Leadership via the Lens: Remote Leadership

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In response to the global pandemic, COVID-19 coronavirus, Senior Director at Gartner, Saikat Chatterjee reported, “We’re being forced into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment, so far it hasn’t been easy for a lot of organizations to implement.”

While the pivot to making workplaces and workers safe was and had to be the preliminary focus, we now must develop the tools to make hybrid leadership a success. Leaders must build the skills, resilience, and commitment to lead their people in the office, at home, and with flexible work plans.

Leaders who could once scan the office or factory floor must adjust the way they guide, support, and check-in with their people and performance.

In this webinar, you’ll explore ways to lead remotely to ensure productivity and performance are on point. Engagement will need a new approach, so you’ll learn key insights into engaging employees across the miles and down the lens. Join this webinar to learn how to sustain yourself and the team during prolonged periods of uncertainty, change and crisis and understand how essential it is to master emotional intelligence and communication for leading remotely successfully.

Attendees Will Learn:

  • The new way to lead; what to keep, what adjust, what to learn.
  • The silver linings of remote working.
  • Tips, tools and strategies for engaging a remote team.
  • Emotional intelligence and resilience to lead remotely.
  • Leadership communication to lead and manage a remote team.

Who Should Attend:

  • Leaders and managers
  • HR and learning and development personnel
  • Independent consultants

Additional Resources:

Presenter:

Sally Foley-Lewis

Sally Foley-Lewis helps managers be high performing, purposeful and productive. Obsessed with boosting productivity and self-leadership that ensures people reach their potential. Sally positively impacts your results, confidence and effectiveness.

  • 2020 Gold Stevie Award – Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Services
  • 2020 Bronze Stevie Award – Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Consumer Services
  • Awarded the 2020 Breakthrough Speaker of the Year by Professional Speakers Australia
  • 2019 finalist for Australian Learning Professional of the Year
  • 2019 Bronze Stevie International Business Award
  • Winning Champion Sole Trader in the 2019 Australian Small Business Champion Awards
  • One of the 25 LinkedIn Top Voices for Australia for 2018 for her thought leadership.

She has authored multiple books: her book The Productive Leader received an endorsement from the renowned global personal development guru Brian Tracy. The drive to support and skill managers comes from her own senior leadership experiences. Sally delivers presentations, keynote speeches, workshops and coaching – all online and face-to-face – to help skill managers, boost productivity and self-leadership.

Blending 20+ years of working with a diverse range of people and industries, in Germany, the Middle East, Asia and across Australia Sally has extensive qualifications, a wicked sense of humor and an ability to make people feel at ease. Sally’s your first choice for inspiration, mastering skills, facilitating action and achieving results.

Sarah Cirone:

Hi everyone and welcome to today’s webinar. Leadership via the Lens: Remote Leadership. Hosted by HRDQ-U and presented my Sally Foley-Lewis. My name is Sarah and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around one hour. If you have any questions, please type them into the question area on your GoToWebinar control panel, and we’ll answer as many as we can during today’s session.

Sarah Cirone:

Today’s webinar is sponsored by HRDQ-U’s Reproducible Training Library. The RTL consists of more than 80 soft skills training courses, over 300 hours of high quality learning content. Each course includes instructor led classroom and self study versions and a new virtual instructor led version has been added for each course. The RTL. It’s downloadable and customizable learning. Learn more at www.hrdqstore.com/rtl.

Sarah Cirone:

Today’s webinar is presented by Sally Foley-Lewis. Sally helps managers be productive, profitable, and promotable. Obsessed with boosting productivity and self leadership that ensures people reach their potential, Sally positively impacts your results, confidence and effectiveness. Sally authored multiple books. Her book The Productive Leader received an endorsement from the renowned global personal development guru Brian Tracy. She delivers presentations, keynotes speeches, workshops and coaching, all online and face-to-face to help skill managers, boost productivity, and self leadership.

Sarah Cirone:

[inaudible 00:01:39] over 20 years of working with a diverse range of people and industries in Germany, the Middle East, Asia, and across Australia, Sally has extensive qualifications, a wicked sense of humor, and an ability to make people feel at ease. Sally’s your first choice for inspiration, mastering skills, facilitating action, and receiving results.

Sarah Cirone:

Thank you, Sally, for joining us today.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Thank you, Sarah Cirone. And it’s such an honor and a privilege to be back with HRDQ-U once again. Talking about a wicked sense of humor, I think sometimes technology has a wicked sense of humor because today’s presentation is all about Leadership via the Lens, isn’t it, and about how we can be exceptional remote leaders. The wicked sense of humor part comes in when my webcam won’t work. So there you go.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

But that’s what I look like with a beautiful bit of a touch up because let’s face it when you get a photographer, you want to have a little touch up. But that’s generally what I look like, and once you get to know me through the course of this webinar, you’ll absolutely know for sure that I’ve no problems being on camera usually. It’s just my tech has a wicked sense of humor today.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So thank you very much for joining us for Leadership via the Lens, and I think one of the biggest things we need to come to grips with in our current, whatever we want to call this because we’re definitely not post-COVID. I feel like I need to say in post-COVID world with a movie voiceover, but do we start to be COVID…

Sarah Cirone:

Sally, if you’re able to hear me, it appears we lost you on your audio. If you could try connecting via… Oh. It appears that we lost Sally. If you could just give us a few minutes here just to try to get her reconnected online, that’d be great.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Absolutely due east of me 427 miles. So…

Sarah Cirone:

Sally, are you able to hear me? It looks like we lost you for a moment there.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Okay.

