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Leading Remotely With Engagement and Productivity

If you did not know, my dissertation topic was on virtual/remote leadership. Yes, I studied all sorts of leadership, but my focus was on leaders with remote teams. I will not go into detail on my research, but here are some strategies to help you lead remotely during the Coronavirus.

1. Schedule weekly individual and team video conference meetings

The most productive form of communication will be face-to-face; however, with all the different video conferencing ways, you can still achieve the face-to-face richness, without being in person. Schedule weekly check-ins via zoom, skype, Facebook, Facetime, etc. with your team members and the whole team.

2. Use SMART communication

Make sure that your correspondence via email is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-specific. For example, “John, I need you to complete your timesheet by 5 p.m. Thursday and send it to Anna and copy me.”

3. Address all crucial conversations via video conferencing

If you are not able to schedule an in-person meeting to address critical issues, set a video conference call. Do not use the phone or email to discuss high-stakes conversations. Make sure you are clear about the content you want to address, your intentions, what you are saying and not saying, action, and follow-up. Attempt to minimize ambiguity and assumptions in your conversation and speak from your heart.

4. Get everyone on the same page

What you tell one team member should be the same as the next. The more you can post group conversations on your group platform, the better. Record video or phone messages to the team.

5. Allow for dialogue

Use a work platform that allows for ease of discussions such as Voxer, Facebook, or Microsoft 365. Do not overcomplication communication with complicated platforms to navigate. The platforms should be userfriendly and engaging.

6. Plan for technology errors

Keep in mind virtual time so that you can get what you need by when you need it. Plan communication, goals, and work ahead to give your team ample time to respond and complete their tasks.

7. Allow for flexibility

The benefit of working remotely is a person can get work done at the best hours for them, so be flexible. Allow your team to decide when the best time for them to do their work will be to maximize their production and minimize their distractions. Understand that there may be children, animals, and chores in the home. Communicate with your staff on a schedule that works best for them, given their distractions, workload, and productivity time. Some people work best in the mornings and again in the evening when distractions are less. Be understanding and trust your team.

Please feel free to comment, share, and subscribe. If you would like more help with navigating remote leadership and teams, please contact me at

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