3 Abilities of the Leader of a Remote Team and the Courses I Recommend for Their Development
A paper published in 2020 by the Harvard Business Review stated that productivity is closely related to the way teams are managed by their leaders. And the pandemic challenged managers to develop leadership abilities for the remote teams.
Today, regardless of whether the employees go back to the office, work remotely or in a hybrid style, their managers still need to develop the abilities that allow them to manage decentralized teams.
Here are three abilities that I think a leader needs in the context of the remote work style:
What works in an environment where all employees are physically present at the office does not always work in a remote context.
For example, the work-from-the-office style is naturally and mainly based on synchronous communication, which is not always the case when each member of the team is working remotely and the information exchange takes places in an asynchronous manner (through messaging, e-mails, etc.)
You will have to identify and adapt to using those technologies and communication channels that best serve the needs of your team.
When all team members are present in the same space a more relaxed, familiar atmosphere tends to develop and it allows the kind of jokes and funny stories all team members will later on remember with a smile. In the context of a decentralized team that works remotely, such a thing is not possible. This is where your creativity comes in. Reflect on how you can facilitate moments of personal connection among team members beyond the meetings where you discuss your work and tasks. You will find a couple of useful tips here.
Understanding cultural differences
The remote work style breaks national cultural barriers and creates opportunities of collaboration among team mates living and working in different parts of the world, often on different time zones, with different customs, needs and understanding of certain terms.
We often don’t realize just how diverse linguistic nuances are, and how the slang and the jargon of the industry might have different meanings in different cultures.
Make sure to create an open and inclusive dialog with all the team members so that they are all aware of the communication differences that might occur or the different expectations of other team members.
Here is a book that might come in handy for that goal.
And for your development as a leader, here is a list of online courses that I think you might find useful: