Are you leading a virtual team? Learn how to lead a virtual team and excel in a crisis. During a crisis, everything is magnified, including leadership skills. Executive coach Heather Stark shares her “5C’s of creating a virtual culture” framework to help leaders navigate and excel in the new normal. (This is part 2 of a two-part series on LEADERSHIP with Heather Stark. See also episode #52: “Communication Skills of Effective Leaders”)
- References & Links
- Andrea’s Introduction
- Interview Transcript
- Andrea’s Conclusion
SUMMARY: CRISIS LEADERSHIP & LEADING A VIRTUAL TEAM
- Leadership is defined as “motivating a group toward a common goal.”
- There is a playbook that institutions and leaders reference in times of crisis: Leaders mobilize to quickly collect information, create a taskforce, take action, calibrate effects, and seek preventative measures. All the while communicating with important stakeholders – including the press, employees, shareholders, and customers or citizens.
- During a crisis, cracks are magnified, and particular leadership skills are amplified . Crisis leadership requires listening, empathy, agility, vulnerability, collaboration, clarity, and trust.
- Crises can serve as a catalyst for rapid positive transformation. During the pandemic, many organizations have pivoted and accomplished more than they thought possible.
(image: Unsplash @ febrianzakaria)
CREATING A VIRTUAL CULTURE – The 5 Cs
Creating a culture can be an overwhelming task, particularly when it’s a virtual team. Heather Stark suggested that we focus on these 5Cs. By establishing these communication norms, you can simultaneously create a positive and productive culture.
- In times of uncertainty, leaders need to ensure there is clarity of purpose. Team members need to know what to do and why.
- Leaders should also provide clarity on what is certain. Is it the mission/vision/values of the firm? Is it the significance of a project they are working on?
- Leaders need to ensure their team members feel connected to the organization and with each other.
- Given the diversity of team members’ home situations and communication preferences, leaders can ”take the pulse” in three ways:
- Anonymous online surveys
- Group meetings (e.g. via Zoom)
- One-on-one phone or Zoom meetings
- Leaders need to demonstrate commitment to not just the organization, but also to each individual. For example, as the boundary between home and work dissolves, leaders need to demonstrate commitment to their individual team members by respecting their needs and preferences and by trusting them.
- This commitment can come through implicitly, through their actions, as well as explicitly in conversation (like asking someone, “how are you doing, really?”)
- Make “celebrating the wins” a part of the culture. The win could be accomplishing an objective or landing a new contract. It could even getting through the week or celebrating someone’s birthday.
- You can celebrate by publicly proclaiming the win in a meeting or on social media, or by delivering a tangible prize.
Use the W5 framework to optimize communication in meetings and other communication contexts:
- WHO should attend or participate?
- WHERE should the communication happen? Which media? Is it email or phone or video-conference or…?
- WHAT are we talking about and WHY are we communicating? This is the topic, the objective and the agenda.
- WHEN should the meeting happen? How frequently and for how long? This is frequency and duration. Schedules and predictability are important when it’s a virtual team.
REFERENCES & LINKS
Heather Stark & Stark Coaching
- Tylenol poisonings Crisis management – http://www.ou.edu/deptcomm/dodjcc/groups/02C2/Johnson%20&%20Johnson.htm
- Institute for P.R. – https://instituteforpr.org/crisis-management-and-communications/
- HBR podcast – https://hbr.org/podcast/2020/04/managing-crises-in-the-short-and-long-term
- HBR – https://hbr.org/2020/03/are-you-leading-through-the-crisis-or-managing-the-response
- Forbes – https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2020/04/16/the-role-of-business-leadership-in-times-of-crisis/
Leading A Virtual Team
- Academy of Management Perspectives – http://public.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/faculty/malhotra/leadingvtsamp.pdf
- HBR – 5 Qs that newly virtual leaders should ask – https://hbr.org/2020/05/5-questions-that-newly-virtual-leaders-should-ask-themselves
- HBR: https://hbr.org/2013/06/making-virtual-teams-work-ten
Talk About Talk & Dr. Andrea Wojnicki
- Email – Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com
- Free Communication Coaching via the weekly Email Blog – https://talkabouttalk.com/blog/#newsletter-signup
- Website – https://talkabouttalk.com
- FB Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/2512948625658629/
Dr. ANDREA’s INTRODUCTION
Well, hello there. I’m your communication coach, Dr. Andrea Wojnicki. Please call me Andrea. Thanks for listening. Talk About Talk is where we improve our communication skills, so we can advance our careers and improve our relationships – including in times of crisis and including virtually – when we can’t communicate face-to-face IRL. How timely, right?
