Tap Your Emotional Intelligence To Support Your Remote Team

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In responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, many work teams are facing the new need to work remotely.

Along with this change come feelings of isolation, uncertainty about new rules of engagement, a short-term loss of team engagement, and a loss of commitment to the critical outcomes in their care. 

Leaders of newly remote teams can utilize their emotional intelligence as they lead their teams through this disruption.  Here are some tips for how to put your EQ to use.

Stay in frequent communication

  • Use a variety of ways to communicate: 1-1, group email/texts, individual YouTube videos, etc. Take the time to figure which different media work best for each member and switch up your choice of medium.
  • Turn Webcams on.  That will give them an increased sense of the emotions on the other end of the connection.
  • Create social and “fun” moments
  • Encourage them to identify collaboration partners, both on the team and outside the team

Take the opportunity to get to know them better.

  • When leaders take the time to show interest and take the time to learn about their team members, they build trust and confidence on both personal and business levels. They can take advantage of increased trust to uncover new ways for the team to view the new environment and apply their creativity to improve the situation. 
  • Look for ways to inject fun and “water cooler time” into their interaction with their teams
  • Start each conversation by checking in on a personal basis, before diving right into the business problem or opportunity
  • Ask about their frame of mind and their sense of well-being; openly discuss their sense of connectedness with colleagues, family, and friends

Ask questions about how the Covid-19 situation is impacting them personally.

  • Respectfully notice how they’re feeling, and listen for any new and strong emotions
  • Help them think through and articulate what the changes mean to them, and specifically what have they “lost” in the current situation
  • Identify “what’s getting in the way” of their happiness and success, and coach with them to identify ways to remove those barriers
  • Investigate where they are coming from as they view the Covid-19 situation. What new starting points might help them consider the problem with new eyes, helping them to reframe their situation and find their hidden wins?

“People don’t care about what you know until they know about how much you care”  (Theodore Roosevelt)