Sarah Cirone:

[inaudible 00:04:01]. We have you back now and you sound clear, so if you just want to back up a bit.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Okay. Thanks, Sarah Cirone. Just to give a bit of background of knowing that I’m the right person for you for this particular webinar, my first job was actually working in Outback Australia, which means it was just myself and my administration officer, and my boss, my direct line manager was 427 miles away. And our head office for me was 731 miles away. Now not huge distances necessarily, but if you notice on the screen there that was our form of online communication. It was a old phone with a speaker, you could be on speaker, and that’s about it. You couldn’t see anyone. I often sat in my office in this little town called Longreach, which is where you can see the pin where it says me, and I’d be desperately listening hard to try and work out who was talking. And when people were in the regional office around a table, and they’d share a joke. And I’m sitting in my little lonely office in the middle of Outback Australia thinking, “I don’t understand the joke.” I felt so left out.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So this is not new this remote working and being able to have people working remotely. However, the sheer volume of leaders who now have to grapple with this concept of remote leadership has definitely changed.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So having that experience has taught me quite clearly some of the key strategies that we as leaders need to have onboard as remote leaders, and as we move forward thinking about the world we’re in now, it’s interesting that 42% of employees with a remote work option often plan to work remotely more often in the next five years. And another interesting statistic I found is that 400% growth since 2010 of the amount of people who work remotely at least once per week. And we all know that that major component of that 400% has become just quite recently.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So I would love to ask you a question. If you can put into the question box or the chat box if you have remote employees. If you’re a manager or a leader and you have remote employees, just type yes or no. Yes, great. Yeah, awesome. Okay. No, okay. Just one or two no. Yes, entire HQ is. Yes, definitely. Many remote. No, but work with people. Okay. Fantastic.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So a lot of people are in that situation at the moment, and if you’re not in the moment at the moment, maybe in your future you will be because even though pandemic is the word of the year, let’s face it, other words like pivot and hybrid are fast becoming those words for sure.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So in this session, we want to work out and find our groove in a new way to work, the new way to lead. So what to keep, what to adjust, and what to learn. Looking at the silver linings of remote working because if we constantly focus on the negative, then we’re going to be not helpful and not mindful of overcoming some of the challenges that we do face. And it’s not about being a polymer. It’s not about glossy over things. However in the last six to nine months where I’ve been working with clients, we’ve actually focused on the silver linings, and it’s made a lot of services and a lot of companies be far more astute about what they’re doing. So there definitely are some silver linings.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Tips, tools, and strategies for engaging your remote team, particularly through the lens of communicating and some themes that you can use to communicate with the team to make sure that everyone feels engaged. And we’ll hone in on that emotional intelligence piece because with emotional intelligence comes resilience and a greater ability to lead remotely with calm and confidence. And looking at leadership communication.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So there are our overall objectives for our session today. Is there a handout for this? So no, there’s not a handout, but I will definitely do some followup if you have any questions, and they’ll also be the slides summary. And I know that you can get the recording through HRDQ-U afterwards as well. So hopefully that answers that for you, Lisa.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So let’s move on. Some of the benefits that have come out of this whole shift to being working remotely, some of the recorded silver linings that I’ve been able to find, and this comes from financeonline.com, is massive reduction in travel time. A lot of time saved in not having to go places or to get dressed and commute and things like that. 27% reduced costs when it comes to the cost of travel, the cost of consumables that most people use to get to and from work. Interestingly, there’s been a huge increase in the consumption of soap and a massive decrease in the consumption of deodorant. I don’t know where we want to go with that, but I thought that was an interesting statistic that I found.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

19% improved collaboration and I think one of the silver linings of that is the fact that we’ve all felt as though we’ve had to work harder to stay connected, and a byproduct of that is better collaboration. And we have an 8% improved work life balance because a lot of people are finding ways to stay and look after themselves while also being at home. And the recording and archiving has also improved simply because our platforms are better, and we’re using them more. And those platforms automatically provide some of that recording and archiving functionality already.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

When firs COVID hit and in Australia it was mid-March and our country decided to lockdown, and we had to get home. I was actually at a conference when it happened. And when I came home, I was sort of in shock like most people were, and I instantly reached out to all my clients and said, “How are you? What can I do? Can we organize a dropping just to check on your team and see how you’re going?”

