Are You Engaging Your Core? The Exercise Routine Every Leader Needs To Try



9 Exercises To Engage Your Remote Leadership Core

Have you slacked off a bit since you started managing a remote team? We’re not here to judge! But we’re also not talking about your treadmill. Managing a remote team requires a different set of core leadership traits than your traditional circuit training may have listed. If you want to stay on top of your game, it’s time to start flexing the right muscles. We’ve rounded up nine new exercises for remote leadership that every team leader should try if their goal is to shed inefficiency and build engagement.

Top Exercises For Remote Leadership Engagement

Communication

Effective communication is essential for conveying expectations clearly, providing feedback, and fostering a positive work environment. Here are three simple ways that you can practice your communication skills and identify potential areas of improvement:

  • Practice active listening
    Ask a friend or colleague about an important event in their life. As you’re listening, make a conscious effort to maintain eye contact and leverage your body language and facial expressions to show that you’re engaged. Stop yourself from interrupting while your partner is speaking. When they finish their story, ask two or three questions for clarity or additional detail. Finally, tell their story back to them as though you’re sharing this information with someone new. Afterward, ask them for feedback. Did you cover all the bases? Did your tone match how they felt?
  • Practice being accurate and concise
    Choose an article to read. Read it a second time, then give a friend a summary of less than four sentences about the article’s topic. Ask your loyal friend to then also read the article. Did your summary leave out anything that they deemed important? Did they have a different interpretation of a certain point?
  • Practice with your team
    Instruct your team to divide into pairs and decide how they would like to conduct their interviews…over Zoom, via Slack, at a more convenient time through email or voice note, etc., at some point during the next week. Instruct participants to each craft five questions they will ask their interview partner. Once all interviews have been conducted, invite your team to a virtual happy hour where everyone will take turns introducing their interviewee to the group. During each introduction, no one else may speak. In the end, allow everyone to correct any misinformation. For added fun, award points for the most interesting information uncovered or for the most unique questions asked!

Trustworthiness

Trustworthiness is another crucial leadership trait, as remote employees need to feel confident in their leader’s ability to support them from a distance. You can demonstrate trustworthiness by following through on commitments, being transparent, and respecting employees. Building trust takes time and effort but is essential for strong team dynamics. Here are three ways that you can start building trust with your team:

  • Practice delegation
    Leaders who try to do everything themselves breed employees who feel overlooked and undervalued. Delegating responsibilities that highlight the strengths of your team members is a great way to build trust and provide growth opportunities. Look at your daily or weekly to-do list and circle three things that could be delegated to someone else. Then do it!
  • Practice being approachable
    If you want to collect real feedback, spark collaboration, and establish healthy lines of communication, you need to be approachable. If social media has taught us anything, approachability starts with vulnerability. Peel back some layers and create a 60-second TikTok-style video that shares fun facts about yourself or gives insight into your career journey. Bonus points if you invite your team to make their own videos!
  • Practice consistency
    Consolidating your behavior and decisions builds predictability and reliability. Together, those feelings equal trust. Choose one area to challenge yourself to be more consistent over the next month. It could be anything from journaling for ten minutes every morning to scheduling one-on-ones with your team. Practicing consistency in any area of our life will funnel towards becoming a better leader.

Adaptability

When managing a remote team, you need to be able to think on your feet in the face of changing circumstances. If you leave an employee’s Slack message on “read” for too long, they’ll feel frustrated by their lack of productivity and cut off from the problem-solving process. Leaders can enhance adaptability by being open to change, seeking new perspectives, and embracing innovation. Here are three ways to start adjusting your response strategies:

  • Practice cross-training
    Encourage team members to learn different roles within the organization. This way, if someone is out sick or leaves suddenly, others can step in and keep things running smoothly. Perhaps schedule one day every quarter dedicated to cross-training so skills and processes stay fresh.
  • Practice building leadership in others
    Not every team member is meant to be a leader, but some may surprise you if you give them the chance. Rotate leadership responsibilities by allowing team members to lead meetings, projects, or initiatives. Employees are much more likely to log on fully engaged when they have some skin in the game. At worst, this exercise will reveal learning gaps, and at best, you’ll discover tasks that can be delegated and free you up for higher-level thinking.
  • Practice innovation
    Host an all-bets-are-off brainstorming session. Present a real or invented scenario and encourage your team members to get creative. What solutions would they offer if budget, time, or resources were not an issue? Fostering a culture where team members feel comfortable sharing new ideas and trying different approaches will help you operate as a more adaptable unit.

Conclusion

Managing a remote team is a challenge. To avoid burnout and boost engagement, building leadership skills beyond traditional management practices is important. Investing time and effort into practicing these exercises for developing these core remote leadership traits will not only shed inefficiencies but also increase engagement and productivity within your remote team. Stay committed to flexing the right muscles and watch your team thrive in the virtual workspace!



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