Are you leveraging virtual tools to the extent leaders should?

Profile picture Jan Martens
Jan Martens Published at

Have you converted your leadership style from Analogue to Digital?

Just like many of you, many of us at R&G are working from home.

We have already adjusted to contacting customers and colleagues by virtual means, and rather than just the occasional Skype, Zoom or Teams meeting to review project progress with stakeholders, this has almost become our primary way of working.

The recognized benefits of this are: significantly fewer hours spent travelling, an increased flexibility to deal with different customer requests throughout the day and (most enjoyably) having dinner at home instead of a roadside snack at a gas station or airport lounge treat.

We are assuming that just like us, by now you will have overcome the technical challenges of getting together virtually. Among the remaining challenges there are three that call out for action:

  • Gemba walks – ‘go see the process in action’.
    To understand challenges that teams experience in getting their work done, in one of our earlier blogs we recommended to walk the process. Have you tried the virtual alternative by asking someone to use a mobile device to show you around?
  • Communication effectiveness – attendance vs attention.
    Are people that are attending your virtual meetings paying attention? Listening in while working on other things at the same time obviously reduces attention. Our suggestion is to ask questions – more than you would normally do- to create a conversation instead of a presentation. And regularly direct questions to specific individuals to avoid the same person(s) answering all the time.
  • Informal conversation – coffee corner talk.
    Do not underestimate the power of an ‘informal chat’, this is where you find out the important stuff, such as the health and wellbeing of the people important to you and your colleagues – these interactions contribute to building the strong bonds that are required to be a highly performing team. Make sure you check in occasionally (without an invite in the diary): by staying connected your teams stay productive.

How often do you use Skype, Teams, Facetime, Zoom, or a phone call to stay connected to your colleagues, customers, or employees one on one?

Jan Martens is Senior Business Process Consultant at R&G Global Consultants, located in the Netherlands.


Discuss this topic ?