Welcome to episode #53. This is part two of a two part series on leadership, both featuring executive coach Heather Stark. In the most recent episode, we talked about general COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR LEADERS. In this episode, we’re focusing on CRISIS LEADERSHIP and LEADING A VIRTUAL TEAM.
In the last episode we defined leadership as motivating a group toward a common goal. It really is all about communication, isn’t it?
None of this changes in times of crises. So while there’s chaos and uncertainty, it helps to go back to basics. It also helps to adopt strategies or playbooks that have worked in the past. If you consider for example corporate crises such as the Tylenol poisonings in 1982 or national crises such as 9-11, there’s a playbook, right? Leaders mobilize to quickly collect information, create a taskforce, take action, calibrate effects, and seek preventative measures. All the while communicating with important stakeholders – including the press, employees, shareholders, and customers or citizens. Yes, it’s mostly reactive. But there’s a playbook of sorts.
So in 2020 we’re watching and participating with leaders around the world, responding to COVID-19 and racism boiling over. These crises will have permanent effect on all of us. Leaders of public and private institutions at the international, national and local level, and even in our own homes, we’re following this playbook. But it’s different this time, isn’t it? Things are certainly letting up, but thanks to the coronavirus, there’s less face-to-face communication.
There’s no established playbook for leading a virtual team. At least not until now. That’s where today’s guest executive coach Heather Stark comes in. Heather is going to share with us her 5C framework for developing a virtual team culture.
Let me re-introduce Heather now and get into the interview so you can hear it directly from her.
Heather Stark is a Certified Professional Coach, a member of the International Coaches Federation and the Founder & President of Stark Coaching. She also earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Heather combines her formal education and her 25+ years of business experience to help individuals and organizations navigate uncertainty and excel. Most recently, Heather developed a series of virtual workshops and coaching sessions to help her clients develop a sustainable virtual team culture, lead remote and mixed teams, improve communication with a communication playbook, hire and onboard new talent, and forge their path to re-entry.
Dr. Andrea Wojnicki: Thank you very much, Heather, for joining us to talk about leading in a crisis and managing a virtual team.
Heather Stark: Thanks for having me, Andrea. I’m happy to be here today.
AW: So I’m really curious to hear your personal and professional experience that you had in the first few weeks of COVID and physical distancing. Can you share that with the listeners?
HS: Yes. I remember especially what happened before the official directive came out to physically distance and close nonessential businesses – there was a lot of stress as leaders were trying to figure out what was the right thing to do for their organizations. Compounding this, Coronavirus hit the west coast before the east coast. Leaders were really struggling with, what do I do? Am I going to have to tell my employees that they’re staying home? Do I lay off employees? And so, for those first few weeks, my learning curve went way up. Because I was on the phone with clients that I would normally talk with once a week, up to three times a week, trying to help them figure out: How do I communicate this? What do I say to people? What’s the message that I’ve giving? Should I tell people that I’m worried? How much do I share? This was a really strong example of leading without a playbook. Nobody knew. And we’ve all heard about ways that you’re supposed to manage during a crisis. You learn as much as you can. You put together a task force and a communication strategy. In this case you get medical advice, you get all different types of advice to understand how to move forward. But everything was unfolding in such a surreal way, in many ways…
AW: and fast, right?