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So over the course of a couple of months when I was checking in with different teams, I asked them, “What are some of the silver linings? What are some of the things that have happened that you didn’t expect to happen out of this whole remote working environment, particularly for new leaders?” And a lot of the comments that came back from managers and leaders was that it’s actually been nice to be able to get a little insight into the homes and the home style and living styles of some of their team. You feel a little bit closer because everyone’s on camera usually, and you can see a little bit of what’s going on in the background because it’s not just the employees are home. Their partners are home, their family is home, their children are home as well, which lended itself to also a greater level of tolerance and kindness and a little bit more patience, which I think we could all do with even if we didn’t have COVID. So I think that’s also been a positive to come out of it.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Another thing that really stuck was the fact that everyone just had to stop and adjust and pivot absolutely immediately led to the most important work being done first. A lot of not redundant work but a lot of work that had less priority that, number one, wasn’t aligned to the mission and vision and the core business often fell away so that the most important work could get done first. So in that, it lends itself when that happens to a really good question around, do we keep doing this or is this something that we really need to actually address? So I think that’s a really positive thing to think about.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So Lana says, “It’s a positive for some bosses that they can see inside the employees homes? That comes off as very creepy to me.” Yeah, I totally get where you’re coming from. I guess it’s about small teams just being able to have a bit of connection. If the team are all happy to have their cameras on when they’re at home, then we all see a little bit into the background of someone’s life that way. Yeah, I don’t mean to get creepy though and be stalker-ish. That’s absolutely not on. So yes, I totally agree with that. Love that comment there, Lana.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So 90% of employees said they wanted at least weekly communication from their company, particularly when it came to COVID-19 and what’s happening and where’s the company going and what’s the company’s response just so they can feel connected and informed around what’s going on. And interestingly, employees who feel their voice is heard 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work, which means as managers and leaders, how are we listening to our people? How are we showing our employees that we hear them, that they have a voice, and that they’re being heard?

Sally Foley-Lewis:

I think one of the biggest things to remember in this, a lot of people want to have their say more than they want to have their way. And if we keep that front of mind and allow our people to express how they’re feeling, to talk about what’s going on for them, to put forward ideas about how we can create better and different ways of working given our current situation, then they’re going to feel empowered to perform their best. I think that’s a really important thing there.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So I just checked the chat box. Is this survey done by your company or come from another source? It’s come from a range of sources, D. So Harvard Business Review, Forbes, also from Smart and Finance Online are some of the sources that I’ve used to find these statistics. So thanks for that question.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Better communication requires visual cues. Absolutely, Michelle. As human beings, we desperately look for signs. As you know, when you’re driving around and you see traffic signs, it’s the same thing for humans. We need those signs to know where to go from a human point of view, from a communication point of view. We need that body language. We need the eye contact. We need the facial expressions. We need the tone of voice. We need the instructions as well and the concise and clear and confident communication.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

And as I said at the beginning, I don’t know if you heard me say this at the beginning, and you know the irony of this topic today and my webcam is not working. I much prefer to be on camera simply because I just feel like I can have that eye contact with you, and as we go through this webcast, you’ll absolutely get to know that I do not mind being on camera. It’s a comfortable place for me. So I apologize that my webcam’s not working.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

20% of remote employees say that they lack a sense of belonging and sometimes feel lonely. So these are something to be mindful of about as a leader and a manager, how do I check in and how do I create the space or how do I empower my team to self lead a way in which they can feel like they belong and they feel like they are connected? One group that I was working with as a COVID response actually came up with because everyone was at home, because all the kids were at home, partners at home, everyone’s at home trying to do this work from home thing. One thing came up with sharing five ingredient recipes so that they felt like they had the support of each other. We don’t have to overthink the strategies often. It doesn’t have to be complex things.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

75% of employees say that they feel more socially isolated. So these are things to think about because it will impact on productivity. Interestingly, we use the phrase work from home quite a lot, but the reality is we’re not actually working from home. We’re at home trying to stay safe and trying to work, and I think that that’s a little bit of a distinction that might help us as leaders to remember that it’s more than just a work from home scenario. I hope that resonates with you. So something to think about.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

We come to being remote and physically dispersed teams is this concept of the pair of proximity, and I’m sure you’ve heard this before. But I think right now we need to be helping our leaders and managers remember this and then also helping those managers and leaders to be helping their teams by mindful of this. If we move from left to right on the screen there, you’ll see, “I’m all on my own here, and I feel like I have to remind my boss I’m part of the team.” Now this is absolutely how I felt many, many years ago when I was out in the middle of Australia in the Outback sitting on that old phone trying to listen down a speakerphone set up, no visual, trying to decipher who’s voice was whose and what the inside joke was. So we need to be mindful of that.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

And in the middle there, “In our team meetings, our group at XYZ location often feel ignored and even if we do connect with the head office, we rarely get a word in.” So being mindful that everyone in the team has to be heard. Remember the statistic about 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered, and that has a direct impact on productivity.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

