Today, I wanted to talk about remote leadership best practices, and in particular, what as a remote leader you should really be focused on.
I know that so many of us have become remote leaders, whether it's a byproduct of the pandemic, or maybe you've been already leading remotely for a while because that's the direction that work has been heading, but in either case, you've wrestled with this question of, are there things that as a remote leader I am overlooking, or should lean into more? And so that's what I wanted to answer today.
There are two best practices for remote leaders that I find, above everything else, it's really important to lean on. The first is, as a remote leader, you'll want to make sure that you are protecting your team's time.
Time and attention is perhaps the most valuable asset we really have in a team to be able to get work done, and yet in a remote environment, oftentimes when there's so much communication happening, and hopefully a lot of it is asynchronous communication and that you as a leader have been encouraging, channels to happen and a lot of writing to happen, but even when that's the case, oftentimes so many of us in a remote environment can feel like there's just a million pings going on and so much to do, and so it's actually really difficult for your team to get real work done if we as leaders are not protecting their time actively, and really the best way to do this is, as a leader to set the example for protecting your team's time.
This means that when you have that awesome idea that comes to mind and you're just trying to get it off of your head, it's actually to pause before just sending it off in slack. Perhaps instead of just pinging someone directly, you actually protect your team's time and write up a memo and place it somewhere, whether that's Basecamp or Asana or some kind of tool that you're using to make sure that folks can have a separate time to look at it.
This could also mean recording meetings for your team, so they don't feel like they need to be on every single meeting but actually have an opportunity to revisit it at another time.
You can also protect your team's time by creating automatic status updates, and so instead of holding daily standup meetings, what you do is, you ask everyone to write a really quick 30-second writeup of what they're focused on for that day, or for that week. And actually here at Know Your Team, we use our Heartbeat Tool, in fact, for this, but either way, you could totally do this manually or absolutely just have a Slack channel where you ask folks to share a status update. All these small actions really compound to making sure that your team has big chunks of uninterrupted time, and trust me, they will thank you for it.
The second thing as a remote leader that you're going to want to be extra conscious of, even more so than when you were leading in person, is really just to make sure that you are really understanding your team's work preferences.
So often in a remote environment, we make a lot of assumptions about how people like to communicate or receive feedback, how much social interaction they want based off what we ourselves want as leaders, which is completely natural, but the number one thing to keep in mind here is that, we don't know, right.
We don't know what people are going to prefer in their work environment. We don't know whether someone's going to enjoy having more happy hours or more one-on-one time, what's really gonna support a person's growth, and so remote environment, in particular, make sure you're acting, ask active questions to really understand a person's work preferences.
So keep these two pieces in mind as a remote leader, make sure you're protecting your team's time more than anything, and then as well, make sure that you are understanding people's work preferences in your remote team. And those are two key best practices to zoom into. I hope this tip was helpful.
Know that you can also visit knowyourteam.com for so many more tools and resources and look forward to sharing more of these tips with you in the future.
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