HS: Fast, you know. Every day something was changing. And that processing speed that was needed, that agility that was needed, and the ability to be kind of vulnerable and be collaborative through this process – and importantly involving people in the organization at all different levels. One of the challenges when people started moving to remote work was getting everybody up to speed and equipping people to work from home. Logistics around security, equipment – A lot of people have laptops, a lot of people have devices to work remotely, but administrative staff didn’t. They had a fixed desk with a desktop often, and in some cases those are people that are really needed to interface with clients – even if it’s remote. So getting them up to speed, getting them able to work remotely, figuring out: does somebody need to stay in the office? If they do, how do you protect them? How do you do that and what if they get sick…? How do you run your business with no one in the office? So all of the different pieces, the emotion that was going into decisions, was a very different way than people were used to leading. It wasn’t all strategic and there weren’t steps to follow. There wasn’t a playbook. And so making it up on the fly, being agile, listening to people, collaborating with people, and being willing to make some mistakes, and then go, Hey, you know what, I didn’t roll this part out quite right. Okay. But this is what we’re doing now. I think it’s been very humbling for a lot of leaders. And there’s been a lot of growth over the last little while and I’ve been super proud to see how quickly they’ve done it. I know the clients that I work with, they’ve adopted things that would have taken months, years to get through their organization, in a couple of days, a couple of weeks. I’ve been very, very impressed with the agility of leaders.
AW: It sounds like a lot of the skills that are really important in successfully navigating through this crisis are very similar to the skills that we talked about in the previous episode about leadership and communication, right? It’s just that they’re amplified. It’s so intense.
HS: Yes. I think that one of the things that I’ve learned, and I think a lot of leaders have learned is that if there are cracks, they are magnified now. So if there are challenges in your organization, this is a way for them to be magnified. And if there were people that were feeling a little disconnected – I talked before about how each individual has their individual culture. They bring that to the organization. If people are working on their own remotely, and the leader doesn’t watch and try to build a little bit of cohesion and adapt how they’re connecting people together, there is the danger that the employees will become silos of individuals disconnected from the organization. It takes confidence. It takes a lot of courage to be able to lead in a time like this, because everything is really amplified. They’re learning new skills. For example, A lot of leaders started doing videos as a way of getting a message to their whole team. They may not be comfortable doing videos, but they’ve learned that skill. They’re learning things like the nuances of Zoom such as looking up into the camera as opposed to down and learning all these different ways of communicating. So I think it’s been a steep learning curve. And it’s been really challenging. But a lot of leaders, I think, have really risen to the occasion.
AW: to your point about rising to the occasion, as you’re as you’re going through this list of experiences and the challenges. I’m feeling stress, like empathetic stress for these people. Especially when they’re working in a virtual team. It’s just so intense. And I guess one of the things that I’ve heard over and over again, is how important it is to celebrate the wins, right?
HS: Oh, definitely. And that’s a huge way of connecting with your team to individuals. It is so important to not just be focussed on the doom and gloom, but to really be focused on how you’re moving forward. How you’re having those meaningful human moments with each other. Those informal water cooler moments. Celebrating birthdays. Celebrating something that’s gone well with your clients. I’ve been doing workshops with a lot with teams during this time. During those sessions I’ve introduced what I call the five C’s of developing a virtual team culture. And CELEBRATING is one of those.
AW: So you mentioned your five C’s framework, and I’d love you to take us through those. So there’s celebrating and what else is there?
