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No Voice? No Problem

Guest Post from Bonnie Ho, Collaboration Product Marketing Manager at Cisco:

28. That is how many days I’ve worked in complete silence…not saying a single word.  As a product marketing manager here at Cisco, my days are typically filled with back-to-back meetings and talking regularly for 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week. I know you’re probably wondering two things: Why did I do this? Or more importantly, how was I able to do this?

I was recently diagnosed with vocal cord nodules, which is a mass of tissue that grows on the vocal cords due to strenuous voice practices. Those who use their voice constantly are susceptible to getting this, including teachers, singers, politicians and apparently Cisco product marketing managers.

My doctor recommended 4 weeks of complete voice rest to allow the nodules to shrink away and fully recover. Being the social person I am, and knowing how my job requires me to talk constantly, how was I ever going to survive in the workplace without talking for 28 days?

Thanks to supportive colleagues, fast typing skills and Cisco Collaboration solutions, I was able to successfully perform my job duties during those 28 days without saying a single word.

For example, with Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, I was able to participate in conference calls and communicate via the chat window. While working from home during my voice rest period,  I enabled video conferencing to spend ‘face time’ with my colleagues. Additionally, I was able to have all my incoming calls routed to my cell phone so that I could immediately listen to my voicemails from home and respond accordingly.

With Cisco Collaboration solutions, I was still able to collaborate effectively and efficiently regardless of where I was and despite not having a voice.

Rather than picking up the phone or walking to my teammate’s cube to ask a question or get feedback, I used WebEx Connect Instant Messaging to communicate instantly with my colleagues.  I was even able to collaborate on large files, like presentations and spreadsheets, with my team.

Last week I needed help with posting a video on Cisco Show and Share. I couldn’t call our IT Helpdesk for support like I typically do. Instead, I posted my question on an internal discussion forum and a few hours later, I was contacted by Cisco IT support. I shared my desktop via Cisco WebEx as he watched and gave me step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish my task.

With Cisco Collaboration solutions, I was still able to collaborate effectively and efficiently regardless of where I was and despite not having a voice. I was able to maintain my productivity and continue being involved in projects and discussions. Before I knew it, the 28 days had quickly passed. And to me, that is the true power of collaboration.

Although my voice is still not fully recovered, I am finally able to talk once again. With the combination of voice therapy and time, I should be on the road to full recovery in no time!

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