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The great political activist Helen Keller is quoted as having often said: "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." She, like most people working in business today, understood that the difference between success and failure is being part of a great team.
Today, the most effective leaders know that they’re only as good as the people they have around them. Something incredible happens when the power of the team is harnessed and, everyone on the team is equally invested in the purpose and goal. More high-quality work is produced, fewer mistakes are made, problems are solved more quickly, innovation is increased, and change is embedded more efficiently. Not only that, but morale, motivation, and engagement are also heightened.
With this in mind, developing a strong and unified team is an essential part of the management and leadership role. Leaders who build and develop effective teams have a critical advantage over others: synergy. Synergy is the principle that a team’s collective performance has the potential to greatly exceed the sum of its individual members’ performances.
In theory, the concept of team development is simple: assemble a group of talented people and task them with accomplishing a specific purpose. In reality, there’s a lot of skill and effort involved in turning a group of individuals into a functioning and productive team. Leaders must take account of and value the unique set of perspectives and experiences that each person brings to the team, while at the same time fostering a sense of community and belonging that drives people towards achieving the common purpose.
Thriving in a virtual world
Creating connection, keeping momentum and motivating people whilst working in a virtual environment is going to be more critical than ever.
The steep rise of virtual and remote working is driving workplace transformation. Between 2014 and 2016, the prevalence of virtual workers increased by 39%, and today you would be hard-pressed to find an organization anywhere in the world that doesn’t have virtual workers and displaced teams.
The benefits of virtual teams in a global, 24-hour economy have been well documented for many years. The challenges are also evident in an environment where co-workers may never meet face-to-face and do not share the same language, culture, or time-zone.
To manage a virtual team successfully, leaders need to acquire a new set of skills around communication, motivation, and relationship management; based on a foundation of trust that is earned from a distance.
Building trust can be difficult for any team, but it is especially challenging when team members have few opportunities to interact personally. Virtual teams often develop around projects, with people coming together and drifting away during different phases. Yet trust is the binding force for a virtual team - it provides a sense of safety that allows people to share knowledge, ideas, and opinions openly and engage in unfiltered debate.
A leader needs to build trust with their people as it becomes like a fund that builds up. If they do this consistently in adverse times, everyone can pull on that large fund of trust during the good times to help each other through. There is a huge emphasis on the actions of leaders in making this happen.
Remote team leaders, therefore, must commit to both developing and consistently demonstrating the fundamental behaviors that create and sustain trust – within themselves and across their teams: integrity, transparency, empathy, authenticity, reliability, and overall competence.
Thriving in a
Key responsibilities for today’s leaders and managers:
If you need an immediate solution to boost your workforce performance and productivity while working remotely, we can help!
We provide training programs for a range of other core people development topics including team development, personal effectiveness, wellness and life skills as well as other business skills too.
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