HS: CLARITY, it’s very, very important to clarify so that you’re communicating in a way that people understand and there’s a clear purpose. CONNECTION, creating a connection with individuals to the organization. People that are connected to the organization are more likely to be motivated to work. Creating a virtual team connection can be very challenging and requires intention. COMMITMENT, making people feel that they’re just not a cog in the wheel that’s helping things move forward, but that you actually are committed to the health of the individual, that you think they’re important to you as well. It’s the people first, who create the mission of the organization… it’s all part of moving the organization forward. It’s people who are going to be able to move the organization forward. And COMMUNICATION. When you’re talking about culture, as soon as you start talking about culture, the place I go to is communication. Because it permeates everything that we do. It is so important. And it’s sometimes easier to talk about developing communication norms than developing the right culture of an organization. Because if you get the communication part, right, you actually are developing the culture of the organization. So I think that that is very important.
AW: So we’ve got clarity, connection, commitment, celebration, and then communication.
AW: this is this is a really amazing framework that leaders are going to find very helpful, in your experience with your clients and your I guess your observations of what’s going on in business. Is there one that kind of rises up as being a particular challenge these days?
HS: So I think starting with clarity is really important. At the beginning, you were just giving as much information as you could and keeping people up to date. And now, at this point, being really clear, reminding people: what’s the mission of the organization? What are the values of the organization? How do you want to work together as an organization? what’s the structure, you’re going to put around things to help with uncertainty? How are you going to make things clear for people so that they understand what their goals are, what their accountability is in this, so that they feel that they are not lost? You’re giving them those touch points so they can understand what’s beyond this horizon? What are we working towards and clarify what they’re working on.
AW: I can see how that one would be the most challenging, because it’s almost like an oxymoron. We’re dealing with this moment of uncertainty, then even the directives that we’re getting from the agencies and the governments are inconsistent, right? We see the mayor doing one thing and the premier doing something else and people violating protocol and people instituting or recommending different protocols and it’s very confusing and until consistent directives are communicated from these regulators. How’s the CEO or leader in an organization supposed to do that. But I love your point of clarifying then what we are certain about, we are certain about, for example, our corporate mission, we are certain about our structure, right. So identifying, I guess, in highlighting what we are certain about.
HS: I think it’s very important. And this speaks to commitment as well. Engaged employees are more productive employees. A lot of people have been asking me, how do I motivate employees? Because you had that peak where you’re really in that mode of high urgency, and then sort of drifting along, and now we’re going into the re-entry for some organizations. And while some people are going to be working from home still for quite a while to come, others are going in because they’re essential to help your organization move forward. And so how do you get that commitment? How do you make people feel that they’re important? And so listening to the employees, making them feel like you’re committed to their well-being, setting some boundaries for your employees, helping them to have a structure even by just having a schedule, having predictability whenever possible is really important. And that’s an important commitment that you can make.
AW: So I have a really specific question related to that, that I’m curious about your take on. So structure and like a schedule, rituals that the organization is going to enable and reinforce, are, I guess, really important for us – both in terms of productivity, and even just in terms of our psychology and staying motivated, right? However, that said, there are parents at home right now, particularly those with young kids who are basically their child’s teacher during the day. And if the organization is saying, you’re now expected to be available, between nine and five, they have to be on. So have you heard stories like this about it being particularly challenging to I guess engage your workforce where there’s diverse family situations and home situations going on?
