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How to lead remote teams?

There are 3 concepts that need to be applied to ensure synergy between team members.

They are:

โœ” Shared Understanding

โœ” Shared Purpose

โœ” Shared Identity

Letโ€™s delve deeper into these concepts!

๐’๐ก๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐”๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐๐ข๐ง๐ 

In traditional models of developing teams there is the โ€œstormingโ€ phase where there is a controlled process of chaos.

Most of these โ€œstormingโ€ models were in fact developed for in person teams. The dynamic changes a bit for remote teams.

The responsibility of synergy falls solely on the shoulders of the leader and he or she will be responsible for minimizing conflict through the processes outlined yesterday.

What is shared understanding?

Shared Understanding basically means that a team is focused on solving the same problem at the same time and all members of the team are involved in the key moments of decision.

Shared Understanding takes in consideration the fact that different members have different skills, abilities and knowledge BUT it also considers different cultural contexts and constraints which can be super important.

To be fair these are also considerations we face in person but now the chances of being misunderstood are even higher.

You team needs to understand who is doing what, when and who to go to for help if complications arise.

(VERY IMPORTANT in avoiding bottlenecks and it CANNOT be the same decision maker for everything)

Here are a few of the things I do personally โ€“

1. Build in unstructured time during the week to talk about life events, family, industry news and mental health. I had a new team member a few weeks back give a virtual tour of his workspace at home, and he openly discussed some noisy challenges he was facing in the form of a construction project that was happening across the street.

2. Provide the team members with access to infrastructure. It is NEVER a great idea to assign one member to reset passwords for every single email, device or website.

PLEASE NEVER DO THIS. Remote teams rely on technology and itโ€™s a leadersโ€™ role to make sure that access is smartly and intently provided to enable better collaboration.

3. Access to information โ€“ In an office setting it is easy to walk over to HR to make changes to your health insurance but depending on the size of your remote team this can be challenging especially when working with different time zones. Being clear on who does what from the beginning and creating Standard Operating Procedures that work alleviates these frustrations.

I would take the opportunity to add an important note here. If you cannot default to trusting your employees, then youโ€™ve got bigger problems than you think, and you shouldnโ€™t be a leader in the first place.

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