Merge's Blog

Leading a virtual team? Then prioritize as a team

We are now up to Strategy #4 in our continuing video series on leading a virtual team (or a hybrid team).  You may recall that back in Strategy #1 in this series, I talked about how it was important to deliberately create an environment of open communication.  When leading a virtual team, it is absolutely essential to make sure that your staff have a common understanding of what needs to be done, and by whom.  Which brings me to today’s strategy – prioritize as a team.

Prioritize as a team

The pandemic of 2020 has forever changed the way we work, and now that you are in a virtual or hybrid environment, your staff members simply may not be able to do everything the group did before.  So involve your team in determining what your priorities are.  Your staff know their jobs best, and they will tell you what absolutely needs to be done, and what things can be deferred, and what can even be discontinued.  It’s important to do this prioritization as a group, because that’s how you’ll achieve buy-in to the outcomes.  Both to you, and to each other.

Do not fall into a common trap

Do not, I repeat do not, fall into the trap of simply telling your people what they should stop doing or start doing.  Because if you do, you won’t get buy-in.  You won’t get commitment.

Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t communicate overall priorities of your department or division, of course you should.  But if you’re leading a virtual team, then their commitment is critical, because you won’t see them on a daily basis.  So when it comes to the details, it’s far better to let them be actively involved in determining priorities, and talking to one another about what takes precedence.

Leading a virtual team creates its own set of challenges, but prioritizing as a team will help you get past many of them.  I’d love to hear about your experiences.  What are you doing to get buy-in and commitment from your team?  Please share by adding a comment below.

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