HS: Yeah, and I think that’s all about listening with empathy. There’s a lot of organizations that are doing these pulses, these anonymous pulses, to see how everybody’s coping. That’s great but When you do that you don’t actually find out what is happening at the individual level with people in your organization. And people might be afraid to speak up. Say for example you have a Monday morning get-together where it’s a touch base, and people can kind of have a coffee chat with each other, or maybe do that on a Friday. It’s really important to have those touch points, but people probably aren’t going to be sharing in that large group that they’re struggling … They may not feel comfortable saying right now, I actually have a two year old that’s sitting on my lap and I have to go change a diaper. Or I’ve got a 13 year old that’s having trouble following along with their zoom lesson in school and I have to go police that and make sure that they’re not watching videos instead of doing their schoolwork. It’s these kinds of challenges that can be really, really draining for people. And it’s happening, although both men and women are impacted, on the whole more women than men are taking on more this burden. I’ve had conversations with people, where a child was crawling all over someone, so this is something where empathy comes in. And that commitment to the people in the organization is super important when you’re dealing with a virtual team and mixed teams. It’s been announced that there won’t be summer camps either. So what are employees that are dealing with the children going to be doing while they’re working at home? They’re having a lot of difficulty with the boundaries between home and work. For some parents hours for productivity have changed, there’s a lot of working from 6am to 10am. That means that you’re not working during the ‘mainstream’ hours of the day, the main work hours quote, unquote, of the day and then maybe starting up again when your child’s gone to bed. And so that flexibility is really important. I actually have been doing a lot of work with organizations to help them develop a communication playbook so that they can actually learn, do a survey to understand what are people’s needs. For example, If I need to talk to you about something that’s a little bit more personal, how would you like me to do that? Would you like me to pick up the phone? Or would you like it to be by zoom or by FaceTime? How are we going to communicate what your hours are to other people, as we move into a hybrid situation, where we’re going to have people that are continuing to work remotely and others that are in the office. Some people are going to leave the experience of working from home saying I was not effective working from home, I don’t know how anybody can be effective working from home. Others are going to be like, wow, I was so effective working from home, I want to do this forever.
HS: And so you’re going to be coming into the situation now where people are going into re-entry. Okay, how do you balance this? How do you do fairness? How do you build trust, when some people are remote, and some people are working in the office? How do these things work? So this is where I’m doing a lot of work with clients around developing a communication playbook, which will act as a guide for how to best communicate as a team and how you deal with challenges that occur within the team.
AW: So I heard in your answer there, there’s almost a hierarchy of really understanding the preferences. And the capabilities given their home situation of your employees. So you can get anonymous feedback, right? That’s kind of the first tier. The second tier would be some sort of group meeting and checking in could be the Monday morning zoom call or the Friday afternoon call. And then at the top level, you need one-on-one input and understanding from each of your staff members, I suppose about what’s going to work for them in terms of timing in terms of communication medium, and all of the preferences. And I guess this is an opportunity for a lot of organizations and leaders to really get to know the people that they’re employing – all of the virtual team members. Right? and, and to engage them to be more fully productive than they’ve ever been.
HS: Yeah, because people if they are able to work in the way that is the most productive for them, they will be more productive. I think at the beginning was really difficult to do this. But now that we’re seeing a lot of organizations are saying we’re not going back till the end of the year. We’re only going to have a skeleton staff. We’re going to be completely virtual forever. So there’s different levels within organizations. I think for most organizations, there’s going to end up being a combination. I think that there’s going to be a fundamental shift.
AW: Yeah. So I’m actually really thrilled about that, to be honest. I worked directly with a CEO a couple years ago, who was very against people working from home. She was managing an organization where I understand people needed to be there on at least a semi regular basis, but there was really no reason they couldn’t institute virtual team work. And now she’s working at home, and she’s seeing that you can still be productive, and I’m so thrilled for her staff.
HS: Yeah, but this is what it took. Because I think for a lot of people, in the past there was this feeling that ‘working from home’ was like taking the day off or taking it easy. Now for people that enjoyed working from home, they are saying no, I can actually be productive and work effectively from home and actually, from what I’ve seen, I think a lot of people have worked harder through this time than they normally would have.
AW: I’ve heard that too.
HS: Things have changed. People that have been wanting to work from home for a long time and felt that may be more productive without the commute, without having to work during specific set hours, they’re going to be more productive. And so in some ways it’s a gift to organizations also, even from the perspective of office space, organizations may need less space. But I think in person meetings are still going to be important at some level, for connecting and contact when we’re able to go back to them, but a lot of people will be able to do their day-to-day work very effectively and very productively remotely. And you know what? For the people that feed on other people, those people that need that in-person interaction with people, having the opportunity for them to be able to go into the office and be in person in the office, that’s fantastic. Everybody learns differently. Everybody communicates differently. Everybody works differently. So this is a real opportunity to maximize productivity, maximize motivation, and really get the best possible workforce that you can have.
