Out of sight can mean out of mind.
Without your physical presence around team members, I hope that’s not the case for your team's work productivity. However, it could be.
Here are a couple of things to think about to help ensure productivity and not lose a beat as you and your team members are working from home:
- Communicate Often. Then do it again. Just because you shared it once in a company all-hands or a weekly Zoom meeting with your team doesn’t mean they grabbed onto that critical action that you’re requesting. So follow-up. Send a follow-up email after the meeting, and then include that message as part of all on-going communications you have with various team members: emails, small group meetings, and 1:1s. A Winston Churchill quote that I love to reference aptly applies here: “If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.”
- Make it Memorable. At Decker, leveraging storytelling to grab your listener’s attention is at the core of our methodology, and critical in this physically distance environment. To further drive memorability take your message one step further using SHARPs. Stories, Humor, Analogies, Reference/Quote, and Picture/Visual create an emotional connection with your audience so that the message is enduring and resonates. We are all bombarded with data points, especially in this Zoom world (Zoom fatigue is a real thing), and you have to cut through the noise to connect emotionally and make your message more memorable. With audiences increasingly overwhelmed by negative and evolving pandemic news, it’s even more critical that your message is engaging enough to rise above the noise and inspire action. We just saw a client do this incredibly well, referencing the UK British rowing team, and their success comes down to this ONE question: Will this make the boat go faster? Leveraging this example, this executive leader turned the question for her customer success team into: Will this make the customer experience better? SHARPs are powerful, make sure they’re in your messages.
- Be Concrete. The curse of knowledge is assuming others know what you know. They don’t. Be sure to have specifics and actions in your message, so your audience KNOWS what is wanted of them. Be careful of assuming, be careful of being vague – stay concrete and specific. In fact, put a timeframe on the desired action to allow for real accountability (thus expectations).
It’s a challenging environment, especially when you don’t see each other as you cross each other in the hall or in the breakroom for quick check-ins. So these tips should help you lead and influence. Try them this week with your team members for your own accountability!