And the other part of power of proximity is when we’ve got people based at head office. There’s this tendency for the people who are at head office to feel as though their work is the most important because that’s where the decisions are made, and you have greater access to the boss. Now it’s not anyone’s necessarily fault that that’s the way it is because of location, but as leaders and managers, we need to pay attention to the impact this can have and that way we’re making sure that the team no matter where they are have a sense of power and they have a sense of connection and they’re being heard.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So some of the things you could do is observe team members and work to balance the contributions of speaking and listening. You can imagine being on an online call and you’ve got one person who seems to do a lot of the talking. Maybe it’s about encouraging them to also listen and think about what others have to say as well.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Yes, I can get you a copy of the slides, definitely, Alicia. Don’t worry about that. Happy to do that.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

The other thing we can do is actively and explicitly invite contributions. So we’re calling on people and being mindful of that, but also as the manager and the leader, we want to make sure that we’re ready to clarify, interpret, and define things for team members. We want to do the best we can to minimize those miscommunications and misunderstandings simply because we’re online. In our one-on-one’s with team members, we can remind them to contribute more or listen more, whichever way it needs to be. Use common terms, even slow down our speech, particularly if we’re global, particularly if we’re multi-cultural and we’re diverse, and English might not be our first language. So also, encouraging people to, for themselves, to seek out clarifications to avoid misunderstandings.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So I think that’s a really key thing as leaders in the lens is making sure that we are in the back of our minds paying attention to this impact of the power of proximity.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Now some other strategies that we can get into also include leveraging technology. So what are the online collaborative tools we can use? And we’re absolutely on one of those tools today, and most people have access to a lot of different technology today. One of the things that I think is so important is to make sure that whatever we’re using, we’re leveraging it to the best of its capacity, that we’re getting a massive return on investment, and not necessarily jumping onto the next best platform just because it’s there.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Making sure we have clear expectations. You can never communicate too much and being sure that you’re absolutely clear in your expectations with your people.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

You can share the time zone tyranny. So what that means is looking at the ways in which you can actually spread across different time zones so that you can find some of the overlap. It’s not just about when’s the best time to have a meeting that suits head office. It’s actually looking for the best time that minimizes a negative impact on everyone, and it doesn’t have to be the same all the time. You could rotate around different sites. So for one month the team meetings for one month could actually be a little bit more favorable to site D, then the next month it’s a little bit more favorable to site C depending on your time zones. So it’s a bit of creativity in that. It’s not impossible to work out. But being mindful that we can do these things so that it actually shifts the power of proximity to be more equitable, and it’s demonstrating a value in your people no matter where they are.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

The appreciation assumed is never received, and I’m going to repeat that. Appreciation assumed is never received. I don’t think I need to say too much about that except to tell you that 69% of employees say they would work harder if they were better appreciated. Do not keep praise a secret.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Now the last idea there or the last suggestion is the social hour. Now these can have a really, really negative cringe factor. When COVID first hit, there was a lot of happy hour setups that were done online. And they were novel, and they were okay for a little while. But they cannot be mandatory. They need to be open and accessible. They need to be kept real. Don’t force the fun because let’s face it, there’s a lot of things going on. I think even if you had less of a social hour but more of a I’m available for any sort of conversation at this hour might work better than a forced happy hour. So just something to be mindful of around having some space where people can drop in and really connect.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So thanks for sharing the slides. They’ll be sent to everyone. I will show you on the last slide how to do that. Thank you for that question. Just checking the questions again.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

“I have managed someone who wanted clear expectations, but considered it to be micromanagement suggestions. This person also wanted to be pay for social hours. Your thoughts?” Well, if social hours are not compulsory, then they don’t have to be paid and they don’t have to attend. That’s how I would handle that. The expectations I think it’s about being clear that your intention is that you want to know that they understand what you’re desired outcome is. If you’re micromanaging, then maybe the question… I don’t know if you are or not, but it might be are you going too far into the how things are doing versus what you want done. So that might be something to think about. But also, you can just tell them your intention is you just want to make sure that there are no misunderstandings, that you’re setting them up for success. Start with your intention first to set the scene with regards to that conversation. I think that might help you a little bit there.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Happy to go further into that a little later if you want to, Alicia.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So IQ and EQ. This is something that I’m absolutely passionate about, and I’m certified to deliver the emotional intelligence EQ2 assessment if that’s something of interest to anyone. 71% of employers who say they value emotional intelligence over IQ. And the reason why, especially as we work in a remote environment, is because we stay calm under pressure. We have grace under fire, and we’re able to keep ourselves in check. We can resolve conflict more effectively when we can regulate our emotions and we have an increased level of self awareness and social awareness. We’re able to resolve conflict more effectively.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

We have empathy, and empathy is one of the biggest things I think that particularly right now when we are so remote is what’s going on for my people? What would it be like if I walked in their shoes right now? If I was then, how would this be received? Empathy, empathy, empathy is our number one go-to every single time. I cannot encourage that enough.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

We get to lead by example. When we are in a high level of emotional intelligence, when we become motivated, we’re connected, we can read the room. We’ve got social and self awareness. We’ve got social and self management. We’re able to be the leader that we aspire to be, and therefore we become a great role model. Now we tend to have really thoughtful business decisions. We’re able to see things from a different viewpoint.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

