Leading Your Remote Team
Be Observant and Proactive


Leading a remote team is a new challenge for many supervisors and managers. When you share a physical workspace with your team, you see people working, can listen in on their chit chat, and get a feel for how things are going. Without much effort, proximity provides regular, direct information about what is happening in the team. The cues are there to spur you to action when someone or something in the team needs attention.

Absent the cues proximity provides, you need to be more intentional about monitoring the condition of your remote team and performance of individual members. And you must be ready to act on what you see. What might have seemed trivial before, problems that would work themselves out naturally in an on-site team, can linger and corrode the coordination and collaboration that is essential at work today. By the time you notice a bigger problem, it has probably been festering for a while.

The tips below all work for on-site teams but are especially critical when you lead a remote team. They are simple, but not easy. Each takes time and demands your attention, two things in short supply for most leaders. So, the most important tip I can offer is this: take care of yourself first. Like the warning you get on a plane should the oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, you can't help your team if you are overwhelmed and distracted by other concerns.

Your greatest leverage on the many demands that come your way is a well-functioning team of capable, fully engaged performers. Manage the draw of tactical/technical work and lead yourself through your workday. Move leadership to the top of your to do list or onto your calendar to ensure your team is well equipped to navigate the odd times we find ourselves in.

And if I can help you try any of these tips, let me know.

What's working for you?

What are you seeing in your remote team? What practices and tactics for working with them are working for you? Feel free to share your thoughts below or get in touch to discuss your experience and these tips.

Leadership Anchors

In climbing, the “lead” is first up, setting the path or route. Along the way, the lead places “anchors”, points of attachment to provide “protection” for the lead and those who follow, freeing all to use their talents confidently and competently.

Our Leadership Anchors are habits and hacks for leading. With the right anchors in place and used well, you will be better able to apply your unique strengths and style to the challenge of delivering results by leading others.

Ask us how our coaching and content will help you be a better leader, on the job, where it matters.

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