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Leading Your Team In A Virtual World

by Kathy Cooperman

This month I’ve worked with several leaders via Adobe Connect and GoToMeeting. These platforms have allowed us to communicate face-to-face but by a computer screen rather than in person.

What Leaders Say

In these coaching sessions, I always ask how our new world has impacted them personally and what effect it’s having on their teams. Unanimously, I’ve heard these comments:
1. We’re busier now than ever
2. I’m learning how to be more flexible
3. Communication is essential

Busy World

Many families who are working from home are juggling not only one or more home offices but also learning how to home-school their children. Because of the dual demand on time, I’ve had leaders ask for help in becoming better time managers.

We begin by discussing what type of time management system they use currently. I’ve heard everything from their own sticky note system to elaborate Outlook processes.

Those who are managing time most successfully have learned to master a system where they:

- ID goals (long-term, monthly, weekly and daily)

- Follow a system of planning. It may be that at the end of each week they review what they accomplished compared to what was planned. They then move unfinished tasks to the following week or delete them if they’re no longer relevant. They begin each day with a plan for how they’ll spend their time, always allowing a little cushion for the unexpected.

- Prioritize tasks—knowing that priorities can shift at any given time.

I was impressed with a leader in the aerospace business who talked about a system she and her husband created to allow everyone’s needs to be met. She explained that they have two daughters, 10 and 5. Besides both parents having responsibilities to their teams while working from home, they must help the girls with their online school requirements.

After running into clashes with the four schedules, they came up with a color-coded poster (matrix) that they now post on the refrigerator. The parents have collaborated on “office hours”—their individual quiet time where they have uninterrupted work time.

The girls have learned to look at the chart each day and know which parent is “on call” at which time and which are in office hours and not to be disturbed. It’s a great system that’s working for everyone.


The self-isolation has created a greater need to keep in touch with employees. Many of the leaders I’ve spoken with talk about the benefit of connecting with each employee daily. Others have explained they hold a 15-minute morning, team check-in meeting. Most favor video meetings over voice only conference calls.

In Summary
As we adapt to the constantly changing world of work, the people-connection is more important than ever. Leaders who create a lasting, positive legacy will long be remembered for how they handled the crisis . . . and how they took care of their people.

For help with leading change or online learning, contact Kathy Cooperman, KC Leadership Consulting, LLC,, 1 (866) 303-1996.

Submitted 4 years 58 days ago
Categories: categoryLeader Acceleration
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