Over the past several months, businesses have been challenged in unprecedented ways. Our notions of work – how we do it, with whom, when, where and how well – have been turned upside down. When your living room is your office, your children are your co-workers and the only water cooler is your kitchen faucet, how you define success and derive meaning from your work and the work of those on your team shifts in unexpected ways.
As business managers and senior leaders, you now have a new set of challenges on your plate – how do you continue to engage and motivate your remote workforce as you emerge into what may be the eye of the storm, while at the same time, bracing for the unknown that awaits you? How do you navigate the complexities of challenging interpersonal dynamics through Zoom, WebEx and other online platforms?
At PRISM Conflict Solutions, we focus on just that. We are your resource for navigating conflict. We are your support as you manage difficult interpersonal relationships. We provide tools and strategies to help you and others on your team weather this storm and retain your most important assets – your people – despite the upheavals and uncertainty coming your way at a rapid pace.
Remember the acronym PACE and you are well on your way to managing conflict.
P is for “proactive.” Be proactive in reaching out to your remote workforce and finding creative ways to support them.
A is for “awareness.” Know what is going on with your remote workers, what challenges they face, what support would help them navigate remote working more successfully, what obstacles keep them from achieving their goals, and what they need from you to survive and thrive.
C is for “curiosity.” When direct reports are working remotely, it is far too easy to assume they are not glued to their desks, not paying attention, not working as hard as they would if they were in the office. Check your assumptions. What curious questions can you ask about those assumptions? Is it possible that your remote workers are in fact more productive, working harder and being more efficient with their time? In addition to gaining better perspective yourself, you will be amazed at how effective a truly curious question can be in motivating and encouraging your remote workers.
E is for “empathy.” Perhaps the greatest thing we can do to motivate and engage our remote workforce is to show empathy and understanding. Take the time to foster personal connections, separate from the tasks at hand. Think of Steven Covey’s mantra, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” The time and effort you devote to understanding what is happening with your remote workers will pay huge dividends.