We’re also able to hear suggestions and take onboard comments and concerns in a much better way and handle those conflicting views in order to make better decisions. So I think that’s another real big asset of high EQ over not necessarily in replacement of IQ but definitely having high EQ.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

We’re able to admit and learn from mistakes. And one of the things I think is really important is that we see it as a learning opportunity. We take responsibility for what we’ve done. We hold ourselves accountable, which I think is so important, and one of the things that we can do when we have got a high level of emotional intelligence is we don’t give ourselves a hard time about it either. We don’t then also give others a hard time about mistakes. We take the learning, and we move on.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

And we can keep our emotions in check, which is a massive part of emotional intelligence. When we have that self awareness, we are able to identify our emotions, and therefore we’re able to also regulate our emotions. It doesn’t mean we don’t have emotions, and it doesn’t mean we don’t express them. It’s just we find more confident, calm, and clear ways to express them so that people can still work with us in a really conducive and productive way. And particularly when all we have is a lens or a speaker and a microphone, this is super important.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

When we have a high level of emotional intelligence, we’re in a space where we want to listen and learn just as much as we want to talk. We value the input of others so much more because it helps us get a greater insight into what’s going on around us, into what’s happening for our team into what is working with it comes to the work we’ve got to do. It’s a massive piece that’s so important for us.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Thanks, Ginger. It’s self regulation. Absolutely self regulation is so important. Being able to identify and then check ourselves I think it’s a key piece, and it helps us also to therefore have empathy for others who are not probably having such an easier time with the situation that they’re in.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

The other thing that helps us when we have a high level of emotional intelligence is that we can take feedback well, and we see feedback as simply that. It’s information about a situation or a behavior or a piece of performance, and we are able to definitely have a perspective on that information and a choice about how we use that information.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Anyway to see your chats or just on my own? I’m not too sure about that. I’ll hand that to Sarah Cirone on that one.

Sarah Cirone:

So other participants are unable to view each other’s conversation or comments. So we will moderate that as we have some chats coming in, as Sally is doing.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Okay, great. Thanks, Sarah Cirone.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So our emotional intelligence is one of the things that I think is super important because it also helps us influence the way in which we communicate with our people. So when it comes to being able to support our team and how we communicate with them from any place at any point on the planet, can be driven by building and sustaining resilience. And I’ve got a very simple structure that I want to share with you. It’s the five Ls, and so we’ll work through that together now.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

I just wanted to stop for a moment though and just check if I was to be a fly on the wall where you’re working right now, out of a score of 10, how confident are you about your remote leading right now? Are you a 10? 10 being brilliant. 10 is I’ve got this. I’m all over it. Number one is thank goodness you can’t see me or hear me. I just want to hide. I want all this COVID rubbish to go away, which we all do. But being able to handle and lead remotely right now, how are we all feeling? Are we at a one, a five, a 10, a seven? Throw a number in the chat box or into the Q&A just so I can get an idea.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Here we go. Here we go. Fours, sixes, eights, 10. Nice one. We’ve got some 10s. Love it, love it, love it. Doing well. I miss feeling the energy. Oh, yes. I’m with you on that one too. 10. Doing well. Things to work on. Yeah, I think most people are fairly similar to that. It depends on the day. Some days are better than others. Miss a lot of the nonverbal. Feeling neutral. I hate this. Thank you for your honest there, Carry. I really appreciate that because that’s the reality of it for a lot of people. I just hate it. I want it over. I want to get back to what was normal. Yeah. Question, what is normal now?

Sally Foley-Lewis:

We’ve got a lot of 10s in there. Great, love it. Miss the hugs. Aw. Yeah. Yup. Hard to keep people engaged. Yeah, I totally get that. Absolutely. Thank you for sharing, everyone. Absolutely appreciate the honesty of your scoring. I think it’s just you’re calling it as it is. So webinars like this that are hosted through HRDQ-U are great ways to just give you some ideas going forward as well.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

And you know what, even out of this webinar, if there’s just one thing you can try differently, just try it. It might work one day, and it might not work the other. And that’s because we’ve got context and we’ve got people and we’ve got different demands going on. And that’s okay. The minute you stop trying things, that’s when I would have a concern. Even when you’re having your team meetings or you’re trying to have a meeting with a range of staff, and normally everyone’s on camera and then once in a while someone’s not on camera, it pays to just check in. And I’m sure you’re doing that.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

