Enjoy this video transcript of this week’s Monday Moment episode.
Good morning and happy Monday! I’m Monica Wofford and this is your Monday Moment.
|“…the way of work that we used to consider normal may not ever be the same again.”|
Our focus this morning is on improving on how you’re leading remotely. Because whether you’ve had employees in multiple countries for years and you all have been communicating digitally, and are well ahead of the curve, or as of a couple of weeks ago… working from your kitchen table, the table in your bedroom, or from a beautifully well-organized office in your home, is your “new normal”. Leading remotely is, at least for now, our new normal and there’s something to be said for the fact that after the invasive nature of the disruption from Covid-19 and this Pandemic, that the way of work that we used to consider normal may not ever be the same again. So, no matter how long you anticipate leading remotely, there is hope, and potential for improvement. Let’s look at three ways in which you can quickly improve how you are doing this no matter what kind of environment you’re doing it in.
Engage in Over Communication
Over communication is particularly important in times of crisis and significant change. This is particularly true in times when the change is not only significant but constant, every 5 minutes it seems like. The over communication is also important when there’s something completely new and different. Many teachers now have been thrust in an environment where they didn’t sign up to be a virtual educator, they signed up to be in that classroom. Well, we’re all learning, hence the change of venue. We’re learning how to do things differently, how to become an early adopter, how to manage stress, how to be adaptable, and yes how to do remote teaching, training, communicating, and leadership. That means your role and responsibility now looks different. Communicate to them how you will now lead; what do you expect of them in the way of joining a webinar early or hopping on Zoom. What do they do if it’s crashing? How do you expect them to communicate with each other? Is it text, a phone call, a voicemail, through instant messenger? What do you expect of them in the way of consistent battery charging or how they come dressed to a video conference? Back when I was doing broadcasting, and that was my career aspiration, it was a new joke that broadcasters wore a nice top and shorts and tennis shoes on the bottom. This is now a THING, but you have to communicate with them how to handle it. Not to mention, communication works better when you also create some sort of structure. One idea might be to have everyday huddles with the team, particularly when there’s a crisis looming or currently overlapping all of your workflow, and that of your customers. It also means touching base one on one with each team member, in some communication, medium daily. The stress, the crisis, or the anxiety may also warrant additional communication in between scheduled connections. You want to share with them any new messages to the point that the response you get is – yeah, yeah, we got it. You told us – and then tell them one more time. Next to over communication is the second step that may have some overlap and similarities, but is different.
Develop Repetitive Patterns
Maybe in your morning huddle, where your efforts to over communicate first begin, you have that morning huddle at 8 a.m. eastern every day from now through the foreseeable future. Maybe you touch base with Harry at 3 p.m., Susie at 2 p.m., Irene at 1, and Bob at 5 – and that becomes something people can count on. It becomes an element of constancy and/or, for some, stability. You see some of those you lead remotely are going to need stability, constancy, and security and in the face of such a tumultuous change and activity, that can be hard to find or keep consistently. Your repetitiveness will be an element they cling to like a buoy in the middle of a storm filled ocean, but also it gives you more energy to think about the other things that may be happening that are unexpected. Develop repetitive patterns for your team huddles and your one-on-ones and even other areas. Create the system once and forget it but stick to it. This also applies to the way in which you communicate urgent information and the use of a repetitive system like Defcon 1 – Defcon 2, or red, green, yellow to indicate severity or urgent nature. Developing these kinds of systems will add structure to chaos and when you can add structure to chaos it gives you more energy to handle the chaotic.
Give Yourself Permission
The third way for you to improve your ability to conduct effective remote leading is, well, I’m going to call it… give yourself permission. In these times of high stress, and we’ve been in them for a while now, but it seems we may also have more coming, it’s appropriate, powerful, and important for you to give yourself permission to take a break when you need one, to not have things be perfect, and to allow for more consistent interruption. This new definition of co-workers including pets, fur babies, and children is right now being met with a tremendous amount of heartwarming tolerance and grace. I suggest that’s something we continue. Give yourself permission to see humor in the situation. Maybe it’s time, in many ways, that we give ourselves permission to look at the big picture, to look at what really matters, and to look at, as Stephen Covey used to say, the big rocks in your bucket. Give yourself permission and try to avoid the mounting up of frustration, the building up of resentment, or just the right on the surface anger about things that at one point were minimal, maybe even normal, and now might be the straw that is a little too heavy for that camel. Give yourself permission to take that break when you need to, turn off the webcam when you’re not feeling it, and maybe to eat that Oreo or two, when you don’t quite have the motivation or discipline that you thought you did. All is not lost and in fact, it’s a matter of stress, along with the learning again, by choice or by force, that sometimes this means there’s little bandwidth for much else.
We’re learning at an unprecedented pace. We’re being forced into things that we never expected and if you’re not an early adopter who loves the speed of change it’s quite likely you screamed into a pillow or two in the recent days. But, as we settle in, we can remember, even in the face of change, there’s opportunity to learn something and expand our experience. Maybe it’s learning about yourself. maybe it’s learning about that woman on Facebook and the power of putting a kid in a Spider-Man costume behind you while trying to work, or maybe its learning to just maintain our sense of humor. For today, maybe it also learning how to improve how you are providing exceptional remote, and or virtual, leadership.
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment have a great week, an even better Monday and yes, of course, remember … your leadership, yeah, it’s still contagious.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a celebrated leader who develops future leaders. CEO of Contagious Companies, her firm delivers and designs leadership training for managers who’ve been promoted, but not prepared, and the leaders who promoted them. Author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, Monica and members of the Contagious team may be reached at www.ContagiousCompanies.com, www.MonicaWofford.com or by calling 1-866-382-0121.