Leadership in an online context

Leadership in an online context differs dramatical from an offline context. The skills required to lead people in a face-to-face environment differs dramatically to those needed for remote workers or teams. 

In an online world:

  • Authority is minimised,
  • Different status symbols are used,
  • Tools used to convince and persuade others are different.
Additional training needs to be given to current leaders who are not familiar with online leadership soft-skills. 
Effective online leadership involves: 
  • Being clear and decisive about goals, direction and next steps for  the team or project,
  • Checking in more often with your remote-working team members – especially as they don’t get that ad-hoc engagement that is conducive of the online working environment,
  • Having regular informal work assessments with each team member – as they aren’t able to ‘read’ your body language, tone of voice while remote working,
  • Encouraging and planning  team-building activities more often than you would for on-site teams.

Ciaran Mc Mahon from the RCSI Institute of Leadership talks through Leadership, Cyberbullying, the Multiplier Effect, Online Identify Protection and Ubiquitous Computing using Smartphones as a Transitional Object – which we ought to see as our main Online Portal.

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Working with remote teams

In a webinar on Mastering Remote Working, Lane 4 covered areas that helped leaders working in a world with ‘less sight’ of their working team. A few insights have emerged.

  • Leaders have the ability to create vision, create support and create challenge,
  • Leaders need greater clarity and vision around what you’re trying to achieve as a team,
  • Their is an need to increase the level of support provided to each team member,
  • Leaders need to be able to healthily challenge their team members, ‘so that they can provide the best solutions that they possibly can’.

(The key bit around leading in a virtual world starts at 8:00 minutes in).