How to Better Lead Remote Teams

When leading remote teams, it is difficult to create the kind of connection you need to help people do their best work.

You can’t pick up on non-verbal cues. You can’t tell if they’re having a good or bad day. You can’t have those quick, informal interactions needed to form cooperative relationships. So it is really important to be clear and intentional about projecting to your remote workers the kind of environment and team culture you want.

There are a few things that the best leaders of remote teams do:

- Have a continuous dialogue, keeping in touch by any and all ways possible, and not just when the task needs it.

- Focus on more than tasks. Show interest in everyone’s successes and challenges, both personal and professional stuff. Master the art of chatting and talk about yourselves as well.

- Listen more carefully. Be more attentive, more alert for signs and clues, and more conscious of the need to understand what is really going on.

- Be really clear about what needs to be done …the goals each employee needs to achieve and what standards need to be met. Less time together requires more clarity up front.

- Ask more questions ...questions about context, things that get in the way, local relationships, and resources. Make fewer assumptions about how things are - inquire more and assume less.

- Do more coaching, talking about priorities, resources, opportunities, possible pitfalls, and choices - and working together to come up with great solutions.

Bad remote managers do the opposite of these things. They listen less, not more. They make assumptions and do not offer help. They gather information they need but do not share. They give tasks without offering support. They take little interest in the person on the other end of the line. And they do not look forward to the conversation but see it as a chore. That makes them even more remote and less trusted - a vicious circle. Follow the positive tips and you create a virtuous circle.

To read the full article from ProjectManagement, please click here.

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