But I just wanted to be really quite explicit about it. It’s not about being nosy or diving deep into their personal background because in Australia, I’ll speak to the Australian law, and I’m sure yours will be quite similar in the US, is that you cannot… The law is probably quite similar wherever you are actually. You cannot tell people how to run their personal lives as an employer, and that’s fairly obviously, right? However, it’s really quite weird, isn’t it? Because here we are, we’re all trying to get some work done while staying at home and staying safe. And we’ve got our cameras on. So we do get that insight, a little, tiny slice of insight into people’s personal lives. So we’ve got to be careful about how we maneuver this and help people to stay safe.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So the five Ls are going in that direction. So I just wanted to just check to see if there’s any questions. Thanks for this webinar. Much appreciated. My pleasure. Thanks, Ralph.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So don’t overthink your strategies. The five Ls are nice and simple, and this is also something you can do as a team activity. You don’t have to necessarily be the one delivering all the information. You could deliver the question, and the team can strategize and come up with ideas.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So let’s jump into the first L, which is lend. This is about lending a hand and encouraging people to ask who needs help or better yet, simply just do something nice. And it might be that you could set a theme for the week where you’re encouraging everyone just to lend a hand. What’s something nice you could do? Now in my street where I live, we’ve got a elderly lady. So we often drop groceries at her door. When COVID hit and we were in lockdown, we’re no longer in lockdown here, a lot of people would say, “Going to the market, anyone need anything?” So we’d have less people going out to the street. We’ve got a private Facebook group for my street, all the neighbors. So we look out for each other.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

When it came to work, my team would reach out to a lot of people and spend time reading stories, particularly when family members had to work from home, and the children were at home. So we would actually connect with them and say, “Can we just jump online and read a story to your kids?” So don’t overthink these things. They’re simple, and they’re community oriented. The value of being able to lend a hand to someone else is that we get out of our own head, and we feel good about the giving. So that’s something to think about.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So Candace, you’ve got here, just checking the Q&A. “It is difficult managing my staff remotely who have to be in the building and don’t always have access to computers, which is what works best for me right now. I count a late email responses and/or failure to complete delegated tasks for our actual department, in addition to our reassigned roles. Being empathetic is the truth, and where I have began to work from more.”

Sally Foley-Lewis:

I love that. Absolutely. Yeah, and starting from empathy means we can actually ask some questions, get some real insight into what’s really going on, and then because when you get that really clear picture and then ask them, “Well, what do you want to do to make this better?” See how I said that? You don’t have to have the answer. You can ask them, “So I hear what you’re saying. It’s not working. Things are happening too late. We’re not finishing things on time. What do you want to do? What’s going to work for you?” And you step into coach mode then, don’t you? And you’re able to help them to empower themselves. Yeah, good on you for empathy, Candace. I love that. Definitely.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So where can you and your team lend a hand? Is it at work for the employees, for your community? Don’t overthink this. This could be a team activity even. So just something to think about there.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

The next L is link. Now a lot of people over the last, as this COVID has progressed over the last six months, six to nine months actually, hasn’t it? It’s been the common theme that’s been emerging has been Zoom fatigue. This video conferencing fatigue. So get off the video and get on the phone and just ring someone and have a chat. Link back with people. Who’s a client or who’s someone in the organization who when you were all face-to-face or when you were all together, you wouldn’t talk to them every day necessarily but you certainly had some interaction. So how about catching up with them?

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Now one of the things that I did with a particular client around this is one staff member when we talked about link, they said to me, “You know what, I would probably spend… When we were in the office, I would’ve spoken to the IT department and Dave.” Dave in IT is what they said. “I spoke to Dave in IT probably every two to three weeks. I haven’t spoken to Dave for months. I’m going to ring Dave. It might freak him out, but I want to ring him and just say hello.” And I followed up a couple of weeks after that, and yes, Dave was a little bit surprised to get the phone call but at the same time, delighted. They were able to have a five minute chat. It wasn’t a long, lengthy chat, but the value of that connection, just to reconnect and say, “Hey. I haven’t forgotten you. Thanks for being a great IT guy, and how are you going?” So who can you link to? Who can you stay together connect with?

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So Stephanie says, “In relation to the advice you just gave going into coach mode and asking your staff what they want to do to make it better, how do you handle when their response is, ‘I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking you as my manger what I should do.'” Then ask them what their outcome is. Between you and me, it’s probably a little lazy, and I’m going to call it as it is. I’m a truth teller. I wouldn’t tell them it’s lazy. I would probably keep persisting with questions and say, “Well, tell me what you’d like the outcome to look like. How would it feel when this is working well? What does it look like when it works well?” Don’t just give up on the first round. Push a little bit harder or a little bit deeper I should say, not harder, and encourage them.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

I had a coach that said to me many, many years ago when I said, “I’m not clear. I’m not sure,” and they said to me, “Imagine if you did know.” And the other way you could do this is if someone came… And you could say this to that employee. If one of your work colleagues came to you with this same dilemma, what advice would you give them? So get them to get out of their head and in that stuck mode, and get them to get into helpful mode. And they end up being helpful for themselves. I hope that helps you, Stephanie. So yeah, there we go. Thank you.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

All right. Next one is limber. The third L is limber. As I said before, we can’t tell people how to live their persona lives, but as an organization, we can absolutely encourage people to be healthy and looking after their physical and emotional wellbeing. One of my teams that I did a Zoom drop in. Now early on a lot of naughty things were happening on Zoom where people were Zoom bombing and being very inappropriate. So what I did was I took that concept and went to my clients, and said, “Can I please do a appropriate and helpful Zoom bomb on your next team meeting?” So I would drop into these staff team meetings, and I would do some stretches, chair stretches. We’d talk about what are we doing to be healthy and looking after our emotional wellbeing. And so everyone could share things, and from that, people could takeaway some extra ideas themselves. We did a seven minute mindfulness exercise, and then we talked about the silver linings of the situation that we’re in.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So it doesn’t have to be big things, and we’re just being mindful that we’re in a different situation right now. So we’re asking our people, what are we doing to look after our physical and emotional wellbeing?

