Join Bob McGannon for an in-depth discussion in this video Special considerations for new managers, part of Managing Virtual Teams.
Let's say you're buying a used car. You're the brand new owner, but not the first owner. The car has a history. And mostly likely, you will look into the details of that history, so you can better know how and what to do to keep the car in the best condition. As a new manager, you could do the same thing with your remote team. Check into their history to get a sense of how far they've come, and identify some key things they'll need to do to perform at their best.
As you and your team get used to each other, here are a few things to consider: First and foremost, create a communication schedule. This can help your team perform at their best with you at the helm. In an interoffice environment, you would likely be conducting some form of introductions, and setting a schedule for team and individual meetings. Creating a communication plan is exactly the same, just in a more formalized manner. You can touch base with your entire team, and organize a day and time with each.
You can introduce yourself to your team members, and vice versa. This can also help you establish a relationship. And if you can fast track that in a remote environment, it's like fueling up at the pump with premium fuel. It can improve overall performance. Second, allow your team to be the experts, and you serve as learner and leader. What exactly does that mean? They've been around longer than you. So they have the knowledge about what they've done in the past, and how things have gone.
Hence, they are the experts. Do what you can to tap into that knowledge. Learn what they know. And use that information to create a strategy to move your team into the future, powerfully, and effectively. After all, that is the output and characteristic of a good leader. Lastly, be sure your team is mindful of, and reviews, lessons learned. With your car, it doesn't matter if you're the first owner. It matters that you're the current owner.
You don't want to take the car into the snow when it's rear wheel drive and has a low wheelbase. Especially if you just read how the first owner did that, and it cost him $25 hundred dollars in damage. The same goes with your team. It's a waste of resources and effort to make the same mistake twice. If you take the time to ask about and support an objective, non-personal review of lessons learned, you can actually give yourself, and your team, the opportunity to leverage those lessons, and move forward as individuals, and as a team.
Here is a tip for doing this efficiently and effectively: In one on one discussions, ask each of your team members what three things work best to help them perform their job, and what three things create the greatest issues for them as they try to do their job. Taking these thoughts into consideration, and acting on them, will put you in a very positive position with your team. Just like driving a car with a manual transmission when you only drive automatics, becoming a new manager of a team, a remote team nonetheless, can be intimidating.
Using these ideas can help you establish a solid platform on which you can build your legacy as quickly as possible. It just takes some time and structure, and before you know it, you're a natural.
Discover how to build rapport, set mutual expectations, communicate, connect, overcome conflict, get work done, and grow the team. Also included is a look at the top five challenges managers face in leading remote teams and helpful solutions that will get your team on track.
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