In a time that has forced the majority of the workforce to work from home, we are now led with the charge to engage and lead our teams virtually. One-to-ones, team meetings, and even social events are all held remotely and virtually. With this change, people can quickly lose their persona over the phone or video calls, and relationships can be more difficult to maintain. Even worse, if you are a leader in your organization, like me, we can become a “voice” rather than an individual.
What is “The Voice” you may ask? I use this phrase because most of us can identify with a boss or a colleague who requests something of us, oftentimes on the phone without any other dialog. They are straight to the point with their request and that’s the end of the phone call. On the receiving end, we listen and hear what the person is saying, but they end up becoming “The Voice” as if we are being commanded by a taskmaster. Instead of the person on the other end making a reasonable request, they become a voice of demands. Before we know it, we begin to resent or begrudge them and forget our relationship with that person.
How can we avoid losing engagement in this time?
We must remember that relationships are a priority. As a leader, we must prioritize relationships with our team and colleagues and not take them for granted. We need to not only ask sincere questions to invest in their lives, but we need to be sincere. We cannot be skimmers that barely scratch the surface in a conversation and then dive into a laundry list of requests. Get to know your teammates on a personal level. Engaging and investing in relationships lets people know that you see them more than workhorses. The better our teams perform, the better off we are as leaders.
What can we do to foster teamwork and drive our culture?
I am often asked this question from those outside our organization, “How do you maintain your company culture while continuing to grow?” Now, insert “in a pandemic,” at the end of that question. One answer to that question is that our leadership practices talking with our teams rather than talking at our teams. As a company, we have fostered a culture of coaching. We focus on our team member’s strengths and refer to phrases such as “areas of improvement” instead of using words like “weaknesses.” As a leader within an organization, we must be mindful that our teams are made up of individuals working on separate tasks all towards a common goal. Even when we are not seeing others face-to-face, we must be sensitive to the personalities, insights, and contributions of all.
The Pegasus Way
At Pegasus, we are not immune to the global pandemic. However, we work daily to ensure that we are working in an upwardly healthy way to succeed in these trying times. We have not only weathered the storm, but we have maintained our growth curve. Our focus is on our people, as well as developing our brand, which has taken precedence now more than ever! With this continued effort, as well as prioritizing relationships and teamwork, we can avoid becoming “The Voice” and continue to lead the way in strong company culture.