Sally Foley-Lewis:

There’s some amazing YouTube videos out there around chair yoga and office aerobics and such. Not sitting down all the time. Are you walking? Are you having breaks every 20 minutes just to walk around? One of the teams that I worked with, we decided that we would do three days a week there would be a two hour block of no contact. And in that two hour block, people would work for say 40 minutes. They could choose their ratio of work and break. But as an example, they would work for 40 minutes solid, then they would go outside in their front yard or their backyard and walk around and then come back and do another stint of work. And it’s based on the Pomodoro technique and productivity. That’s something to think about.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

You’re welcome, Stephanie. Sandra, “I keep hearing about walking meetings. Are you an advocate for these, and what do they look like?” I’m absolute advocate for these, Sandra. I think they’re the best thing. But essentially you just agree to meet with someone, and you go for a walk around the block. I did these years ago when I was the CEO of an organization. I do them now. I actually do walking mentoring sessions. I meet the client at a certain point. We walk around a certain track that you use your Google maps or whatever you need. It is a great way to get the exercise in, get outside, and get moving. So I love that, Sandra. Absolutely.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

“Like the concept of positive Zoom bombing, even as a surprise. No control but variation and keeps people there.” It was an absolute surprise, Tim. Total surprise, only the manager, the boss and I knew. It was good fun. Absolutely good fun.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

“Good examples of maintaining relationships that once existed in person. Thoughts on creating relationships with new team members, new hires, for example.” Thanks, Jonathon. I think that’s a great question. You could do little games. I don’t like to use the word games because it makes it sound childish. But they are kind of exercises, activities, fun things that everyone in the team could submit a baby photo, and everyone has to pick who’s who. So only you and obviously that person who is the baby photo know who’s who.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

You could do tell me five things about yourself and everyone does it, not just the new hire. But it’s about creating. What three questions would you ask a famous person? All those sorts of things that we would do as icebreakers when we go to meetings and networking events. You can do them online. So don’t be afraid to try them out. It’s trial and error all the way. And even if it doesn’t work and even if everyone says, “Oh, this is a bit cringe-y,” and you can tell it’s a bit cringe-y, then say so and have a laugh about it because the laughing about how bad it is might be the thing that breaks the ice as well.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Sometimes we need to just be okay if an activity doesn’t work too well. So something to think about there, Jonathon. Happy to have a chat more about that if you’d like too later on.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

“Emerging the social with virtual movement sessions as a team builder that has been effective in our community.” Awesome, Cass. I love hearing that. Thank you. “Also scheduling idle time in workday schedules.” Absolutely. I have one person who I’m coaching at the moment, works for 50 minutes, then puts a load of washing on. Comes back, works 50 minutes, hangs the washing up. Comes back, works 50 minutes, loads the dishwasher. Now I don’t think that’s idle, but she does. So I’m not going to argue with her. But it’s creating that space in the day where you can pattern breaks so you are refreshed and reenergized. Love it. Thanks, Cass. Yeah.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So we are onto our fourth L, which is look. And here’s a leader. If we were not in COVID and we were sitting by our conference room or we were sitting in our beautiful team meeting room, it would be about be more observant. What are the noises you hear? What are the colors and images that you see? What’s going on around you? If you commute, for example, if you used to commute to the office and you’re not doing that right now, do you stick your head into your mobile device or your book or your eReader or Kindle or do you actually watch the world go by through the windows of the bus or the train or the tram? Those sorts of things.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

But now we’re in COVID, and we’re online. And we’re down that lens. Who’s not connecting? Who’s not on camera? Who’s working long hours? It looks a little bit like they’ve lost a bit of control around their time management. Who’s not commenting at the moment whereas they used to comment a lot before? So paying attention to what’s happening. Being a little bit more observant around people’s behaviors. I did have one manager reach out to me recently and tell me that one staff member who would be on camera, contribute fairly normally, not over the top started to have a few sessions where they would show up to their team meetings, their morning team meetings still in their pajamas. Now the team was quite close. It was a small team. Not too many people really cared. It was sort of a cute thing at first. However, it did become a bit of an issue when this person would not even brush their hair, then there started to be some self care issues.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So it’s about paying attention to that and making sure that we can check in with people and make sure that they’re doing what they need to do to look after themselves. So who do you need to look out for? What do you need to observe? What do you need to pay attention to?

