Introducing Our Partner – Mixte

Our partner Mixte

FYC Labs proudly introduces our partner Mixte Communications- a renowned social justice communications agency committed to creating positive change. Mixte’s innovative approach to strategic communications emphasizes equity and community empowerment.


About Mixte:

Life is short — our choices matter.

That’s the truth that guides all of us at Mixte Communications, an immigrant-owned, woman-owned and values-run agency. It’s why we’ve chosen to build our business around helping social change agents to define their space — from strategic partnerships, to insightful media stories and thoughtful strategies across digital channels.


Our clients are grassroots organizations striving for change and the businesses who see they can build a better way. We’re honored to support them with digital marketing, public relations and strategic communications, and we bring an intentional approach to our work. We’re especially proud of our Mixte Momentum Model — a proprietary communications framework to achieve justice.


Of course, you don’t have to just take it from us! 2023 marked our second year being recognized with excellence for Best Boutique Agency for our commitment to equity. This award joins several others we’ve received for projects with incredible changemakers like Earthjustice, the American Council on ExerciseLeague of Women Voters of California and more.

Mixte is full of powerful storytellers and creative minds. Here, all of us choose to use our power to fight for equity and justice.


Curious for more? Let’s stay connected:

Check out more of the FYC partners!

The Art of Collaborative Creation in Client-Centered Design

Collaboration in design

Collaboration is key in the design process. It allows designers to work together to produce the best possible outcome. When working with a team, designers can bounce ideas off each other, which leads to new perspectives and creative solutions. Collaboration also helps to ensure that the design aligns with the goals and vision of the project. It allows for open communication and feedback, which can be incredibly helpful in refining the design.

It’s essential to involve the client in the design process because they know their business better than anyone else. By collaborating with them, you can better understand their needs, preferences, and goals, and you can create designs that align with their vision. Involving clients in the design process helps to build trust, establish clear communication, and avoid any misunderstandings that may arise along the way.


What does a great collaboration with a client look like?


“The level of client’s direction may vary depending on their location and level of knowledge regarding their desired outcome. To ensure a successful collaboration with a client, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the specific web pages they require. In cases where they are unsure, we can work together to create a clear plan. Furthermore, having a defined idea of their content can help with the design process.

It is crucial to work with the client in a way that allows them to consider our advice on potential issues and solutions while also being receptive to our suggestions. We collaborate with clients to optimize site speed and minimize potential problems. We listen carefully to their requirements and provide expert guidance to enhance user experience.

The most productive collaboration with a client occurs when there is mutual respect for each other’s expertise. We value the client’s business goals and ideas, while they trust and value our suggestions and experience.

In the end, a superior designer is someone who can accomplish these aims by producing a visually striking end product that fulfills both the client’s objectives and user requirements.”

Benefits of Collaborating with Clients


Collaborating with clients in the design process has many benefits. Understanding the client’s needs is crucial to creating a successful design that meets their requirements. By working together, designers can gain insight into the client’s goals and preferences, which can help them tailor their design approach to meet those needs.


  • Collaborating with clients can help designers better understand their needs and expectations for the project.
  • It can also help avoid misunderstandings by ensuring that both the client and designer are on the same page throughout the design process.
  • Working together can also build trust between the client and designer, leading to a more positive and productive working relationship.
  • Ultimately, collaborating with clients can enhance the final product by incorporating their feedback and ensuring that the design meets their goals and objectives.




Strategies for Successful Collaboration


Success is dependent on effective teamwork. To achieve this, some strategies come in place. By employing them strategies, designers and clients can work collaboratively towards a successful outcome.


  • Clear communication ensures that all team members understand the objectives and expectations of the project.
  • Defining roles and responsibilities allows team members to focus on their strengths and work towards a common goal.
  • Setting realistic goals and timelines ensures that the project stays on track and avoids delays. 
  • Encouraging feedback fosters open communication and allows for the integration of diverse perspectives, leading to a better final product.
  • Being flexible and adaptable allows the team to pivot when necessary and respond to unexpected challenges.


Tools for Collaboration


With the advancement of technology, there are numerous tools available to help designers and clients work together seamlessly.

  • Project management software, such as Trello and Asana, can be used to assign tasks, track progress, and set deadlines.
  • Communication tools like Slack and Zoom facilitate real-time conversations and video conferencing.
  • Sharing tools, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, allow for easy sharing of files and documents.
  • File-sharing platforms like InVision and Figma enable designers to create interactive prototypes and share designs for feedback in real-time.


Challenges of Collaboration


Collaboration between designers and clients can be a rewarding and productive experience, but it’s not without its challenges. Communication barriers can arise when both parties are not on the same page or when there are language or cultural differences. Creative differences can lead to misunderstandings and misaligned expectations. Limited resources can also impact the quality of work and timelines. Conflicting schedules can make it difficult to coordinate and prioritize work effectively. However, by being aware of these challenges and finding ways to address them, designers and clients can still work together successfully to achieve their goals.


While there may be challenges in successful collaboration, by using the right tools and strategies, designers and clients can work together to enhance the final product and achieve their desired outcomes. Embracing collaboration can lead to better understanding of client needs, avoidance of misunderstandings, building trust, and ultimately, creating a successful project. So, don’t be afraid to collaborate and bring the best out of your design projects.


