Published date: October 14, 2020
Last modified: October 14, 2020

Leading Remotely – be an engaging leader

Leading remotely can be lonely and at times feel like a frustrating experience. We also can make some assumptions about how we and others should or do feel. I think we can all identify with this if we reflect over the past months.

Some of us find it more challenging to work remotely or from home.

A recent Gallup survey says Millennials find it more tough. We can sometimes make assumptions; they are more tech savvy and happy online. They report suffering from a lack of motivation. Distractions, loneliness, switching off from IT.

It is important to focus on how we keep our teams engaged. Get it right and you will feel less frustrated and happier – looking after your own well-being and that of your team. You will have great collaborations and achieve great results.

The same recent Gallup survey also says…

  • 70 % of an individual’s motivation comes from their line manager!
  • 68% of people surveyed report liking to work from home and would like to continue in
  • some form post lockdown.

You are key to your own and your team’s success more than ever.

We need to consider what we have learned in lockdown and ask what ‘new normals’ do we want to keep? As we are seeing less of each other in person, take time to make small talk and have cameras on. A quick short or even abrupt email is still softened by some face to face interaction at site or in the office.

This is not so when remote? So think how the technology can fit with your ‘new normal’ Get people on a call early for a meeting and they can chat as they would in the actual meeting room – You can put them into smaller breakouts to facilitate this I only used it recently and it worked so well.

Why not use old travel time for 1:1 catch ups?

We can as leaders feel more frustrated than usual. We can expect too much of ourselves and others – which can affect our impact on others. A favourite phrase is ‘Do at they would be done by…’

You may want to think of a time over the last couple of months you have felt frustrated. What could you do differently?

We should start by recognising that if you are feeling frustrated by a situation it is likely because something isn’t going the way you think it should – then identify what it is you believe shouldn’t be happening.

Then identify what it is you would prefer to be different. Thinking about what you want instead of what is bothering you puts you in in the right place to move forward.

Move from reacting to generating a solution, that will reduce your frustration and improve how you feel.

Be curious in your thinking not fixed – don’t go thinking the old way is best!

Improve your communication – there is a saying hindsight is foresight!

We can all replay previous conversations and improve future ones.

How can we make a recipe for success?

  • Trust people – let go a little – improves inclusivity – let people innovate to meet challenges.
  • Involve people more in the decision-making process to improve work-life balance. Grow your relationships.
  • Spend more time on visual platforms – team-building – gamify – have fun. Allow people to train /practice.
  • Use platforms for a social get together – drinks after work may help to make technophobes more comfortable at ease. Hold a fun and interactive team strategy day.
  • Be flexible with schedules and routines– have gaps between meetings.
  • Allow ‘flex’ for lunchtimes and split working hours where you can. Split hours.
  • Work on developing your own and others resilience to cope with changes.
  • Taking a walk midday – can make you more productive. Encourage others to do the same.

Your people will feel more engaged and go the extra mile for you if you offer flexibility. e.g. school pickups and exercise.

Now is a great time to take stock and reflect on how you can make remote leadership really work for you and your teams.