AW: As you’re describing that I’m feeling. I’m forecasting that there’s going to be a bit of a shake up, of course there is but one of the shakeups will be there will be organizing Along this continuum of we’re going to go back to being face to face, we have to because of this, and then the hybrid that you’re talking about, which will probably be quite common. And then the other organizations that we’ve heard about in the news that are going to be almost 100%, virtual. And then you have the individuals that have preferences for based on their personal situation, and based on their communication preferences, and their work preferences. And I think there’s going to be a shake up where people are going to be like, Okay, if I can’t do this with this firm, I’m going to go to another firm, where this is how they operate. I love this virtual team culture. And ultimately, hopefully, the firms and the individuals can all be more productive.
HS: Exactly. And most of my clients developed some sort of questionnaire over the last couple of weeks where they got feedback from their organization. How has this experience worked for you? Would you prefer to continue to work from home if that’s possible? If so, how many days per week? And so even asking questions of your organization, what are things that we started doing during this time that we should continue doing as an organization? You’re getting that feedback. This is such a gift to be able to get feedback from your organization.
AW: So you’re describing a format of questionnaire that I really like using the start, continue stop, what should we start doing? What should we stop doing? And what should we continue doing? And now it’d be a great time to take a pulse with that. And that leads me I guess, to the last question, which is, how will these skills of crisis management on behalf of leaders and particularly what’s been going on for the last couple months with COVID help managers ongoing in the quote unquote, new normal that we’ve started to describe here?
HS: I think continue with the learning and the openness. The agility that we’ve seen is a really important piece. We’re seeing organizations innovate at a really fast pace and make changes that they weren’t able to make before. And I really firmly believe that as you’re rebuilding, maintaining or shifting your culture, understanding how you’re going to communicate as a group is going to be a cornerstone of success and a way to do this is by developing a team Communication playbook. So you, as a leader, know what’s important and how to communicate to your organization as an entirety and also with the individuals on your team. That there’s a way of managing conflict, that there are some shared norms around assuming the best in people, especially if there’s a mixture of people that are virtual and non-virtual. If you’re not in a situation where you can tap somebody on the shoulder, just kind of acknowledge that, Hey, I know we kind of had a little bit of a disagreement, but we can move forward. Sometimes, when you’re in person, you can navigate things a little differently than you can when there’s a bit of physical distance between people. So really assuming the best in people. How it’s going to be fair, how you’re going to help people that are in situations that are a little bit more challenging than others. And also tapping into that empathy and that vulnerability as a leader so that you can share that, that you understand or want to understand what is challenging for me to and to celebrate with your team and not forget about that with the connection to celebrating making People feel the commitment to them. These things are all important things and moving forward in a way that allows people to connect, as opposed to just see each other on a screen. It’s about being more intentional than you were before. What you’re saying how you’re saying it. So assuming the best in each other, helping each other, to celebrate the things that are going well, help buoy people up and listen beyond the words.
AW: Very very well put, Heather. I feel like we’ve come full circle now. It’s back to some of the leadership qualities and skills that you talked about in the first interview, right? And it’s amplified, based on this incredibly intense experience that we’ve all had. And hopefully we can use that as a catalyst to not only reinforce, but to grow our communication and our leadership skills. Thank you very much Heather!
HS: Thank you very much Andrea. This was a real pleasure. I really enjoyed it.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Dr. ANDREA’s CONCLUSION
Thanks again to Heather for so generously sharing her expertise with us for this episode – as well as the previous episode.
