For the past decade I have worked and led teams globally from a remote home-based office. Leading remote teams can be very rewarding.
Working remotely may be new for many people experiencing changes since COVID-19. Some people may have to adjust to separating work from home-life, may need the right tools to track progress and productivity, may feel disconnected not being physically around people, or just need some additional structure to stay engaged.
|We are exploring 5 keys to successfully lead remote teams. As leaders, our main priority is serving our people. By developing and implementing these keys, leaders leading teams of any size, in any geography, leaders can be most successful during times of transition, change, stress, and crisis.
Communication and Connection
Change Leadership, not just change management
Emotional Intelligence and Empathy
KEY #4: Change Leadership
Change is the only constant. Leading through change is the fourth key in leading remote teams well.
Change management is not an unfamiliar term in business. These are the tools and processes that can help teams keep change efforts somewhat stable and under control. Having change management officers or programs are simply designed to minimize the disruptions that come from change.
Change leadership refers to the people that are driving the vision for larger and complex change.
As a leader of remote teams, you cannot see the people, may be working in different time zones, or all be working on different projects and programs and unable to be synchronized fully throughout your day. There are a few key things leaders can do to effectively lead change best with remote teams:
Empower your people. Right now, or during any times of uncertainty and crisis, change happens quickly and can be successful or detrimental to your business. This is the time for those of you with dominant personality styles and those who are very controlling, to give up some of that control to empower others so that you can move more quickly through change. As a leader, we have a window of opportunity right now to lead well. By empowering others, you build a stronger bench, succession and growth opportunities, and might see talents emerge. Leading remotely does not have to be a challenge. Let your teams explore the best ways to communicate with each other whether that be through tools like Skype, Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, or other methods. Your role is to allow them to thrive, while also ensuring goals and expectations are clear, are being measured and shared, and that you are investing your time communicating and connecting with the team to help them see they are on the right track, going in the right direction, at the right speed, for the right reasons.
The majority of people are change and risk averse. Did you know that? Do you know the personalities of your team? Do you know the behavioral profile of yourself under normal conditions as well as when you are under stress? If not, then consider tools like DISC. If you are interested in a 1:1 assessment, coaching, or team overview and workshop, let me know. DISC is the best tool I have found for dealing with change and leading well especially when under stress and during crisis. I am certified to administer DISC as well as teach and consult.
69% of the population have the dominant style called "S". This is the largest population and their greatest fear is loss of security. Sometimes change (and especially during a crisis), evokes this fear. Leaders can lead change best and well when understanding the strengths and fears of their teams.
Leadership starts with you. Not only are your employees experiencing change, so are you. To lead well with remote teams, or lead during these changing times, it is very important to take care of yourself. Someone recently told me, "you cannot pour from an empty bucket."
Remember, the objective of a good leader, is to lead people, and manage change.
Change leadership is paramount when dealing with crisis or new environments such as having a workforce suddenly shift to working remotely.
Leadership is the response-ability to build and maintain a high performing team, and is the fundamental resource for team survival (and thriving) and effectiveness.
If you would like to dig in deeper on how to lead change and serve your people better, I would love to share more with you about DISC human behavior assessments for individuals and teams. Additionally, let me recommend the 2 books "Today Matters" and "Intentional Living" both by John Maxwell. If you are interested in 1:1 coaching on this key, would like to join a small group study on the book, or are interested in how you can leverage these materials and tools for your team, reach out firstname.lastname@example.org.