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So Debbie says, “What if you as a supervisor are the new addition to the group?” Then I think it’s lead by example, Debbie. Share whatever you can about yourself with the team so that they feel like they get to know you. I would do probably a lot of one-on-one’s to start with. Introducing yourself. Whatever you’re happy to share with the team about your vision for the team and who you are, how you like to lead, how you like to communicate, and how that might be different in a COVID world versus a pre- or a post-COVID world. Let them know when you’re available, and also ask them. Ask your people how they like to communicate as well. Set yourself up for success, particularly around the communication piece.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

And this is not even a COVID related thing. This is a general leadership thing. So many times when we have managers step into a new role or into a new organization and they’re expected to hit the ground running. But they haven’t done some of the core basics, like how do you like to communicate? How can I be the best leader for you? What do you need from a leader? Those sorts of questions are going to set you up for success.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Cass, yeah. All relative. Absolutely, Cass. Totally. Yeah.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So our last L is learn. Now I am an absolute lifelong learner. I believe that leadership is a journey. It’s a marathon. We never stop learning to be better leaders, every single one of us. So it’s time to really remind yourself what more do I need to learn about? What more do I need to do? And when we look at it from being a leader down a lens, then what do I need to know about the different locations? What do I need to know about how hard is it for a decision to be made from a different location?

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Let’s take the internet as an example. Now I live in Australia, and you’d think for a developed country we’d have pretty good internet. It is hands down one of the worst internets in the world. Yet that’s the situation we live in. So I’ve got to constantly learn different ways to make this the best it can possibly be. So if I had a head office in say Singapore where the internet is exceptional, then I would want my boss in Singapore to be mindful that I struggle with quality internet, and I’m doing the best I can. So it creates that empathy.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So what do you need to learn about when it comes to the different locations of your people? What also do you need to learn about your people? What are some of the things that would help you be a better leader for them? So I think learning is a massive area for not only you as a leader but also imagine doing this as a team activity. You could come to each team meeting saying, “Tell me one thing about your background that no one else would know. Tell me something that you’ve done in your life that people just wouldn’t believe you’ve done it but it’s actually true. Tell me something about your office that frustrates you. Tell me something about the location of where you’re working is really quite novel and unique and you think it’s different to everyone else.” Don’t overthink these things. This is about connecting and learning and seeing how people are going.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So let’s just check to see if there are any other questions.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So we’ve just gone through now a whole range of reasons why our emotional intelligence is so critical for our ability to lead down the lens. It keeps us in check. It keeps us calm. It helps us to make decisions and connect with people. And also, it helps us to be the best version of ourselves. Now the other thing that I think is so super critical for us is having really easy strategies to implement. So the five Ls are there for you. So I just want to test you. Can you remember the five Ls? Just type them in the Q&A or the chat box, and let’s see if you remember the five Ls.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Can you remember the five Ls? Lend, link, limber, listen, and learn. Listen’s not quite right, but I still like it. I might make it six Ls. Thanks, Jonathon. Look, learn, limber, look. Yeah. Oh, geniuses. Geniuses. You are all geniuses. Love it, love it, love it, love it, love it. Absolutely.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So lend, link, limber, look, and learn. And thanks to Jonathon who gets all the credit, a sixth one, listen. So fantastic.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Oh wow. Zurina, nice notes. Well done. Zurina’s just put in a whole stack of notes against each one. So thank you very much for that. Top of the class to you, Zurina. Sorry, Zurin. Sorry. Thank you very much.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So Barbara, “Enjoyed this time with you Sally. Time well spent.” Thank you very much. Look, if you would like a copy of these slide deck, what I tend to do is I just don’t give out the slides on their own. I’ll give you notes, and I’ll also add in some self coaching questions because I think let’s fact it, you get the slide deck, and then six months later you look at the pretty pictures and you wonder what was that. So I often provide a PDF, like a post-workbook setup.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

If you’d like weekly leadership and self leadership notes starting in January, happy to add you to that. I will also provide the chapter one of the book The Productive Leader. And something that I have written since COVID started is the Management Success Book, which is part of a series of books. I’ll give you the full workbook on managing remotely and virtually, which includes some of this but a whole lot more. It is literally a workbook. So there’s a lot of information there about different things that you can do.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So if you would like all of that, simply email me sally@sallyfoleylewis.com. And in the subject line, please put HRDQ-U Lens Freebies. That’s all you need to do.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

So thank you, Crystal. I appreciate that.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

If there are any questions, I’ll just stay on the line here and just hand it back to Sarah Cirone as well. I might go just back here if you get that. Everyone has a chance to get the details if you want them, and I’ll hand to Sarah Cirone.

Sarah Cirone:

Yeah. So we have time here maybe for one question if you do have any other questions. Sally did a wonderful job at answering your questions throughout today’s session. Today’s webinar was sponsored by the Reproducible Training Library from HRDQ. Providers of downloadable and customizable course-ware. Now with a new virtual instructor led version. You can learn more at www.hrdqstore.com.

Sarah Cirone:

And Sally, it looks like we did cover all of the questions that the audience had for you today. And that will conclude today’s webinar. Thank you, Sally, for such an informative session today.

Sally Foley-Lewis:

Thanks, Sarah Cirone. And again, everyone, you’ve got my email if you have a question, I’m here for you. Don’t be shy.

Sarah Cirone:

Great. And thank you all for participating in today’s webinar. Happy training.

 

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