Especially at the beginning of a project kick-off meetings are essential, both in the two-person conversation as in the entire team, as well as in "fixed virtual team structures" and large global scattering meetings at least once or twice a year. Due to the "trust bonus", the costs incurred are saved many times over with every virtual contact via Skype, chat or collaboration using Yammer, Lync.
Especially these cross-world meetings offer time and space to talk about differences, diversity in the team to open, to find common rules and procedures, but above all to weld the team together as people through fun and joint celebrations.
Listen and learn from each other
Listening is one of the most important skills for leadership and career in the digital age, - focused listening with "real" individual attention. Leadership in the digital world demands the ability to keep track of high dynamics, to deal with the new variety of thinking and working styles and decision making, to bring together capacities, to live values and, at the same time, to promote personal bonding. However, this takes time, personal openness, and the courage to allow closeness, to share preferences, goals, different approaches, to find solutions together, and to learn from each other and from each other.
Digitized forms of collegial cooperation therefore demand virtual ethics, emotional intelligence and training. Training for both the employee and manager. For example, only 87% of the 16% managers have received training for virtual work, and only in the handling of the tools. Virtually no one has dealt with the rules in Puncto communication, cooperation, ethics of a digital, culturally diverse cooperation.
The 7 Success Factors for virtual leadership
- Mindful corporate culture: The values of corporate culture provide the framework, the framework, the orientation, the rules and guidelines for which purpose and purpose are worked together on a vision.
- Find "adult employees": Team-oriented and with high self-motivation and self-control, which above all share the values and vision of the company.
- Onboarding process: To invest a lot of time in the beginning: to give guidance and support to grow into the organization, to familiarize new employees with the structures, values and objectives of the company. Clarify how IT and collaboration tools work. Where and how knowledge, documents and results are stored in knowledge and project databases. How communication is maintained, which wording, what reaction times are usual. How conflicts are communicated. Mentors from leadership and colleagues who are available for questions and support.
- Being interested in people and making clear goals: Feel and understanding of individuality: work style, preferences, personal priorities, basic conditions and objectives. Clarify the expectations of leadership, performance, growth opportunities, teamwork and approach. A mutual process to dismantle the discrepancy between self-perception and the perception of others on the part of both the executive and the employee, and to build up mutual understanding and appreciation.
- Trust employees and "let go": When the points 1 through 4 are observed, the leader believes in the person and gives freedom, authority and delegation. It can "let go" in reliance on the result orientation and the sense of responsibility of the employee: Trust is good - control is not better, but demotivating.
- Maintain intensive feedback culture, open communication based on partnership: Digital "Management by walking around" - via Skype and visual collaboration tools, in which facial expressions and gestures can convey the respective mood. Open chat forums, wikis, digital boards where team members can quickly learn about status and results of 24 / 7 and bridge time differences, as well as knowledge bases where knowledge such as lessons learned is available anytime, anywhere is.
- Create a new meeting culture and strengthen the sense of community: In addition to personal face-to-face, weekly video or teleconferencing, there should be sufficient room for informal communication - without a goal, just for fun (virtual lunch, virtual coffee hour). At the weekly meetings, watch for global time shifts and balance the burden.
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