Working remotely has always been a trend, but it grew even more recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adjusting to the new normal has been rather challenging, especially for both management and staff.
When you think of managing a team remotely, the challenges are different from managing staff directly. Your leadership skills as a manager or remote team leader will be tested. Now more than ever, you’ll need to up your leadership skills to motivate and inspire your team. Here’s how you can do it rightly.
How to take your leadership skills up a level while working remotely:
Communication and Listening
An opportunity to step up your leadership skills during remote work is to improve team communication. Since you are not interacting directly with your team, speaking to them remotely cuts some degree of nuance in tone and body language. It becomes imperative that you focus carefully on what your team members are saying.
Furthermore, there’s a higher chance of misunderstanding and miscommunication in a remote team. It then becomes essential that you identify causes of communication breakdown and proffer solutions to address them. You may consider using communication tools like chats, video conferencing, and file-sharing software. These can help in making communication clearer since these tools work in real-time. And the messages or recordings are always there for everyone to look at if they require some clarity.
As a leader working with a remote team, how do you manage staff performance? You’ll require the ability to set expectations and manage your teams’ performance across distance. In an office environment, you can monitor physical performance using visible cues of staff working on their computers to measure performance. Performance management in environments is a bit different.
Although some leaders might tend to rely on intrusive video monitoring or time tracking, there are better ways to manage virtual performance. Aligning metrics tailored to output and work product and rusting each team member to complete their task can be more effective. Thus, you need to master the skill of virtual performance management. Such skills should include precise communication on expectations, incentivizing effective contributions, and celebrating achievements.
Conflict can occasionally occur between co-workers, even when they work remotely. As a remote team leader, you need to have the skill of conflict resolution. This is because the conflict in a remote team is even more challenging because of technology barricades. When a conflict is face-to-face, you can quickly tell from emotions and body language. However, in a remote work setup, it isn’t easy to read emotions. And so you’ll have to pay rapt attention to identify and manage such conflicts.
Then you can go ahead with a neutral position to facilitate dialogue among your team. Allow each person to clearly explain their point of view till you get to the point of shared understanding. Let your team know that it is not about personal convictions. It is about achieving team goals and the growth of the organization. By practicing this skill, you’ll gradually learn to lead yourself and the team towards a more inclusive and productive remote team.
When working remotely, you experience changes that require flexibility skills to navigate them. So how do you navigate through transitions and lead your remote team? First, you need to stay calm, evaluate the situation, and quickly find and implement solutions. For instance, your team might struggle to meet up project deadlines when newly working remotely. The reason might not be farfetched because working from home means distractions are bound to happen.
Some team members might also be faced with technology challenges. As a leader, you need to encourage your team to set out hours that they put in office work, devoid of distractions. There are also team collaboration tools where the team can simultaneously work on a project. It can help facilitate speed and reduces delays.
For example, you can use top writing review websites to find a team that works remotely. Documents go through several writers and editors for their comments or reviews. Here, using a collaboration tool allows the team to upload, share, and review papers with ease. With this, you avert the issue of your team missing deadlines.
Emotional intelligence (EI)
EI is another critical leadership skill to have while working remotely. Again when there is no physical interaction with your team, it is hard to tell who is struggling or having a bad day. While some might open up, others may find it hard to share their challenges. Since you don’t have the luxury of physical interaction, you’ll need to be able to pick up on more subtle cues. It will help you to manage your team and provide support as a leader appropriately.
You can also have regular one-on-one chats and check-ins with your team members. Catching up with them lets them know they have your support, and it helps to forge a better relationship with them. The chats must not always be work-related. Speaking with them generally will make it easier for them to approach you with any questions or challenges they might have.
Learning and Development
Not everyone on your team might be conversant with working remotely. So as a leader, you must provide them with training to be effective during remote work. You can also support your team by setting goals, sharing learning experiences and material on the development. Your team members’ growth is critical, and it is your responsibility as a leader to ensure it happens.
Try to understand the skill gaps and opportunity areas th5at each team member must develop within the organization. Also, make sure that they are up to speed with new technology that can aid remote work. Such as automation software, communication, collaboration tools, sites like best essay services reviews, etc.
Leadership skills are essential in an organization. And as a remote team leader or manager, you need to level up on your skills. Your team members are spread across different locations and require organization and direction. Thus you need to be able to provide clear communication channels to ease interaction. You also need to be flexible in the event of unforeseen changes.
When conflicts occur, you need to steer the team towards resolution and the most important goals. Reach out to your team and touch base with them as frequently as possible. Remember, developing these leadership skills for remote work is not a day’s job. Never stop learning and putting new knowledge into practice.