Santa managing remote workers in the zoom age.

by Dec 17, 2020Managing Introverts

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It has been a tough year for many businesses. Santa’s had a tough year too. It’s been hard getting his firm to adapt the way it works. Working from home, using Zoom and Teams to communicate and it’s been harder than ever to get the elf teams working effectively. It must be hard for the old guy, he’s probably a bit too old to get all this modern communication stuff.

Organising the elves has been a nightmare, some of them keep sloping off and the supervisor elves did their own thing. He tried shouting a lot louder. He thought that longer zoom meetings would allow him to control them more. It didn’t really work, as he realised that some just sat there in front of their screens nodding,  The quieter elves didn’t say much, the noisier ones said a lot, but the team didn’t pull together. Perhaps you’ve found similar problems as Santa?

Leading a team is about helping them have a focus, a purpose and feeling connecting (among many other things); it’s not just about giving out orders and thinking the elves will do the work! It’s all a lot harder when your team are all in the same place as you.

The 5 tips for managing remotely I gave Santa

  1. The future is uncertain: You don’t know everything that could occur, or how your clients might react. Involve a group of people from across the business to understand more. Don’t forget the importance of “diversity of thought” by including introverts as well as the more obvious team members. The Elves probably know far more about what’s going on than Santa, between them they could create a much better action plan – especially if they’re all involved.
  2. Making your meetings more effective was important even in 1 BC (a year before Covid). It’s even more critical in the zoom age. For tips on making your meetings more effective, click here
  3. Now’s the time for team building. I have many issues with team building events, as so many of them seem to be a waste of time designed for extroverts to play. However, “how can firms bolster team spirit without physically being together was about focusing on a “big team event”. More micro sessions to help reassure, reduce uncertainty at work, listening (specially to the introverts) , creating new team “stories and myths”, and “rituals and routines” can help create a more useful culture and increase team effectiveness. More ideas here.
  4. It’s not all your problem! As the leader you drive the communications and the culture in the company. These are the two points which most commonly interact with introversion to create the introvert productivity gap. So lot’s of the solutions need to come from you, but there are also things you can encourage your introverted team member’s to do. Introverts thriving in remote meetings is written for introverts, rather than you as a leader.
  5. Spotting the introverts hiding in plain sight. Wouldn’t it be really easy if everybody wore a sign telling you how to communicate with them? Maybe if we were all telepathic that would happen, unfortunately I think there would be other issues instead! Spotting an introvert isn’t always as easy as some people think, so here’s some ideas about spotting an introvert hiding in plain sight, or watch the video.

You may also like to read:

Or listen to: 

An interview with Helene Jewell of the International Association of Facilitators on how to improve your meetings.

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