How to Navigate the Toughest Virtual Leadership Challenges
In a remote work setup, how do you plan on sharpening your skill set, re-energising your team and achieving common goals together?
In a study conducted by FinancesOnline.com, it showed that 86% of remote workers found online communication and collaboration to be more difficult than face-to-face interactions. Some employees may begin to have that “It’s not my job” mentality, only working to complete their quotas as a result of miscommunication, misguidance or lack of synergy between leaders and their team members.
Other challenges that leaders with virtual teams face include managing conflicts (86%), timeliness and responsiveness (80%). Evidently, it’s become more challenging for leaders to keep team members motivated and engaged in a virtual world where it’s easier for individuals to stay almost invisible.
And we can’t brush aside the possibility that more radical changes will surface in the modern workplace. It won’t be long before remote offices become a mainstay. So, in this article, we share evidence-based solutions to help you overcome the toughest virtual leadership and team management challenges.
First Off, Manage Yourself
Taking a rain check on your gym appointment is easier than rescheduling a client meeting or coaching session, right? Before you know it, days or weeks have already gone by yet you still haven’t done your wellness check.
Excellent leaders know how to tend to their own self-care by having a consistent daily work schedule and taking well-being breaks. As a leader who treats their well-being and happiness seriously, you’ll be inspiring people to thrive in the workplace. Taking active steps to maintain a well-balanced life is essential to making the remote work successful.
Set Clear Visions
Every great leader can be capable of running an organisation. But not all leaders are visionary enough to set clear goals and how to achieve them as a team. And what could be the pillars of leading with vision and goal setting? Doing it SMART!
Define Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented and Time-bound goals. And before cascading these to the team, ensure that goals are aligned with their duties.
Virtual teams who are working towards clear visions and common goals drive morale and efficiency up.
Empathy in a workplace setting is the leaders’ ability to place themselves in another’s position. Without empathy, you won’t be able to build and nurture relationships. Genuine care for and appreciation of your people goes a long way, such as knowing when your employee might need mentorship or a simple but heartfelt “Thank you.”
Your people become more involved in purpose-driven work when you can connect with their hopes and fears. This takes time and energy, however, and often involves you making those deposits in your people’s emotional bank account.
Get to Know Your People
Become known for putting your people and the organisation’s needs above yours. You can set realistic expectations when you truly understand the wants and needs of your people. To decode and break down psychological barriers within your team, you can use personality assessment and culture development tools like REACH.
Getgood Consulting is a proud partner of REACH Ecosystem, which helps you understand and manage different personality types at work as well as discover your leadership style and the key motivators of your employees.
Discover Your Leadership Blindspots
Author Robert Bruce Shaw defines a leadership blindspot as “an unrecognised weakness or threat that has the potential to undermine a leader’s success.” This blindspot comes in different forms, such as lack of awareness, faulty assessment or failure to act, and each one can result in costly mistakes.
These leadership blindspots don’t go away. But the sooner you learn how to recognise them, the better, as you’ll prevent mistakes from reoccurring. To identify your blindspots:
- Be proactive in checking in with yourself; review your past and present mistakes.
- Be open to constructive criticism; ask feedback from your mentors or trusted colleagues.
- Gain fresh insights into your management style by using personality assessment and leadership development tools.
The challenges of virtual leadership come in many forms. Some employees may struggle with team communication or collaboration, lack of supervision and feeling either unproductive or overworked. On the other hand, you or your managers may feel overwhelmed with handling performance issues that come with the rapid shift to remote work.
As a leader, how can you help your managers and their teams reach their full potential? How can you keep your own leadership blindspots under control? Book a 30-minute discovery call with me, and let’s make 2021 a year of growth for your team and organisation.
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