“In the design industry, collaboration is key. It’s not just about the designer creating something on their own, but rather it’s about working together with the client and other team members to achieve the best possible outcome. A great designer is always open to feedback and willing to make changes to their design based on the client’s input.”

Brianne Fortier

Connect with Bri on LinkedIn!


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Leading with Empathy: Why It’s Essential for Effective Leadership in Today’s Business World

Effective Leadership in Business

The Benefits of Empathetic Leadership


Leading with empathy has numerous benefits for both employees and leaders. Philip Lorenzo, FYC Labs COO, highlights:


“The crucial aspect to consider when dealing with employees facing performance challenges is understanding their perspective. It’s not just about labeling them as underperforming but rather delving into the root causes behind their performance issues. We should ask questions like: Is it related to client issues? Are they encountering frequent obstacles? Identifying the underlying causes and approaching it with empathy is the key.”


One of the primary benefits of an empathetic leadership style is that it can positively impact employee motivation and productivity. When employees feel seen, heard, and valued by their leaders, they are more likely to feel invested in their work and be motivated to perform their best.


It’s also important to distinguish between chronic underperformance and temporary setbacks,” says Philip Lorenzo. “For short-term underperformance, a candid conversation to understand the situation can be immensely helpful. By taking this approach, we can humanely address the issue and offer support. We can also provide necessary resources to help the employee improve or even provide them with a break if needed. We have a flexible approach, including an unlimited PTO policy for full-time employees, to ensure our team members have the time and space to address personal matters.”


Empathetic leaders can also improve workplace communication and collaboration by creating an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. This fosters a sense of trust and openness, leading to better teamwork and increased creativity. However, if underperformance persists over an extended period, Philip Lorenzo suggests:


“We adhere to our standard protocol of progressive discipline, which may lead to termination. However, given our size and flexibility, we also explore alternative solutions for chronic issues. Our quarterly reviews provide opportunities for employees and contractors to receive feedback and adjust their work to enhance performance. If someone is genuinely trying to improve but struggling due to a steep learning curve, we consider repositioning them to areas where they excel. This allows them to regain their confidence before attempting the challenge again. Our goal is to support and uplift our team members. This means helping them return to their strengths and perform at their best.”


Additionally, empathetic leaders can help identify and address potential conflicts before they escalate, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings and workplace tension. Overall, leading with empathy can help create a positive work culture that benefits both employees and the organization as a whole.


Navigating Challenges with Compassion


One of the challenges is balancing empathy with decision-making. Leaders must make tough decisions that may not always align with the needs or desires of their employees. In these situations, an empathetic leader must balance their compassion for their employees with the needs of the organization. Another challenge is dealing with conflict and difficult situations.


“Empathetic leaders must navigate conflict in a way that shows compassion for all parties involved while finding a resolution that works for everyone,” advises Philip Lorenzo. “This requires active listening, emotional intelligence, and the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes. Empathetic leaders must also be willing to have difficult conversations, even when they are uncomfortable, to address and resolve issues in a productive and empathetic manner.”


Empathetic leaders must also be willing to have difficult conversations, even when they are uncomfortable, to address and resolve issues in a productive and empathetic manner.


The Power of Self-Awareness and Active Listening


Developing empathy in leadership requires intentional effort and practice. One way to cultivate empathy is by developing self-awareness. Leaders who are self-aware understand their own thoughts, feelings, and biases, which can help them understand others better. They can recognize when their own emotions or experiences may be clouding their judgment, which allows them to approach situations with a more open mind.

Philip Lorenzo emphasizes:


“Another important skill for developing empathy is improving active listening skills. Active listening involves being fully present in a conversation, paying attention to nonverbal cues, and asking thoughtful questions. When leaders actively listen to their employees, they are better able to understand their perspectives and concerns. This can help build trust and create a more empathetic work culture.”


By intentionally practicing self-awareness and active listening, leaders can develop their empathetic leadership skills and create a more positive work environment.


Building a Supportive and Inclusive Workplace Culture


Incorporating empathy into workplace culture involves creating an environment where employees feel supported and valued. One way to do this is by encouraging open communication. Leaders can create opportunities for employees to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns in a safe and supportive space. This can be done through regular one-on-one meetings, team-building activities, or employee feedback surveys. When employees feel like their voices are heard and their contributions are valued. They are more likely to feel invested in their work and motivated to perform their best.

Philip Lorenzo’s insights conclude:


“Additionally, leaders can incorporate empathy into workplace culture by modeling empathetic behavior themselves. When leaders show compassion for their employees and make an effort to understand their perspectives, it sets the tone for the rest of the organization to follow. By creating a culture of empathy and open communication, leaders can foster a positive and productive work environment that benefits both employees and the organization as a whole.”


Empathy can also positively impact employee motivation and productivity. Improved workplace communication and collaboration are other positives that come with it. Empathetic leaders can manage conflict and difficult situations better. By intentionally practicing empathy and incorporating it into workplace culture, leaders can create a positive work environment. That benefits both employees and the organization as a whole. Ultimately, empathetic leadership can improve organizational performance, enhance employee well-being, and promote long-term success.

Connect with Phil on LinkedIn.

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