If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved and never will achieve its full potential, that word would be “meetings.” ~Dave Barry, “Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn”
Distance may make it impossible for you to get together with your team in person, but you can still successfully coordinate with your people via teleconference. The trick is: how can you make these remote tête-à-têtesas productive as possible? Here are 6 rules of thumb to get you started:
In our last post, we covered logistical strategies for communicating with team members working from remote locations. You want to be clear, effective and maximally productive. Today, we’ll continue along the lines of that theme and review strategies to build strong relationships with your remote team members. Just because they’re out of sight doesn’t mean they should be out of mind or left to their own devices. Follow these tips:
1. Get to know the team.
Comfort is key! You need to talk about more than just the nuts and bolts of your operation. Within reason (and the bounds of civility), share jokes, share moments, and cultivate empathy. Yes, there will be limits in terms of how much you can make a remote team “gel.” But as WPBeginner entrepreneur Syed Balkhi puts it, “your remote workforce will only work as a collaborative unit when every team member trusts and respects their co-workers.”
As Charles Darwin, the father of the Theory of Evolution, famous observed: “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Oliver Wendell Holmes shared a similar sentiment: “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another’s mind than the one where they sprang up.”
Being able to collaborate with your team effectively is essential to its success, but what if the members of your team are not physically present? A staggering 37 percent of all U.S. workers now telecommute, according to recent analysis. Collaborating with remote team members is nearly unavoidable, no matter what your business is or how much in house capacity you’ve cultivated.
In our last post, we talked about the importance of social intelligence as well as some of the implications of poor or underdeveloped social intelligence for leaders and their team members. In this post, let’s explore 6 practical, battle-tested tips for boosting your social intelligence and, thus, enhancing your communication with your team.
6 Strategies to Improve Emotional Intelligence and Communication
1. Become more aware of your own emotions.
To begin improving your emotional intelligence, take some time to get acquainted with your own emotions. Stop throughout the day to think about how you are feeling, why you are feeling that way and how it may affect your day. Consider practicing mindfulness meditation every day for at least 15 minutes a day, since research science suggests that this type of exercise can reshape the brain and improve general awareness of emotional states.
To be an effective leader, you need to possess a number of strong characteristics: for instance, discipline, bravery, the ability to see the big picture, autonomy, insight into the business, the list goes on. However, one of the most important skills you need to succeed is social intelligence.
What is Social Intelligence?
The term “social intelligence” refers to the ability to understand the emotions and thoughts of other people. This idea also encompasses your own self-awareness of how others perceive your words and actions, as well as how you perceive the words and actions of others.
Here’s how leading researcher Daniel Goleman defines the concept and why it’s so important:
“We are wired to connect. Neuroscience has discovered that our brain’s very design makes it sociable, inexorably drawn into an intimate brain-to-brain linkup whenever we engage with another person. That neural bridge lets us impact the brain—and so the body—of everyone we interact with, just as they do us.
Even our most routine encounters act as regulators in the brain, priming emotions in us, some desirable, others not. The more strongly connected we are with someone emotionally, the greater the mutual force. The most potent exchanges occur with those people with whom we spend the greatest amount of time day in and day out, year after year—particularly those we care about the most.
During these neural linkups, our brains engage in an emotional tango, a dance of feelings. Our social interactions operate as modulators, something like interpersonal thermostats that continually reset key aspects of our brain function as they orchestrate our emotions.