Leadership in times of teleworking: a quantum leap for teams that are more virtuous than virtualManagement | Artículo
- Marzo 2020
In just one week, we as a society have made giant strides in terms of organizational change. What was on the horizon a few days ago and not addressed, as there were other more urgent issues, at least for some people, has become the modus operandi in the work teams. Digital environments, virtual communication, collaborative tools and numerous possibilities that open up to the eyes of those who can see the opportunities that are coming and the challenges that we are already overcoming. Our capacity for resilience, adaptation and flexibility is so amazing that once again I reiterate the phrase "the limit is in our minds".
However, a question arises for me to reflect on, and that is to what extent the leadership styles we have been applying in the "off" environment serve us for the "on" world. What is different? What should we take into account when managing, leading and empowering our teams? These are my suggestions, but I encourage you to share yours:
- Purpose: In the virtual environment it is essential to establish a channel of work shared by all in which the objective and purpose is clear and concrete with deadlines for the completion of tasks/projects/commitments.
- Autonomy: Flexibility and freedom for personal self-organization. Leave space by trusting that people are "owners" of their process and its management.
- Learning: To promote and encourage knowledge through the discovery of new tools, content and systems that can facilitate work and be more productive.
- Well-being: In this environment, active listening is key. As we well know, not all people have to be treated equally, but as they need to be treated. That is why the ability to give a "human touch" to the communication is very important here, personalizing the message or the action towards what each one may need: the frequency with which they have to be contacted, the channels in which they feel better (email, call or Skype...), the organization of the work or the clarity in the roles... Listen to your team and favor their welfare from the flexibility.
- Humanity: The connections with the team from our home environment offer closeness, familiarity, trust and above all make you feel that we are in the same boat. Forget about putting a corporate roll-up behind you; we are in human moments. Be yourself.
- Sharing: Once the topic of your meeting is over, it is good to share what works for you in order to better manage your day-to-day life: what trainings you do, what books you read or what new tools you have discovered. It brings communication closer and more flexible; the moment requires humanity and what better than our own naturalness?
- Discover: It's an excellent time to continue discovering the strengths of the people on the team. Perhaps there are people in your team who have the knowledge to lead an online work group; others have worked with project management tools and are the most suitable for structuring times; or some of them have the creativity to promote new ideas, services or projects not contemplated until now.
There are people who talk about how all this will pass, logically, and we will return to normal. My personal opinion and desire is that there will be no more normality. This situation has changed us all: surely there are personal foundations that have moved, because from one day to the next we stopped having everything that we considered a right and did not appreciate (getting close to the people you love, walking in the open air, hugging, kissing, having fun with your friends or putting your hand on the shoulder of the person who wants a message of encouragement...), and of course our way of relating in the working environment has also changed.
We are now in the leadership of the VUCA environment that we talked so much about, where we said that the keys to managing teams required a profile:
- Inspiring: To encourage new solutions and think outside the box.
- Imaginative: To share the crazy ideas that come up in teams.
- Intuitive: To be able to read and listen to unexpressed emotions.
- Integrative: To get to know people in order to create teams in which the capacities and competences are diverse and to achieve self-managed and high-performance teams.
We are immersed in a perfect storm that has already transformed our paradigms, so evolution is guaranteed. It is no longer a question of choice, as we talked about just a week ago, but a question of adaptation, acceptance and action, i.e. learning to value the best we have as human beings, our ability to always move forward and become better people.
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