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How to Lead Your Team Virtually

· Leadership
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Today, The Courage Factory’s Amanda Parker joined IE Business School to host an online Masterclass on the topic of Leading Virtual Teams. 100 of you joined us from all corners of the globe to talk through what it means to be a leader of a virtual team, especially in today’s crisis.

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You shared your biggest struggles at the moment with leading your team remotely. Some of the challenges we worked through were:

  • How to manage my teams fears and anxiety in the current crisis

  • Asking for feedback from coworkers

  • How to keep people engaged and motivated

  • How to handle the overwhelming amount of communication

  • Setting boundaries

We discussed these 4 Best Practices;

Show Compassion & Empathy

  • As a general rule, assume that each member of your team is doing their best.

  • Create a safe space to share what needs to be shared & show up for each other.

  • Ask your team how they are doing and share what you are experiencing.

  • Be authentic. Be honest.

  • Whatever your team members are feeling is okay. Whatever you are feeling is okay.

Communicate Effectively

  • Your team may be feeling overwhelmed or anxious about what’s going on. So might you. Things are uncertain and unclear - you don’t need to have all the answers, you just need to show up authentically and be transparent about what you do know

  • Your team looks to you for clarity and transparency - be honest

  • Keep the doors to communication open

  • Agree on communication tools that support your team to work well together

  • Have regular check-ins with the team - some for personal conversation and others for business-related discussions

  • Create an “open door” policy - schedule time to keep yourself in an open meeting and allow team members to join if and when needed

Practice Self-Care

  • Leading during crisis requires you to put even more focus on your own self-care

  • Self-care keeps you resilient by allowing you to rest and recharge

  • Set clear boundaries for yourself and your team - what are your working hours, when are you available, when are you not available (respect these boundaries from your team as well!)

  • You get to define what self-care means for you, e.g. going for a 30-minute walk, taking breaks, turning off your phone 2 hours before bed, meditation, watching a guilty pleasure TV show, eating healthy foods, etc

And especially important during crisis leadership;

Don’t Revert to “Business as Usual”

  • Crisis leadership is not typical day-to-day leadership and will require you to show up differently

  • Adapt your expectations of productivity & efficiency

  • Trust your team to get the work done when and how they can - 9-5 may not be realistic for your team

  • Let your team know how they can get support / voice concerns when needed

  • Set clear expectations for what you want from them

  • Give (and welcome) open feedback

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There was a wealth of tools, knowledge, and ideas from all across the globe as you shared tips, tricks, and commitments that you’ve made to yourself and your teams leaving this masterclass.

Some of the commitments you made during today’s session were:

  • No screen time before bed

  • Take a proper break away from laptop and phone

  • Check in text to one team member per day

  • Set specific calls for feedback and keep my “door open” virtually

  • Define rules of engagement with the team: figure out how we can work together in this challenging time

  • Some kind of movement every day

Thanks for the great feedback that’s already been shared.

Here’s what you had to say:

"Amanda held a truly inspiring talk about 4 main practices to help leaders go through this new reality... Thank you for your very interesting insights Amanda Parker and for such an amazing initiative IE Business School!” - Margarida Romeiro

"Thank you so much, Amanda! This was very inspirational!” - Karen-Marie

"Thank you this webinar was awesome” - Eleni Dravopoulou

"Thank you Amanda! you are one of the best speakers I have met in webinars!” - Jennifer Amelia

"Thanks a million! It was a very good session” - Danny Casprini

Here are some links we promised to share:

Thanks again to all of you who showed up today!

And to the many more who tried to join the call even after the capacity limit was reached. Just by signing up to participate it is clear that your commitment to your team and to be a better leader is strong. It was great to interact with you all and to feel the energy and enthusiasm for this topic.

If you want to continue to enhance your virtual leadership, sign up to be the first to know when the Leading Virtual Teams Online Course launches next week. Or, if you want more personalized support, schedule a 20-minute discovery call with Amanda to learn how Leadership Coaching can support you to reach your goals.

Please continue to share your commitments and other key learnings from today’s masterclass in the social sphere (we’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram) - Be sure to tag @couragefactory in your post!

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Hi, I'm Amanda Parker.

I'm an Online Leadership Coach and Founder of The Courage Factory. Through coaching with me, you will clarify & connect with your inner purpose and take courageous action towards it. I am your accountability partner to be a better leader and find more fulfillment in your work & life.
I work with both individuals and organizations to help people lead with confidence, courage, and purpose.