In this era of a high technology, face to face meeting are no longer an option for many people. Working remotely during this pandemic time does provide us with the opportunity to reflect on how the best leaders succeed in virtual environments. By working from home and communicating via digital like Slack, Zoom, Webex and Google meet is not new. Many would argue that leading a virtual team requires the same leadership skills and attributes as leading a traditional team but is that really the case? While the key fundamentals of leadership hold true in both cases, virtual leadership scenarios offer unique and significant challenges.
Effective communication is a key for success. Although leaders and team members are not in the same geographic location and cannot have a face-to-face conversation. The guideline for communicating must set early with the team. By schedule up the virtual meeting time, date and which mode of communication to use for the meeting. Another component of communication is the frequency of discussions. It is the leader’s responsibility to keep everyone on the same page and to check in often.
When building virtual relationships with team members, relationships are built at the individual level. A virtual leader must be willing to make themselves accessible and available to their team members. The team building activities by virtual can be personal attention by the team members acknowledge birthdays, anniversaries, successes, and other achievements important to the individual. This establishes trust and helps promote engagement and synergy.
As a virtual leader you need to understand that working in virtual environment can make the team member lonely. They will not have the same energy, mood and productivity to finish up the task that given to them. As a virtual leader it is very important to know how the team member is emotional doing and provide all your support to them. Another type of support that will be necessary involves the work that team members perform.