TL;DR: Kindness > everything.
These are all things I’ve become more and more cognizant of over the last few years, while working with people with different cultures, time zones, languages, abilities, disabilities, and needs.
These are just a few examples of how you can meet your clients where they are, and show them that you truly care.
- Spending the time to talk about LIFE and not just work
- Offering audio-only Zoom calls (no camera required)
- Utilizing talk to text, captioning, or screen reading software for calls
- Consider hiring a translator (remember that sign language is a language, too)
- Adjusting budgets to accommodate (and defining clear boundaries)
- Accounting for grace in timelines, deadlines, and expectations (flexibility)
- Being a public advocate for causes you truly care about (not just virtue signaling)
- Never assuming; ask if they prefer she/he/they terminology, or simply just use their name!
- Keeping meetings on track (limiting time and topics)
- Asking for feedback and *offering space for everyone to speak*
- Creating spaces and conversations free of judgement or pressure
- Accommodating for, and continuously referencing, others’ time zones
- Accepting multiple currencies (USD, CAD, and Euro are good place to start)
- Offering various methods of payment (check, bank transfer, credit card, Wise, Venmo, Paypal, payment plans, etc)
- Simply ASK if anyone needs special accommodations or assistance
- Always remembering that we are all PEOPLE