The Best Way Leaders Can Lead People Remotely

Sometimes events force us to change how we work together and do business. It’s a challenge for everyone—and leadership poses particular challenges. How do you keep communication flowing when people are scattered geographically and distracted by the upheaval of their daily life? How do you keep your team connected and focused, healthy and hopeful? Here are some of the ways top leaders address the challenges and keep their teams strong:

They’re more supportive than ever. Being supportive is always important—but in times of crisis and separation, it’s critical. It’s harder to show support from a distance; you have to provide a source of strength and solace from where you are. Send frequent messages of support and gratitude, and let people know you’re there to help them solve whatever new problems arise.

They’re more present than ever. The best leaders are accessible, available and connected, so it’s easy for people to feel their presence. When hallway chats and open office doors aren’t an option, show your presence by checking in frequently. Email’s easy, but when you need real connection, phone and video conferencing build a stronger sense of connection.

They keep people more informed than ever. Keep information flowing by communicating constantly and consistently. Especially in times of change and crisis, people want to know what’s happening and have a way to share their thoughts, concerns and ideas. You may want to establish a daily update by email or video chat to keep people informed.

They show they care more than ever. It’s harder to show caring from a distance, but a time like this, when people are feeling anxious and isolated, is when a personal touch is most needed. The best leaders make an extra effort with every decision and action to show they sincerely care. They’re willing to show vulnerability and spend more time asking people open-ended questions about family and other concerns, listening to the answers and helping find solutions.

They bring more clarity than ever. When people are working as a team in an office, it’s relatively easy to keep track of workflow and priorities. When the team is scattered, it’s important to set out goals and expectations clearly. Be more explicit and detailed than usual so your people will understand what they need to do and where they need to focus. At the same time, remember to be realistic and flexible in your expectations.

They lead by example more than ever. Setting a strong example when working remotely is one of the most meaningful things you can do. Model the attitudes and behavior you want people to emulate. If you want them to be focused and productive in a changing environment, make sure you’re showing them how it’s done. Give them something positive to emulate.

Lead from within: Working away from the office is the new normal, at least for a while. As a leader, you can help make sure that everyone on your team stays successful in this time of change.


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The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. James Davie

    10. Apr, 2020

    Great insights! I would add that understanding how your team culture has changed in this new Work From Home environment is critical for managers looking to be more supportive and caring.

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