How to be an excellent remote leader

More and more businesses are going remote. 

Some of my own clients find transferring their leadership and management skills remotely to be a difficult adjustment. But the best leaders adapt and thrive. 

So what makes a remote leader effective? Delegating and managing your team (no matter where they are physically) takes excellent organization and communication skills. You have to remain invested in your team. Keep up with their progress and nurture their performances.

Here are 8 tips to get you on track to be the best remote leader possible.

1.   Have solid goals

We’ve all heard the phrase “the meeting that could’ve been an email.” It results from poor planning. To keep meetings productive set goals. Keep goals small and specific. Vague goals are hard to measure and nearly impossible to accomplish. Instead, use micro-goals.

A good micro-goal can be accomplished within the time of the meeting or end-of-day. Confirm a follow-up with a client, file a form, engage with your audience on social media etc. A micro-goals doesn't have to complete an entire task by itself. Instead, see it as completing a single step that will lead you towards the completion of larger project or goal.

It is a good indicator of your team’s performance and ability to deliver. 

2.   Keep Notes

Keep organized. Jot down important talking points or things that need to be revisited. Build on a meeting’s success by making note of what worked/didn’t, use it to prepare for next time.

Start with a recap of the previous meeting. Continue the momentum you built. It may spark an idea your team hadn’t previously considered.

This is a great task to delegate. Have a member of your team in charge of meeting notes and preparing the recap. This duty can rotate.

3.   Encourage Participation

If a member of your team isn’t speaking up, provide opportunities for contribution. Or ask them directly for insight on a matter. You shouldn’t have to play “teacher” and call on team members all the time, but it can be helpful to get the ball rolling. Set a precedent of dynamic and involved conversation.

4.   Limit Distractions/Runtime

Bring the same level of engagement and professionalism online as you would in-person. Set basic decorum expectations: have professional backgrounds (no cluttered spaces or distracting artwork), no children and/or pet cameos, and wear appropriate attire.  Limit any distractions (visual and/or auditory) that may detract your team’s focus and productivity. Request mics to be muted unless speaking.

 Don’t expect your team to stay laser-focused for an unreasonable length of time. Provide time for breaks. Plan meetings thoughtfully and block off time for varied demand and concentration. Don’t front-load the meeting with difficult and strenuous activities and expect the team to be at full energy at the end. Use your teams’ talent and resources in a strategic manner. Account for the genius zone

5.   Employ Gamification

How do you keep things interesting and engaging? We previously discussed the pros and cons of gamification. You can still employ this strategy online! My networking group raffles off gift cards/ different prizes devised by rotating members. It takes place at the end of the meeting to encourage participation and thoughtful work. Entries are earned through referrals and close business. 

This technique works best when the game is complex and changes. Challenge yourself to make more dynamic wins than the gift cards of the previous example. Think of things that will really benefit your team. Motivate them to be dedicated and hard working for the long-run. Think of wins that will enhance their work and career like mentors, conventions or trials of new, helpful software. 

How are you and your team adjusting? You can still expand your business and achieve your biggest goals, no matter what is going on in the world.  Let's build your business together. 

6.   Work with Tech

There will be disruptions and failures in technology. That is OK. Work with your team around and through technical difficulties. Work shouldn’t stop because of bad tech. Discover new ways of accomplishing your goals with the advantages of remote work.

For example: is your team able to take advantage new hours of availability or markets? Use the reach of technology to build your business and pivot your strategies. 

7.   Delegate Set-Up

Assign a team member with the task of setting up meetings, presentations, and any special requirements (preparing shared drives, coordinating schedules, setting up separate “break-away” rooms etc.). This type of admin work may not seem difficult, but it does require time and planning. It is a good idea to delegate this task so you can focus on higher-impact tasks.

8.   Set Reasonable Boundaries

Just because you and your team are living in your “offices” doesn’t mean you are expected to be "in" the office 24/7. Establish professional and reasonable boundaries with your team. Set do-not-disturb hours, and be firm with your time-off.  Keep your team feeling respected and balanced by discussing what your expectations are of their time and dedicated energy.

9.   BONUS: Adjust as Necessary

There will be new challenges and obstacles you discover on-site. Be flexible and patient. Work through the new normal together. Admit when you don't have an answer. Be willing to listen, learn, and work with your team on building your remote business. 

Don't get stuck in trying to replicate what you had in-person perfectly. There are limitations to remote working, but there are advantages. Make it make sense for your business. 

Putting it all together

This isn’t Kansas anymore! The modern workspace and culture is shifting. This is an exciting opportunity to rebuild how we interact and lead our team.

It can feel overwhelming and challenging, but that’s where we can help.  Beyond leadership guidance,  we can help you accomplish your biggest goals. Whether that’s gaining more clients, increasing sales, expanding your business, or building a market funnel from scratch, we have you covered.

With years in the industry we are master adapters and can help you pivot your business plan wherever you are.

Reach out for a free consultation today. 

We can help you build your business. Together, we will create a market funnel that enhances your outreach and makes an impact on your clients. We can help you get started and maintain the perfect system for your business.  

Book a free 1-hour Breakthrough Consultation with us.

Erickson Business Coaching

Erickson Business Coaching, Inc. is a training and coaching company dedicated to helping skilled professionals build successful practices.

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September 29, 2020

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