For more and more companies, virtual workplaces are a thing to stay for the foreseeable future. And with this new shift comes a shift in how we navigate leading in a virtual environment.
Now, more than ever, interpersonal skills are taking the lead in how we lead. And while we don’t know how long this shift will last, it probably isn’t a bad idea to take a look at how we can shift our tactics to help keep ourselves and our teams productive and healthy during these times.
Take a look at this list of soft skills and see how you can up your leadership game while navigating the virtual workforce.
Show Trust in Your Team
Let your employees know that you trust them to be effective and productive in this new virtual environment. With this new shift, many of your employees are now having to do double time between work and personal life. Expressing to your team that you trust them to manage their day and time between juggling all they have on their plate while still getting their work done shows your team that they have autonomy – giving them some much need stress-relief.
It is a tricky time for everyone, and knowing that you are trusted goes a long way.
These times are stressful. Recognizing that your employees have added stressors and showing that you understand (and often share) these feelings opens the door for communication. Letting your team know that they can come to you when they are feeling overwhelmed relieves friction and paves the way for productivity across your organization.
Be Creative With Communication
It is no secret that most of the world, including most of your employees, are all Zoomed-Out. Throughout all of this, we have learned that long-gone are the days of 1-2 hour meetings in a virtual environment. Between having a house full of chaos going on in the background for some to a to-do list a mile long for others, attention spans are waning for everyone. It is time to start getting creative with how we communicate. Instead of company-wide meetings, start having smaller, team/project-focused check-ins to keep the time down and the purpose/focus centered. Schedule fun Q&A sessions or Virtual Water Cooler chats to gather and share information in a less structured manner. Having smaller meetings may feel overwhelming at first, but the effectiveness and productivity, as a result, will pay in dividends.
Remember That Laughter Really Is The Best Medicine
Ask any authentic leader, and they will tell you that story-telling and anecdotes can not just be a great way to break the ice when emotions are running high, but they also go a long way in engaging your team.
Scientific evidence proves that smiling and laughing releases endorphins that help to lower stress, heart rate, and blood pressure while lifting your mood! So use that superpower more, give your team more reasons to laugh, and smile throughout the day, and you will see an undeniable boost in productivity and attitude.
There is no denying that things are tough right now, and while the pandemic is no laughing matter, it does not mean that we cannot or should not enjoy and celebrate small joys when we can.
While we have no clue what the future holds, how long things will last, or what kind of ‘normal’ we have ahead of us, learning new skills for leading more effectively and authentically will never go out of style and are sure to be useful in any situation.
The Power of a Smile: “It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in a business, and is the countersign of friends. It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature’s best antidote for trouble.” –Dale Carnegie