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Grow your Virtual Leadership Communication Skills: 5 Ways to Be a Great Team Member

Updated: Feb 9

by Stephanie Bickel

Virtual leadership

Summer brought about its own complications with being productive at work, and

now we find ourselves back on the not-so-distant work/school battlefield.

Which one will come out ahead this fall?

Both work and school can win if we lean on each other to be successful.

Everyone continues to navigate this time in different ways. Set expectations and be clear on what you need so others know how to help. Communicate with confidence. Respond with empathy. Role model flexibility. Be positive.

Here are 5 ways you can be a great virtual team member this fall:

1. If you cannot show your video in the meeting, but everyone else is…explain WHY

Video meeting fatigue has set in for a lot of us. With this in mind, teams should be understanding about not seeing each other on video for every call. Explain that you will be more focused if you are not distracted by seeing faces – yours or theirs. Share that you want to hide the chaos behind you. It is, ok!

2. Provide options. Include the dial-in # more

Discuss with teams when video is necessary to have a more productive meeting. If it is not critical to “see” each other or share visuals, give the dial in along with the Zoom link. People will feel more empowered if they have the freedom to choose an approach that works best for them. They may contribute more, too.

3. Communicate with your teams if you need to stagger your days

New routines can make life complicated. Is there a modified schedule that will help you be more productive at work and present at home? Communicate that you need to stagger your start times and end times to accommodate children’s activities and schoolwork. Be understanding and flexible if others have the same requests.

4. Add timelines and expectations on responsiveness

Outline clear timelines and prioritize tasks explicitly with teams. Start emails with "By the end of the day...", so people don't feel pressure to get back to you in 5 minutes. This helps others plan their day. At the same time, be open and communicate your personal demands so others know about conflicts in meeting deadlines.

5. Share your personal challenges to help team members be more flexible

Once someone understands what you are going through, it can help them be more flexible and accommodating to different approaches. Empathy is a powerful tool that draws people closer together. Empathy also magnifies the desire to help each other be successful. Open up to others with your personal challenges, so others feel comfortable opening up to you.

Communication alone solves a lot of problems. It helps minimize the stress and frustration caused by uncertainty.

Help your team. Set the tone. Be a role model for communicating in a way that is open, positive, empathetic, and flexible. Others may be influenced to do the same in return.

Plan for a successful “team” day. Start each morning by asking yourself how you can…

...Be a Great Team Member Today!


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