How do you feel about the members of your team? Do you like team? All of them? Now, let's take it further. Do you love them? If the very subject gives you the willies, and makes you uncomfortable, I apologize, but it's worth asking.
I'm not asking if you love them in a romantic (or a creepy non-HR-approved) way. I'm talking about how you give feedback, encourage, lead or create expectations for your team. As Lisa Haneberg points out in her new book, "Double the Love- 11 Secrets for Cultivating Highly Accountable and Engaged Teams", this approach can make the difference between success and failure.
Many of us (dare I suggest, mostly men) are hugely uncomfortable with the "L" word. Love, as Haneberg defines it, is not weird, soft-and-mushy-touchy-feely or amorphous. It's a verb, not a noun. In this case, Haneberg says, it means "doing the right thing on behalf of others".
Sometimes that means rewarding them, encouraging them, and being their biggest fan. But (as any parent will tell you) love can also mean giving honest, direct feedback and challenging people's assumptions.
Haneberg offers 11 "secrets" for creating engaged teams.
- Choose the right tools
- Counterbalance the crud of change
- Don't repeat, resonate
- Take the initiative on behalf of someone else
- Request humbly
- Challenge even your best
- Be your brand of amazing
- Ask for the real stuff and let it affect how you lead
- Do what matters
- Be intentional, and create the world you seek
If all of this seems a bit vague, or inappropriate for a performance-driven organization, the book is far more practical than that. Remember it focuses on what you actually do.
Of course, many of these things are done in response to what happens around you; things you see happening, people acting and the "vibe" you get. When you manage remotely you can miss signals or not get the context and information you need to respond with the appropriate amounts of love.
What systems are you putting in place to help your remote team work together? What tools are you using? What do you need to do better / faster / smarter?