Anyone who manages people with whom they are not co located should read How to Lead From a Distance. I think that sales managers will find this little book especially helpful.
Ms. Dinnocenzo offers solid, common sense advice on managing from a distance. For example:
- Stay connected with all members of your team, regardless of where they are and where they work.
- Use the best available technology tools to communicate with your team.
- Handle problem solving, coaching and recognition discussions promptly.
According to Ms. Dinnocenzo, trust is the key to any managerial relationship, but it is even more important in long distance relationships. She lists three key trust builders: reliability, integrity and familiarity.
Managers build trust using reliability when they:
- Keep a written list of the commitments and stick to them,
- Ask their people for feedback and then do what they tell them, and
- Are available to their team members.
Managers build trust using integrity when they:
- Are honest, truthful and forthright,
- Avoid sarcasm, joking and teasing – especially when using voice mail or e mail,
- Maintain employee confidences, and
- Handle sensitive material appropriately.
Managers build trust using familiarity when they:
- Meet face to face as often as possible,
- Speak regularly with their employees by phone,
- Use their face and phone time well,
- Attend employee social events – even if it has to be “virtually” by teleconference or video conference,
- Acknowledge milestones – service anniversaries, specific accomplishments, employee birthdays, weddings, birth of children etc,
- Learn about employees as people – their families, hobbies and interests, and
- Use all available technology – telephone conversations, teleconferences, videoconferences, e mail, voice mail, instant messaging and fax – to stay in touch with the people they lead.
Ms. Dinnocenzo ends with some very good common sense advice:
- “Key leadership competencies, such as communication, goal setting, coaching, team building and performance management don’t change as your team becomes more dispersed. However, the way in which you apply these leadership skills changes as more teams become virtual and more people work remotely…Become a bridge builder and lead the way into the virtual workplace."
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading. Log on to my website, www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense leadership advice.
I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
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