What can I do as a leader to create a social bond with my team while working remotely?
Proximity (real or perceived) is one of the most important determinants of relationships. Creating those bonds across remote distances includes getting people together to work on tasks together, and this is typically more impactful than classic ‘team building’ or socializing.
Whether remote or in person, leaders can help provide that sense of purpose to create those bonds. What’s the big picture? How does my work connect and matter? In what ways do I contribute to others–to the community?
What do you think this pandemic has done in terms of innovation?
The most important innovations don’t come along when you’re doing things like you always did them. The most important innovations come from the greatest barriers, when you just can’t do things the same thing the same way anymore. you’re forced to think really differently. That’s where the pandemic has sparked innovation.
How can we be raising the energy of our team working remotely?
Spend time talking and connecting before diving into the task elements of meetings. Celebrate the differences between team members. Hold your team members accountable, and make sure they know their work matters to the organization.
team. Provide recognition.
How is trust different when working remotely?
When we have online meetings, we can’t see nonverbals as well. As leaders, we must focus on the fact that we need to be as easy to read as possible. People don’t trust what they don’t understand. An element that builds trust is a great sense of openness. People don’t trust what they don’t understand. And so when we see each other a lot, we tend to build familiarity and familiarity breeds acceptance.
What are the opportunities we have with remote teams?
Teams are bonding in new ways. We have new levels of intimacy (professionally of course) based on seeing parts of our colleagues’ lives that we wouldn’t see in a typical work setting. We have the opportunity to bring these new bonds forward, having survived these hard times together.
Going into 2021 What Conversations Should Leaders Be Having?
How might we use this pandemic as a positive trigger? How might we accelerate our progress? Where do we go from here? What are the things that we wanted to do anyway–but can now pursue even more enthusiastically?
About Tracy Brower
Dr. Tracy Brower is a PhD sociologist and a principal with Steelcase’s Applied Research + Consulting group. Tracy studies the sociology of work and the changing nature of work, workers and workplace. She is the author of a new book, The Secrets to Happiness at Work, and also her previous book Bring Work to Life by Bringing Life to Work: A Guide for Leaders and Organizations . In addition, she is a contributor to Forbes.com and Fast Company. Tracy is an award-winning speaker and has over 25 years of experience working with global clients to achieve business results.
Tracy is an executive advisor to Coda Societies and to the MSU Master Industrial Mathematics Program. Tracy’s work has been featured in TEDx, The Wall Street Journal, Work-Life Balance in the 21st Century (book), Globe and Mail (Canada), InsideHR (Australia), HR Director (UK), T3N (Germany), Real Estate Review Journal, Fortune.com, Inc. Magazine, and more. Tracy holds a PhD in Sociology, a Master of Management in Organizational Culture, and a Master of Corporate Real Estate with a workplace specialization. You can follow her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or at tracybrower.com.
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