Did you catch Heather’s insight about how it’s sometimes easier to establish communication norms than it is to create a culture? This insight can be so incredibly helpful. Yes, creating a corporate culture can be an overwhelming task, and even more so when it’s a virtual team, right? So instead, try focusing on establishing communication norms! Culture and communication are closely linked. By establishing these communication norms, you are simultaneously creating culture.
The 5Cs of creating a virtual team culture
There’s clarity, connection, commitment, celebration, and of course, communication. Keep this list in mind as you’re navigating and leading your team.
CLARITY, Heather highlighted that clarity is probably the most important of the 5Cs. Particularly in this time of uncertainty, leaders need to ensure there is clarity of purpose. Team members need to know what to do and why. In this time of uncertainty, they will also appreciate clarity on what IS certain. Is it the mission or vision of the firm? Is it the values of the firm? Is it the significance of a project they are working on? Leaders need to provide clarity.
CONNECTION. This second C means creating a connection with individuals to the organization and amongst each other. We talked about how firms can take the pulse in three ways – anonymous surveys, group meetings, and one-on-one. Ideally you do all 3. That way you’re maximizing touchpoints and you’re maximizing the opportunity for team members to feel comfortable in sharing their ideas and their concerns. People may feel disconnected particularly now that so much interaction is with a virtual team. Leaders need to go out of their way to ensure ever team member feels connected.
COMMITMENT, as in leaders ensuring their team members know they are committed to the health of not just the organization, but of the individuals. It’s the people first, who create and enable the mission of the organization… This can come through implicitly in what you say and do as a leader. It can also come through explicitly, like asking someone “how are you doing, really?”
CELEBRATION. As in celebrating the wins. The win could be landing a new contract. It could be meeting some goal of the organization. It could be getting through the week. It could even be someone’s birthday. You can celebrate by publicly proclaiming the win in a meeting or maybe on social media. You could deliver a tangible prize. Make celebration a part of your culture.
And last – COMMUNICATION. Heather highlighted as soon as we start talking about culture, the first place she goes to is communication. Communication permeates everything we do. And sometimes it’s easier to talk about developing communication norms than developing the right culture of an organization.
I found an HBS article on leading a virtual team that suggested leaders create a list or a table that outlines the various meetings they have, highlighting the mode of communication the meeting cadence, the agenda , and the meeting participants. I’ll leave a link to that article in the shownotes. But I’ll also add that there’s an easy way to remember this. Just think of W5. Do you remember W5 from your schooldays? WHO WHERE WHAT WHEN and WHY.
- So WHO is meeting participants
- WHERE is the media. Is it Zoom or phone or a walking meeting, whatever.
- WHAT and WHY is topic & objective of the meeting
- WHEN is the frequency and duration.
So yes, I just added the W5 framework into Heather’s 5C’s framework. I couldn’t help it. It works perfectly, doesn’t it?
As you’re navigating uncertainty, crises, and managing a virtual team, take a step back and think of this as a checklist.
- Am I providing Clarity?
- Are my team members feeling Connected?
- Am I demonstrating Commitment to the firm and more importantly to each individual team member?
- Am I encouraging and enabling Celebration?
- And last – Am I communicating ideally with the team, and encouraging them to do the same, possibly using the 5Ws to do so?
Alright. That’s it for this episode. I hope you’ve learned a new framework that you can take to help you become a more effective leader. If you check the shownotes, you’ll see a printable summary of Heather’s 5C framework, as well as a few links to a few other articles that I found that you might also find helpful.
Now, if you’re not signed up already, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the Talk About Talk email blog, where you’ll get free weekly communication skills coaching from me, including insights from the podcasts, some behind the scenes stuff, and more, all delivered directly to your email inbox. Just go to the talkabouttalk.com website or email me directly and I’ll add you to the list.
As always, I’d love to hear what you think about this episode, any ideas you have for future episodes, or anything else. You can email me anytime at Andrea@TalkAboutTalk.com.
Thanks for listening. And TALK SOON!
THANKS for listening – and READING!
Stay safe. And TALK SOON!
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