With the coronavirus pandemic, remote leadership has come upon the agenda of many organizations. Although leadership had already been executed remotely in many companies, it would mainly take place at the office and remote leadership didn’t play a part in everyday life. Whether we’re talking about remote work or remote leadership, I believe that there is no going back to how things were.
I’m sure we’ll eventually stop talking about remote work and remote leadership and simply speak of work and leadership. For many, the work of the future is not connected to a location; we’ll work where it’s the easiest and most practical.
Why do some teams continue to outperform others, even during the pandemic?
Regular remote interactions are a perfect way to ensure that you have a continuous dialogue and communication with your team. During the pandemic, the need for these interactions becomes even more important. Many organizations have confirmed to us that those teams with a regular structure for one-on-one and team meetings have performed significantly better compared to others. With many organizations, we’ve discussed how to make these learnings the common practice across all teams.
How is remote leadership different?
So what difference is there between leadership and remote leadership? The biggest difference, of course, is that remote leadership happens remotely: we cannot see and interpret the other person in the same way we can face-to-face, and there will be no more spontaneous meetings at the coffee machine. This means that consistency, proactivity, and systematicity are key in remote leadership. Here are 5 tips from me to you for better remote leadership (although of course, they’re just as useful for non-remote leadership ;))
- Give meetings a structure and context. It’s important to define what kinds of recurring interactions happen during a given time period. The contents, or agenda, should be in line with the corporate culture your organization wants to build. Above all, the contents should reflect the kind of leadership your organization is after.
- Involve the team in meeting prep. Keep the agenda, notes and planned activities available to all participants. The best interactions are ones that everyone is prepared for. Clearly tell participants the things you want them to prepare for in advance. Encourage participants and give them an opportunity to add topics they find important right now to the agenda.
- Be present. When everyone is well prepared, there’s no time wasted on endless note-taking and you can focus on listening. In addition to your standard agenda, I recommend talking about other things as well: “Hey, how’s your house project coming along?”
- Document and stick to the plan Record agreed-upon tasks, the people in charge of them and their schedules in a way that makes returning to them in the next meeting easy. Make sure that promises are kept.
- Ask for feedback. Although you are a leader, you’re also a human who can benefit from feedback. Don’t hesitate to ask how the participants feel about the discussion and whether there’s something you could’ve done better.
Leading remote teams with Humbol
As you can see, it’s not rocket science. These things are simple, but to create the desired effect, they require consistency and a systematic approach. This is emphasized when leading remote teams.
We at Humbol know that new times require new ways of working. We’ve developed a service platform to give leaders more time for better leadership. We believe good interactions are the key to better leadership. If you want to know how Humbol can support you in the things mentioned in this blog post, book an online meeting from this link.