Leading a group of people or a certain organization is not an easy task, much more if you are leading in a virtual environment.
Leaders in a virtual organization need to be keener with the details to successfully manage their remote workers. They have a different approach compared to those managing an office-based team.
The qualities required for a good leader is still the same. However, to manage remote workers effectively, one must be flexible enough to work under different time zones and can communicate virtually in all forms to properly guide and support his team.
These are some of the qualities a virtual leader must possess:
Efficient Leadership Ability
Not all who leads can become a virtual manager. It is true that the basic skills are the same, but virtual managers must easily adapt to a virtual setting. They must know how to effectively communicate and manage their time.
Staying On Top Of The Team
It is very important to bring your team together with one clear vision and purpose. Virtual leaders must establish full awareness of the job, to be one with his team, and to avoid the “us versus them” mindset and the risk of insufficient information.
A good virtual leader should come up with a way to maintain the unity of the team. Though your team works remotely, you can stay connected by setting up a video meeting with all of them at least once a week. In that way, you could create a sense of belongingness and teamwork.
Expert In Communication
Miscommunication could lead to so many problems. Social media chat apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Hangouts are commonly used by Virtual Assistants to communicate with their managers, and in some cases with their clients. But most of the time, they exchange messages via email. These are powerful communication tools. However, it couldn’t be equal to voiced communication. The tone of voice and body language is very helpful for easy understanding. Since virtual assistants interaction doesn’t involve these tools, a virtual manager should be extra careful with his words. He should make sure messages are delivered clearly and detailed. Learn to use proper words to avoid misinterpretation.
Communicate The Details Consistently.
Managing a team working on a remote location requires high communication skills and time management. Giving instructions and relaying information to your team is a great deal. You might have overlooked that too much information without proper communication would cause result lapses. Hence, a good leader is keen on documenting and managing information. They are always one step ahead of the situation. Processes should be effectively relayed to your team.
As a leader, it is very important that you are fully aware of the work process and have properly it properly communicated with the team. Remote workers do not have a support system on hand like office-based. They only rely on your non-voiced connection which sometimes takes time to get what they need, killing their productivity. Letting them about the process ahead of time is very essential.
Important Attributes Virtual Leaders Should Have
Not all leaders could be good virtual leaders. One must:
1. Be available anytime.
Your team is working from a distance, and from time to time they would need your assistance. An effective virtual leader should make a way to be there for the team all the time and should be aware of what’s happening to them and their tasks. Being engaged with the team would also reduce the risk of inefficient work done.
2. Have technical know-how.
With so many applications coming out from time to time, there is a possibility that a worker would lack the knowledge. As a good leader, you must be updated with all the technical knowledge and constantly updating yourself with the key systems. Also, you have to make sure you have provided your team with the most updated and efficient software to perform the tasks.
3. Know how to trust your people.
It is not easy to delegate tasks in a virtual environment. You cannot easily monitor your team if they are working diligently. An effective virtual leader believes in his people. You hire and train them. It is just right to trust your team and they will do the same to you in return. A leader who trusts his people could boost the team's morale and diligence.
4. Be patient enough.
Managing a virtual team is not as convenient and as easy as the office-based.
The process and delegation of tasks naturally take time. Be mindful that you are communicating through non-voiced so the series of exchanging messages is highly expected. That is why to lead effectively, you must be patient enough to face all these. The readiness with the proper tool is also a great advantage for an easy and effective delegation.
5. Take care of your team.
In all workplaces, one reason employees stay is because of the people they work with. A good virtual manager takes care of his relationship with his team. He could get the loyalty of the remote workers if he knows how to appreciate and value his team. It might be difficult for the team to find time to get in touch via virtual group meetings and calls. Be rich with empowering words and be less with criticisms.
The success of the team relies on how good their leader is. With outstanding communication and team-building skills, a virtual leader can ensure that he can also gain the trust of his team and can also increase the productivity and confidence of every remote worker he handles.
Virtual jobs are becoming normal these days, and the virtual leader is the binding rope of any virtual team.