[MLM #502] Leading Effective Remote Teams

published 3 weeks ago by Dr. Kim Moore - Your Leadership Guide

Hello leader. Welcome, to the MOORE Leadership Moment. I’m your Leadership Guide, Dr. Kim Moore. In this leadership moment, we’re going to discuss leading effective remote teams. But first, let me start with a question that has a great deal to do with your ability to lead remote teams: That question is: What’s your leadership style? Maybe you’re Authoritarian, or possibly you see yourself as a Laissez-Faire leader. Perhaps you’re more democratic. Every leader has a style… Effective leaders use a combination of styles and techniques to lead their teams. As a leader, I adjust my leadership style to meet the needs of the situation and my team members. As a leader, you also have a communication style. Throughout my career, I have worked with leaders who prefer to communicate in writing. They would write long detailed emails to share information. I have also worked with leaders who prefer verbal communication. They would share critical information through meetings. Technology has changed the way we work, which has required leaders to adapt how they share information. Email, text messages, and video conferencing are just a few examples that have not only changed how we communicate, but the speed at which we share information. Depending on my role, I have adjusted my communication style. Now, I must admit I prefer to communicate verbally. I don’t like to write or read long emails or documents. Because my leadership style is primarily democratic, face-to-face communications are very comfortable for me. COVID-19 has forced many of us to work remotely to flatten the curve. Therefore, we have changed how we work, communicate, and lead. I can no longer walk over to my team’s area and sit down for a chat. In the current climate, I must use technology when building and strengthening relationships. When I first started leading remotely as a result of COVID-19, I made several mistakes. Instead of doing the things I would normally do, I became hyper-focused on productivity. My day began with an eight o’clock videoconference, followed by a nine and then ten o’clock session. My afternoon scheduled mirrored my morning schedule. It was exhausting for me and my team. Instead of creating space for personal connections, we were trying to maximize our time together and increase productivity. During the first couple of weeks, the way we worked to accomplish our organizational goals had changed. Our meetings were more directive and not very collaborative. We would spend our time talking at each other instead of talking to each other. As a result, frustrations were high, and productivity declined. While we were working very hard, our pace was not sustainable. Although we were working remotely, we still needed to implement the best practices of effective leadership. Taking time to connect with your team is one of those best practices I ignored for the first couple of weeks. To help our team connect, we set up group texts to share personal highlights. Recently I shared my journey into the world of cycling. As a result, I have a better understanding of who my team members are as individuals. Anxiety still exists however, stress levels have declined, and our productivity has increased. Remember, as the leader, you set the tone for your team. Our meetings now include time to catch up with each other. We laugh and talk about the impact of working remotely. For example, we have tried to prepare gourmet meals; cut, color, and style our hair, and landscape our yards. Darren Hardy said it best when he said, “Effective leadership depends on your ability to connect and motivate people. Not on your title, position, or power.” Here’s the bottom line. While working remotely has required us to change where and how we work, we must still work at effectively leading our teams! Thank you for viewing the MOORE Leadership Moment. Are you leading an effective remote team? #YourLeadershipGuideKim

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