Here’s how Collaborative Leadership can Help you Manage Virtual Teams
Leading a team can be tough, but it can be especially challenging when your team is spread out across the globe. Statistics show that 70% of employees work remotely at least once a week, and 53% work remotely for half the week or more. With remote and hybrid work on the rise, it’s important now more than ever for team leaders to know how to manage virtual teams.
“The most effective leaders I’ve met are almost always great collaborators. They build strong relationships inside and outside their companies by being open, transparent, and consistent communicators.” – Maria Konnikova, author and contributing writer for The New Yorker
Improving your collaborative leadership skills is one of the more important ways to manage your team.
What Is Collaborative Leadership?
Collaborative leadership is all about working together towards a common goal. It’s a style of leadership that encourages team members to share ideas, knowledge, and expertise. When everyone is working together collaboratively, the whole team can achieve more than they could on their own. It’s a management practice that is becoming increasingly popular as more and more companies adopt remote working policies.
How can you Foster a Culture of Collaboration?
1. Encourage open communication
Make sure that team members feel comfortable communicating with each other. You can promote an inclusive work environment successfully by coming together for non-work related activities and encouraging friendship between team members. This can be done with work happy hours, work trips, group lunches and more. It is also important to schedule regular check-ins and encourage team members to share their thoughts and ideas openly.
2. Promote transparency
Be open and honest with your team about what’s going on within the company. When team members feel like they are included and have all the information they need, they’re more likely to work together collaboratively.
3. Establish trust
Always be transparent and vulnerable with your team. Give clear directions but also encourage input, feedback and ideas from team members.
- Delegate responsibility and hold team members accountable
- Provide ongoing feedback and support
- Celebrate team successes together
“A collaborative leader is someone who understands that the success of the team is more important than their own personal success.” – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
4. Simplify communication with technology
Several tools and technologies can help you simplify communication with your team. For example, video conferencing software like Zoom or Google Hangouts can be used for regular check-ins or impromptu meetings. Collaboration tools like Slack or Trello can be used to share ideas, documents, and files. And project management software like Asana or Basecamp can be used to keep track of tasks and deadlines. You can also use a complete communication platform like Spike with team collaboration tools in one place like email chat, voice messages, video meetings, file sharing, and more.
Technology can help to make communication more efficient, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a replacement for human interaction. Make sure to set aside time for regular check-ins and catch-ups, even if it’s just a quick chat over a video call or coffee.
5. Empower team members to take ownership of their work
One of the best things you can do for your team is to empower them to take ownership of their work. When team members feel like they have a say in the decision-making process, they’re more likely to be engaged and motivated. Give your team members the opportunity to manage their projects and bring their work to life.
6. Focus on the collective goal
When everyone is working towards the same goal, it’s easier to make decisions and solve problems. And when team members feel like they’re part of something larger, they’re more likely to be engaged and motivated.
“What makes a great CEO? A study of 2,600 public companies over 20 years found that the most important attribute of a top-performing CEO is not vision or even industry expertise, but the ability to build and lead a strong team.” – Harvard Business Review
7. Show vulnerability
As a leader, one of the most important things you can do is show vulnerability. Not everything is a walk in the park, be transparent about the challenges you face, it makes you more relatable to your team and when you’re open and honest with your team, it builds trust and respect. When team members see that you’re willing to overcome challenges, they’re more likely to join in on the challenge themselves.
“The best leaders are not afraid to show their vulnerability. They know that it’s a strength, not a weakness.” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook
Collaborative leadership is a management style that focuses on the collective success of the team. It’s a style that is becoming increasingly popular as more and more companies adopt hybrid working policies. To foster a team culture of collaboration, leaders should encourage open communication, promote transparency, establish trust, simplify communication with technology, empower team members to take ownership of their work, focus on the collective goal, and show vulnerability. By adopting these practices, leaders can create a more engaged and motivated team that is better equipped to achieve success.
A collaborative leader is someone who understands that the success of the team is more important than their own personal success. By focusing on the collective goal, you are able to achieve them more successfully.
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