Being a leader is challenging enough. Try adding distance to the equation and language barrier too, and you have an entirely different kind of work dynamics. So how can you be a good leader for talents located on the other side of the world?
Let me enumerate the things you can do to remotely lead your team to greatness.
Talk you your VA first before deciding on a deadline
For many business owners, deadlines are non-negotiable. If you want something done, give out the instruction, set a date of completion, and consider it done, right? Wrong! The better way to do it is to talk to your VA about your expected output and then ask what would be a reasonable deadline for the task. Asking your team won’t hurt you. You have to know what they think and you have to listen to their concerns. Is the task too complicated to be done in a day? Questions like that can help you and your team agree on a deadline. They can deliver on time feeling fulfilled and you get your results.
Clarify your instructions
There are so many barriers to giving instructions. Many would argue it is just about language and cultural issues. But it could also be the depth of your virtual workforce’s understanding of your business, that’s why it is important that you simplify your instructions. If it contains multiple steps use numbers and bullets. Add colour to the text for emphasis. Make sure to send complicated instructions early to give your team enough time to respond and ask questions.
In fact, you need to make sure you engage them when they ask about your instructions. Give them the chance to clarify some things with you. If you have to call them up to make sure they understand, do it.
Communicate as often as you can
Communication is at the core of managing virtual teams. Allow your people not just to know you as the leader of the business but most of all as a person. Call your VA as often as you can, ask them about their struggles, check on them, provide positive feedback, allow them to know you so that they can work comfortably with you. Remember you represent your business to them so get talking and let them appreciate your person, not just your business.
Respect your virtual talent’s time
It is easy to assume you are the only client of your virtual assistants. If you pay 4 hours of their time every day be careful to factor that on your demands. And it doesn’t mean that if your VA is home-based they do not need to take a break from your tasks. Always be reasonable and considerate. The more you are taking care of them, the more they will take care of your business.
Being a good and effective leader for virtual talents is not hard at all. You just need to be a step ahead in addressing common problems in managing remote teams. Anticipate their needs and you can get the most out of your online talents.