As the world of work changes to be more global and more flexible, leaders are much more likely to be responsible for leading a team of virtual workers. Research indicates that virtual teams provide a lot of benefits for organizations including increase in employee retention and an increase in productivity. However, leaders are finding that they need to adjust their leadership style in order to get their virtual teams to that more productive state.
Generally, leaders of virtual teams do the same things as leaders of in-person teams, including setting expectations, providing direction, communicating vision, building trust, having regular one-on-one conversations and team meetings, holding team members accountable for their work, and developing them. However, how they do these things differs when they lead virtual teams.
One can easily argue that honing our communications skills is one thing we can all do to increase our success and achieve the results that we want. It may not be the only thing we need to do, however, working on improving our communications skills and interpersonal interactions will always prove to be a positive and enlightening endeavor.
The communication gap is not just a generational phenomenon. It exists in every type of interaction – between parent and child, boss and employee, teacher and student, husband and wife, between siblings, friends, neighbors, colleagues and on and on... There is a constant struggle in our communications to have our message be perceived as we intended. If you have ever found yourself saying, “That is not what I meant” or “I believe you misunderstood what I was trying to convey”, then you have experienced the communication gap. The key is to create awareness around the fact that the gap exists and then work to modify your behavior to close the gap.
There is no argument that effective leadership requires a variety of competencies in the leader’s toolbelt. Some of these tools include effective communication, inspiring, directing, creating vision, strategic thinking, building relationships, adaptability, drive, execution and emotional intelligence. Coaching is a relatively new tool for the leadership toolbelt. Like all the other leadership competencies mentioned, coaching is not the only tool for leaders; however, it is an important one.
There are many misconceptions of what coaching is and even how to use it, and leaders often think they are coaching when they are not. For example, a leader meets with a team member to discuss a challenge, situation or area for improvement and basically tells the employee how to resolve the problem. He or she may tell a story of resolving a similar situation. Next, the leader encourages the team member to “get out there and make the changes.”
Does this scenario sound familiar? Although this approach may have a place in leadership (in fact, it’s more like mentoring), too often, it becomes overused. When a leadership competency is overused, it becomes a weakness.
Read the article in it's entirety here: http://www.trainingindustry.com/blog/blog-entries/add-coaching-to-the-leadership-toolbelt.aspx
Another way to look at the MSBCoach Leadership Maturity Model - or Our Approach - is in this LMM Competency Matrix:
Why is it there are some people that easily draw crowds at parties and other social gatherings while others struggle to make connections? There are a number of reasons this occurs but surely, the “people magnet” in the crowd has what we define on the MSBCoach Leadership Maturity Model (LMM) as “Advanced People Skills.” Advanced People Skills are not only valuable in daily social interactions but they are essential to good leadership. After all, projects are managed and people are led. And good leaders must be equipped with the appropriate level of job knowledge as well as the people skills necessary to optimize the team’s production and job satisfaction. Advanced People Skills include the ability to motivate and influence others. Someone with this competency is also approachable, open minded, able to read people, and is collaborative.
Have you ever noticed when you observe someone else doing something it usually looks easy? Or have you noticed, when you think of something that needs to be done, you think, “it’s not that big of a deal, it should not take them very long”? I am guilty of this on many occasions; although, at least now I am consciously aware of it.
It was the hottest week of the summer so far and the air conditioner in my condo stopped working. Hot and moody, I called in a repair request to my leasing agent. A day passed, and not hearing from them I decided to call again. Not only was the heat rising, so was my impatience. The receptionist for the leasing agent apologized and reassured me that a ticket would be placed for first thing the next morning. ‘First thing’ came and went, the temperature rose, and by now my impatience was growing to anger and frustration. I started to mistrust this company with whom I was doing business. I felt like I couldn’t rely on them to be true to their word, or to contact me if they would be unable to fulfil a request.
What causes a leader to fail?
The truth is, there are many things that cause failure at all levels of leadership. There is not a specific “formula” for leadership failure, just as there is not a specific “formula” for leadership success. There are however, actions or behaviors that drive a leader toward the path of success or failure.
Several weeks ago, I was coaching with a client (let’s call him John) who was working to further develop his listening skills. In the course of our conversation he said, “I want people to feel I am genuinely interested.”
John went on to share a short, but impactful story with me. John was attending the funeral of an elderly gentleman who was a long term friend of his family. This man was known to be a very quiet man. Because of this, John was a little surprised to see so many people at the funeral. After the service, John was talking with some of the guests and mentioned that he was surprised so many people were in attendance…. Not because this man was not a great man, but rather, because this man was so quiet. One of the guests responded to him with a statement that changed John’s perspective of this man forever. The guest said, “There are so many people here to honor him because he was more interested than interesting.”