The following topics will be discussed in this post.
- Zero-in on the Agenda
- Better Time Management, Greater Productivity
- Removing Distractions & Make Better Decisions
- Becoming More Inclusive & Encourage Participation
- Master Technology as a Leadership Tool
How can leaders remain effective when entire teams and organizations must go online? How will remote work arrangements change leadership styles and management practices?
As the world braces for what is likely an extended period of quarantine and travel restrictions due to the pandemic, many corporations and firms are now re-engineering their work processes, communication lines, and even their approaches to leadership and management.
The temporary shutdown of businesses and government offices due to the current pandemic has made remote work the most viable option for many supervisors and rank-and-file.
Safety considerations remain the topmost concern for most organizations. By leveraging information and communications technology, it seems that work productivity can still be achieved even if people must work from their own homes.
To ensure success, many organizations are now investing in online meeting facilitation. By retooling leaders at various levels on how to use technology, people at the supervisory and management levels can remain in touch with their teams and still get things done.
Some present challenges of remote work and online leadership include limitations in face-to-face interaction with peers and employees, the emotional burdens of feeling isolated at home, and distractions of working from one's residence.
It might also be the 'inertia' of being at home, which is usually a place for fun and relaxation, not a venue for business and professional commitments.
Given these challenges, the importance of seeking specialists in online training has become more evident, especially for companies that still struggle with the 'new normal' of conducting business.
But by allocating adequate resources and time to equip leaders with new mindsets and practical skills for leading in a virtual environment, success can be sustained regardless of changes in the business environment.
Zero-in on the Agenda
When a leader is trained on how to facilitate meetings streamed live on the Internet, he can know what is enormously important in terms of organizational goals, schedules, specific deliverables, and project requirements and support needed by team members.
Knowing the plan also provides a framework or a road map to follow during the meeting, preventing discussions from meandering away from what is vital.
Better Time Management, Greater Productivity
With skills in facilitation, managing meetings online becomes more organized and time efficient. By reducing time wasters such as pointless banter, digressing talk, and poor attention by those attending the session, the meeting leads to higher productivity.
All the subjects that need to be addressed are given sufficient time for discussion. The leader is also trained on how to guide the conversation toward action items or excellent courses of action, making the meeting results driven.
Removing Distractions & Make Better Decisions
With proper training, the leader or facilitator can detect if the meeting is moving off tangent or team members are already becoming distracted by non-essential items. It is usual for team members to have time to share their thoughts and give recommendations.
However, a good leader or facilitator always skillfully connects the discussion to the primary purpose or agenda of the meeting.
By doing so, the facilitator can channel the individual knowledge and experience of the attendees and have them collectively contribute information and other insights that serve as input to plans and decision-making.
Becoming More Inclusive & Encourage Participation
When a leader receives training on facilitation, he or she becomes more sensitive to other team members. On purpose, he encourages every person in the meeting to speak and share new ideas.
By encouraging participation, the leader also facilitates and empowers the individual growth of team members as positive contributors to the organization.
Doing this leads to the development of a culture of inclusivity and participation.
Master Technology as a Leadership Tool
As an initial yet vital step, the leader as facilitator must also be trained to master the technology he will need to lead in an online environment.
It is not enough for the leader to be charismatic, knowledgeable, highly respected, and adept at managing people.
He must also learn to be comfortable in using the latest tools in remote work and online management such as audio-video conference software, database sharing platforms, virtual training rooms, and online presentation programs, to name a few.
At some point, the leader-facilitator also has to encourage his staff or team to embrace the new work arrangements.
This takes knowledge and skill in change management. Some team members might also struggle with the use of modern technology. Others might find the physical distance a source of emotional distress.
Whatever the obstacle or concern, the leader must find a way to facilitate discussions and harness the collective strength of the team to develop solutions to business problems.
Whether in person or online, the truly effective leader will always guide, encourage, and lead the way to get things done.