The Yellow List Management Tool

Think twice before sending that text or email.

Summary
Transcript

In this backstage interview from Leadercast Live 2019, Juliet Funt, CEO of WhiteSpace at Work, discusses the Yellow List Management Tool, a simple system leaders can implement to reduce email for themselves and their team members.

“Here's what it is: You keep a yellow list for each person that you work with, it's a little document that lives in your phone and computer,” explains Juliet. “The critical moment is when you're about to communicate. Let's say I'm about to send a text. I'm about to send an email. I ask myself, ‘Is there a reason that I'm sending this in such a time-sensitive medium or through email, or could this idea just easily be shelved into the yellow list for the next time I sit with that person?’” 

Watch the video to hear about the Yellow List Management Tool for better digital communication. 


TAKEAWAYS
- Choosing the wrong communication method can increase pressure and decrease productivity. 
- Using the right avenue of communication requires some thought and intention. 
- A yellow list notes nonurgent matters to be discussed at a later time.

Any way that you would reach out to your team, the yellow list can influence, and here's what it is: You keep a yellow list for each person that you work with, it's a little document that lives in your phone and computer. So I have yellow list Jamie, yellow list Kim, yellow list Jerrick, I have for each of my team members. The critical moment is when you're about to communicate. Let's say I'm about to send a text. I'm about to send an email. I ask myself, "Is there a reason that I'm sending this in such a time-sensitive medium or through email, or could this idea just easily be shelved into the yellow list for the next time I sit with that person." Now, this does require that you have that little wedge of thoughtfulness before the moment that you communicate. So if you're just impulsively moving from idea to action, you won't have that moment. But if you do, you ask yourself where it belongs.

And things don't always belong in email. We love that medium, it's two-dimensional, it's something that we're really used to, but sometimes if something's really time-sensitive, it really should have been a phone call or a text. And if it's not at all time-sensitive, it really should go on the yellow list. We internally in our office use email for things that are email related. So if something has a link or an attachment or a forward, or something that has to live in the world of email to operate, then it goes through email, otherwise, most things that we communicate about are put into a yellow list. What you'll find is that when it is time on you call Ted, your colleague, and you say, "Hey, can we go through our yellow lists." And you bang, bang, bang, bang through all those three-dimensional communication pieces that you're having, it's infinitely faster than it would have been if it was creating all the threads that are created with email.
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Juliet Funt

WhiteSpace at Work is a training and consulting firm that helps organizations, their leaders and their employees flip the norms of business in order to reclaim their creativity, productivity and engagement. As CEO, Juliet helps profes...

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