Bring light to the darkness OR leading remotely during uncertain times

Sunday, February 14
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”
Theodore Roosevelt
Sounds simple, right? And at the same time, this simple quote can make a lot of sense when we find ourselves in an unfamiliar and at times challenging situation, like being on home office for an undetermined length of time.

When everything turns upside down, life challenges our creativity and invites us to adapt very quickly. This can already be scary enough, not even talking about managing remote teams during hard times… so how can leaders prepare for these unexpected and difficult moments, keep their calm and not lose control over the daily priorities, the business and most importantly the team?

Key ingredients to become a successful remote leader

1. More than ever, common purpose and clear objectives are strongly expected by employees. It gives them clarity and reduces the feeling of uncertainty. Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound) together, find a moment to discuss with your team where you want to go together and how you plan to get there. Do not be afraid to pause and see what you need to Stop, Start or Continue to adapt the best to your changing environment. Trust in individual and collective strengths and give space for creativity. Methods used in the past might not be adapted to new ways of working, so let your team members express themselves and design your action plan together to tackle remote challenges in a successful way.

2. Having a clear planning and continuous follow up with your team members during home office can allow to sort daily tasks / ongoing projects out successfully, while it also allows to tackle unexpected priorities and reschedule the initial plan. Start the day by asking yourself “What will make my work day successful?” and adapt your daily organization accordingly.

3. Show compassion and understand personal challenges. Patience and time are essential during this challenging period, because quite probably many of your team members also need to take care of the family and beloved ones. Be flexible and give them the liberty to organise themselves in a way that allows them to maintain their work-life balance.

4. Give space to your employees and trust them. Continuous control and lack of faith will decrease creativity, autonomy and leads to demotivation of the employees. Let them express themselves and giving them the opportunity to be disruptive & creative. You might be surprised by the number of excellent solutions one can come up with.

5. In our business driven world being generous and kind sometimes is perceived as sign of weakness. Whereas it is much more the sign of empathy and emotional intelligence. Virtual connection can create more distance between managers and their teams, so make sure you spend enough time to listen, to connect and to share with your teams. Be present, without being too bossy or controlling. Make them feel that you are all in this together and they can count on you if they face a challenge.

6. Organize regular touchpoint (without overwhelming your teams with virtual session) and keep your meetings short, efficient and constructive. Be clear on the agenda and expected outcomes. In parallel to the business meetings, do not forget to have fun and organise some virtual coffee, afterwork, game sessions and get to know each other better.

7. Remote working can increase the sense of isolation and it can impact your employees wellbeing. Make sure that you have regular feedback sessions to exchange about remote work challenges and listen, listen, listen to them truly.

8. Find time to celebrate individual and team achievements

9. Take care of yourself, because your metal health is key to your team’s success and wellbeing

Seems to be a lot to adsorb? Don’t forget to listen to your gut and think about what can you do to bring the most out of the situation.

You already have all the answers inside you, you just need to truly listen and dare to follow your deepest thoughts.

Keep calm and be well!

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