one of the benefits of things like Slack or teams, the kind of lighter chat based collaboration solutions versus the older culture of email is that real time connection and feedback and becoming slack now caught likes to call themselves digital HQ. of the world. And that certainly helps alongside tools like Polly or donut which enable you to build better connectivity. But it’s hard. And even for companies that are fully remote, I also highly recommend in person meetups from time to time. Because fundamentally, at the end of the day, human beings are built for physical interaction and those kinds of that dead space of conversation or lack thereof, that happens when you just sitting next to somebody and munching on a sandwich. It’s important, it’s important to have that level of connection as well. And I think I’ve been a huge advocate for remote work. For most of my career, I’ve been a remote worker. But remote is it’s a style of work. And it is not exclusively the only type of work that you should engage in, even if you’re a big advocate of it.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  25:47

I think it’s very instructive to hear you say that, especially because you were doing this before everybody else was also doing it. I am curious, though, in building Polly, and I think you all started in 2014. So quite a few years before the pandemic, one of the I feel like potentially unfair advantages that you may have had is that you were remote when people had to choose to be remote as in, you know, some people were looking for remote jobs back then. And presumably, they were good at working remote, and they really enjoyed it. But now, it’s perhaps a little bit different because everybody was forced remote and forced hybrid, and they had to develop a bunch of different habits, have you found that your hiring practices have changed? Or the type of employees that you now bring in are different? Or do you now have additional steps in your interviewing process to really test for someone who actually wants to remote work remotely? And can do that effectively?

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  26:48

No, we haven’t updated our hiring practices there. But it’s an interesting question, because I think you’re absolutely right, in that choosing to work remote versus being pushed into remote are two different things. And, look, I’ll be clear, I don’t recommend remote work for every single person, especially for folks like that are early in their careers, for example, and really need a lot of hands on mentorship, it’s harder to do that remote Lee and harder to build that remotely. Now, that’s not to say that it can’t be done. But it certainly does add to the challenge factor. But yeah, I mean, I think it’s very true. The types of people that succeed, the most remote are not necessarily the same kinds of people that succeed the most in an in person setting. And it’s really important to have that self awareness around what works for you, and what doesn’t work for you in the remote and hybrid world. And I think the good thing that we’ve got in today’s economy is that you’ve got companies doing all of them. And you can kind of pick, right like as in person company, kind of more suitable to me is that remote company, hybrid company. And then as far as finding folks that align to that, you know, I think it really comes down to finding people who know themselves and know what works for them and doesn’t work for them. And I found that remote tends to be mean something very different for each type of person. And one thing that we tried to do in our interview process, just listen for that, like have people develop that level of self awareness. So I can speak for myself, I am incredibly fond of working remotely, I cannot work from home every single day. So to me remote and work from home are not the same thing. There are two different things. And so I will frequently like the pandemic year, the core year, the pandemic 2020, was actually really hard for me because I couldn’t leave home and I was stuck in an environment that I didn’t feel like I was the most productive. And so what I do now is and what we have a Polly is the ability to go and you know, rent office space multiple times a week, and the company will reimburse you for it. And so you can float around and find a coffee shop or what have you to get to get into your flow and get into that creative space and enable you to be remote, but not necessarily work from home. So I think that’s the beautiful thing about the environment today is that you can find that flexibility, depending on what works best for you.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  29:02

Yeah, I think that’s a very good point to make, which is working from home and remote are not necessarily the same thing. And you’re right that the courier of the pandemic, maybe it came across that way, but they’re really not the same thing. And it’s very also important to know yourself, like you mentioned, I will ask you about another sort of tangential topic there, which is, you have to know yourself and obviously, like, learn to work with people in this remote setting. One of the questions I had was around getting teams to consensus, right, most things are harder when you’re remote because you do need to be more purposeful. Not everything is harder, but some things are harder. And I know you have a lot of opinions about how to get to collective agreement in general. I’m curious about what are some of the things that you’ve learned on how to get groups to come to a collective agreement and if that changes at all, if people are in the same room or they’re not

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  30:00

I mean absolute changes if they’re in the same room or not like, again, I think we have to start with the premise that human beings are built for physical interaction and reading body language and signal. And that’s an important part of consensus building. That’s how human beings have operated for most of our history. And so that’s why getting good at remote, it requires a degree of self training and self learning, because it isn’t something that we’re fundamentally optimized for. But at the same time, I think there’s a lot of things that you can use to drive consensus, even in a remote setting, that makes it a lot better. And the key things there are to give people space and time to react, and to absorb information. And the tools that are getting a lot better, right, like so having a strong writing culture enables you to capture people’s feedback asynchronously, and let them think on their own time, instead of having to force them to come to a decision. People use Polly pretty often to drive consensus, whether it’s in a meeting or in a channel, because you can basically give people the space to absorb things on their own time and not require a meeting to come to a decision and still make everybody feel like they had their input. So I worked for a time at Microsoft, I kid you not we would have 60 person meetings to announce a decision. And because they wanted to make sure that everybody was quote, unquote, in the room and the decision happened. And so now with with a Slack channel, you can kind of do that and using a tool like Paulie and have that decision to be public and have everybody be able to participate in it. And that what that enables you to do is that enables you to get that buy in to get that level of engagement that we were talking about earlier, to really drive that decision forward and make sure that everyone’s bought in. Yeah, I

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  31:33

think those are all really good points. 60 person meeting to make a decision is probably well

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  31:38

not to make a decision to announce a decision and make everyone feel like they were in a room.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  31:42

Yeah, the world has definitely changed. And now we have great tools to help make some of that stuff a lot easier. You know, below this has been an awesome conversation, we started talking about asking people about what their mood is, whenever you’re having a conversation, benchmarking where you’re at. We’ve talked about collective agreements, we’ve talked a lot about remote work. The final question that we like to ask all the guests on this show is for all the managers and leaders out there who are constantly looking to get better at their craft. Are there any final tips, tricks or parting words of wisdom that you would leave them with?

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  32:17

Listen, like, it’s all about listening, whether it’s formalized systems of listening, like what we’re building a Polly or just listening to folks over a zoom call or a voice chat. I’ve just found that listening can guide your way to almost any problem that you’re trying to solve.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  32:33

That’s great advice, and a great place to end it. Thanks so much for doing this.

Bilal Aijazi (Polly)  32:38

It was great to talk.

Latest episodes