Let’s face it, it’s tricky to run or work in a business when people aren’t in the same building.
Whether you’ve been working on a remote team for a long time or it’s a new thing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve likely realized that it can be a challenge — especially at first. There are so many new things to consider, and the most complicated, and crucial task of all is managing yourself and others to be as productive as possible.
One key to success is to understand your own strengths and the natural instincts of the people around you. Using your Kolbe A™ Index result to determine what you need when working together, yet apart, will ease tensions and vastly improve your performance.
Use the information below to make working on a virtual team better for you and your co-workers as well. If you are in a leadership position, use the tips to provide the resources necessary for others to thrive when working remotely.
Initiating Fact Finder
How you gather and share information
If you Initiate in Fact Finder (7-10) you are the type of person who needs lot of data and information to make a decision or to get started on a project.
- You might experience stress finding the information you need. It may be physically in multiple places (folders/books), or you may be unfamiliar with the digital storage system that your organization is using.
- There may be fewer opportunities to ask the many questions you have. Listen, people who Initiate in Fact Finder need lots of information and tend to ask a lot of questions. When meetings start and end exactly on time because they’re happening over Zoom or Skype, there’s less opportunity before and after the meeting to sneak in those few extra questions – and no opportunity to stop somebody quickly in the hallway or lunchroom.
- Make digital resources as easily accessible as you can. Scan some of those cheat-sheets that you may have on your office walls or corkboard. Keep a digital folder of commonly used handouts or printed materials. If possible, delegate the task of finding the data or document to somebody else so that you can focus on doing the analysis. If you’re learning or implementing new systems, make sure you understand how to quickly access resources—before you get into a tight deadline!
- Schedule time for formal and informal chatting. That way you always have the opportunity to ask the important questions. Plus, in casual conversations you may discover information that you didn’t even think to ask about.
Initiating Follow Thru
How you organize and design systems
If you Initiate in Follow Thru (7-10) you’re the type of person who naturally builds and follows systems.
- When processes or steps aren’t written down and shared, you’ll likely experience stress, and have a hard time adjusting or managing projects when everybody is doing their own thing. Especially when they’ve put a lot of time into establishing a routine and a system that works for you and your department.
- Your time spent focusing may be perceived as “slacking off,” and interruptions (from Slack messages to the doorbell ringing) inhibit your productivity more than they do for most people.
- Document the most important processes and make sure everybody is working from the same versions. It will also help to have frequent collaborative project reviews, where new systems can be established and everybody can get on the same page—instead of working in silos.
- Use time-blocking to give yourself the chance to work without interruptions, and let others know that you’ve blocked that time so they can get in touch with you later.
Initiating Quick Start
How you deal with risk and uncertainty
If you Initiate in Quick Start (7-10) you’re the type of person who naturally changes things up, and can thrive during uncertain times.
- If you can’t casually brainstorm with others you may feel like you’re being stifled or unproductive. Initiating Quick Starts often talk out loud and bounce ideas off colleagues, which can be difficult in a remote office.
- Deadlines may not feel as important when you don’t see your colleagues inperson and don’t feel that urgent energy from a strict deadline.
- Use communication software liberally (without disturbing others). This means make use of video chat features and plan for regular, short brainstorming opportunities to involve others.
- Create urgency for yourself. Initiating Quick Starts thrive on deadlines, so set frequent reminders—maybe get a countdown clock. And, don’t be afraid to include other people. Schedule a check-in so that you have to get your work done before that time because other people are expecting it.
How you deal with space and tangibles
If you Initiate in Implementor (7-10) you will naturally demonstrate and build things. Physical interaction is key.
- Tasks, ideas or solutions may not be tangible enough for you when they’re only shared over a screen or phone; it’s hard to jump in and get started.
- Communication is challenging when you can’t be face-to-face. It’s common for an Initiating Implementor to walk to another person’s desk to not just tell them, but also show them something. This isn’t possible in a remote work environment.
- Be sure to demonstrate by sharing pictures, videos or prototypes to get your point across. Perhaps you need to draw, scan and send something to a colleague because that’s how you communicate best.
- Whenever possible, use video chats or meet-up in person – especially to make big decisions. Seeing other people will let you read body language, which is important for Initiating Implementors
You have 3 or 4 Strengths in the 4-6 Range (none in the 7-10 range)
If you don’t Initiate in any of the Kolbe Action Modes®, you’re called a Facilitator and will often be the unsung hero of the group. You won’t Initiate action, but you’ll catch what others may miss.
- A Facilitator may feel forgotten or underutilized when other people stay in their silos and don’t communicate that they’ve taken action on something.
- You may feel left out of groups when others form polarized factions based on their Initiating strengths, because your natural strength is to act as a bridge between them and build consensus.
- Create spaces to share priorities, plans, and ideas. Be the person to scan these things to see what’s not getting done.
- Set up frequent check-ins to understand what action has already been taken and to see what action is needed so you can jump in and be productive.
Here’s the thing…your natural instincts don’t change because of where you happen to be working, but the way you use those instincts may look a bit different and you may have to work harder to find the freedom to be yourself when you’re working remotely.
Next Steps with Kolbe:
- Take the Kolbe A™ Index to truly understand how you naturally take action. Find more tips and tricks for using your Kolbe result in the Activate Your A™ free webinar.
- Find out about setting up a free business account. For your team or organization to reach its peak performance, everyone on your team should know how they instinctively operate.
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There are so many new things to consider, and the most complicated, and crucial task of all is managing yourself and others to be as productive as possible. @Kolbe_CorpTweet
Using your Kolbe A Index result to determine what you need when working together, yet apart, will ease tensions and vastly improve your performance. @Kolbe_CorpTweet
Use the information below to make working on a virtual team better for you and your co-workers as well. If you are in a leadership position, use the tips to provide the resources necessary for others to thrive when working remotely. @Kolbe_CorpTweet