Eliminating the Distance in Virtual Teams

Don’t Give up on Presence

Don’t give up on Presence

As I discussed in the video above, as leaders we need to always be thinking about how to engage and motivate our teams.

And the idea I want to talk about today is an important one because so many of us operate in geographically dispersed teams…

Just because you can’t be in the same room, doesn’t mean you can’t be present.

You can find ways to exert your presence during phone calls, video calls, and how you do your networking.

If you are the remote person, you make sure others know you are present.

If you are a manager of remote people and teams, you can focus on the idea of creating presence with each person, and with your team as a team.

There are many things you can do including virtual team building, video celebrations, how you manage your staff meetings, and how you encourage people to show up — and how YOU show up.

Just because you are not there, does not mean you can not have a strong presence, or encourage your team to be present for each other with their attention and communication.

This month the Topic in my Executive Mentoring Group is Remote Working Strategies.

There is an Executive Playbook on this topic that includes a streaming webinar and a workbook with tools templates and scripts.

Some additional things beyond presence that I talked about in the webinar including presence are:

1. Humanity

We tend to think less of remote workers… not in terms of their capability, but literally LESS.

We think less often of them because we don’t see them. It’s human nature.

In the webinar I talked about being more purposeful in creating systems and processes to make it more natural and habitual to include remote team members in day to day operations — and how to do so in a way that acknowledges and respects their humanity.

If you can truly connect with them as people instead of “remote resources” you’ll take a huge leap forward.

It makes an enormous difference in productivity if you build this type of trust with remote workers. But you won’t do it if you don’t focus on it.

2. Communicate on Purpose

I learn more about the value of communicating in purposeful ways every day–because it’s so easy to take for granted what we already know.

When you are working in virtual or remote teams, sharing information is critical, but is not always naturally a priority for everyone.

There are some simple mind shifts and approaches that can help you communicate in a more regular and inclusive way, so that you can increase the motivation and productivity of your team no matter where they are.

3. Be super-clear about performance

Managers often ask me about how to create high performance in virtual teams. The secret– be super clear about defining performance measures and expectations.

The more clear you can be, the less nervous you and your employees need to be about performance expectations.

If you define the expectations of results super clearly, then the conversation if there is success, or if there is a gap, is much more straightforward and feels less judgmental, personal and emotional.

“Here is what we agreed before… here is what happened… let’s talk about it.”

If you define measures and expectations clearly, and the person delivers on them, you never have to wonder or worry about whether or not remote people are working hard enough — or if they are walking their dog, doing their laundry or going to a yoga class.

It simply does not matter if the agreement was clear and the results are there.

By the way, this clarity also helps with people who work in the same office as you.

Get the Executive Playbook

This month the Topic in my Executive Mentoring Group is Remote Working Strategies.

If you want some practical tools to increase your team’s performance in virtual and remote situations, get my Executive Playbook on Remote Working Strategies.

For the rest of January you can still get the Executive Playbook on Remote Working Strategies for FREE:

Take a look at the playbook.

And you can get it for FREE with a Trial Membership.
(No risk: You can cancel at any time)

This is one of many Executive Playbooks in my Executive Mentoring Group.

You can start your Free Trial here.

Patty Azzarello

Patty is available to speak at your company, annual meeting, or customer event. She can also deliver a custom workshop on Leadership or Strategy Execution for your leadership team. Contact Patty.

Or if you would like some personal help on your own professional development, check out her Executive Mentoring Group. It’s filled with insights, resources and support to build your executive confidence, advance your career, and includes direct mentoring from Patty.


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Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or Facebook, or read her books RISE and MOVE.

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