Building remote relationships

In response to last week’s question about what you do to enhance remote work relationships, here’s what some leaders are doing. Thanks to those who responded!

A director meets remotely with a group of peers (camera ON required) late Friday afternoons. These meetings are to talk about anything on their mind, mostly work related. Typically 30 minutes, they go longer when a discussion warrants it. They support each other when difficult situations are shared and offer advice with no judgement. The “Vegas rule” is reinforced. It’s great for their mental health and relationships are stronger.

Another director blocks “office hours” on her calendar weekly (usually two hours) so her team knows when they can call or stop by. She also does regular 1:1s. 

Another recommended, schedule meet & greets on Zoom with new colleagues. Use calendar reminders for yourself so you’ll do it. Leave a message for someone you want to catch up with. It may make their day.

At weekly “unwind” meetings, any in the group can send in photos and talk a bit about them. The leader said it relieves some stress and people are getting to know each other better.

A group uses brief, daily meetings to connect about what’s going on with work assignments, helping everyone stay connected and moving forward. Another commits to “the most important thing I’m going to do today.”

You’ll want to pay attention to the body language and participation of all involved. There are some who will find group sharing time frustrating. They may be thinking, “I don’t have time for this,” or, “I don’t care what Steve or Sally does with their dogs.” Check in with those who may not appear to be engaged repeatedly.

It takes effort, but we all know connections are key to growth and getting things done. Figuring out how best to foster connections with individuals and groups is something every leader has to figure out. It’s time well spent, because if you don’t, it will come back to bite you. Remember, you don’t have to plan meetings alone. Ask for input from your people, especially if you’ve been doing it a certain way for a while. They’ll tell you what’s working for them and what isn’t.

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