Episode #131 – Awesome Leadership Guide for Hybrid Work Teams

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In today’s podcast episode we interview Elena Agaragimova, Talent Development Specialist at Bessern and author of the book, The Rough Guide to Awesome Leadership: A Brain Friendly Approach to Take Action and Be an Inspiring Leader. Elena discusses the importance of accepting failure as a pathway to  resilience, as well as the significance of building strong relationships with team members in remote settings. 

Elena shares resiliency tips for managing emotions, including auditing sleep, movement, and food habits. She also describes the TADA acronym for supportive leadership behaviors: Transparency, Empathy, Diversity, and Amplifying. Tune in to learn how to cultivate successful hybrid work teams and create a psychologically safe work environment as we Team Anywhere.

What Elena Learned Over the Past 2 Years

Elena reflects on her journey of starting a business and the lessons she has learned over the past two years. One significant lesson is that not everyone will buy what you are selling, which requires reinventing the product and continuously pivoting. Another lesson is to accept failure as part of the journey and to manage disappointment and reset expectations for oneself. Finally, she emphasizes the importance of learning from experience and being open to feedback from customers and critics. These lessons have contributed to her focus on resilience, which is a topic she explores in her guide to awesome leadership.

Leadership Tactics for Better Hybrid Work Teams

Elena emphasizes the importance of leaders reflecting on their individual strengths and weaknesses to lead by example. Seeking feedback from colleagues and employees is also essential to improve performance. To build strong relationships with employees in a remote setting, leaders should take five minutes before meetings to check in with their team members and encourage small talk. Regular check-ins and continuous feedback are also crucial for effective performance management. Building relationships is key to successful hybrid work teams due to the lack of in-person interactions.

Handling Emotions for Leaders

The key to successful management of emotions is to start with the basics – mind and body. The first step is to audit your sleep, movement, and food habits. These three areas of your life impact your ability to perform and manage difficulties that come your way during the day. Being proactive with these basics will help you be less reactive in challenging situations. Preparation and empathy are also essential to effective leadership. Understanding the other person’s perspective can help you to manage conflict without taking things personally. It’s also important to reflect on interactions and learn from them for the future.

Good Leadership Behaviors with TADA

Elena discussed the TADA acronym, which stands for Transparency, Empathy, Diversity, and Amplifying. She emphasized the importance of transparency from a leadership perspective, as high psychological safety within teams comes from people knowing what’s going on in the company. Empathy and meeting team members where they are, regardless of their title or salary, increases engagement. Diversity of opinion is essential for driving creativity, and amplifying creativity involves creating space for people to brainstorm and contribute their ideas. All of these elements are interconnected, and managers need to be mindful of them to foster a productive and psychologically safe work environment.

Who is Elena Agaragimova?

Elena Agaragimova is a talent development specialist and education advocate. She began her career in higher education and subsequently transitioned to working with corporations, where she leads talent development and employee engagement initiatives. Elena has a keen interest in leveraging science, specifically behavioral and neurosciences, to facilitate effective learning, expand mindsets, and promote personal and professional growth. She is currently enrolled in a Cognitive Neuroscience Graduate Program to further develop her expertise in this area.

As an entrepreneur, Elena co-founded Bloom Youth, a tech education platform that prepares youth for the future. She also co-founded Bessern, a tech solution designed to enhance productivity and well-being in organizations.

When Elena is not spearheading talent transformation, she volunteers her time to assist young students with their career development goals, as well as military veterans seeking to transition to corporate jobs.

How to Create A High-Performance Remote Team:

Improve Remote Teamwork:

How To Excel as a Remote Team Member

Improve Remote Leadership Skills:

How to Be an Effective Remote Manager

How to Build Virtual Accountability

Awesome Leadership Guide Quotes

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