5 Ways to Make Remote Collaboration Work

Here are 5 things that you can do as a leader to foster effective collaboration and camaraderie for your newly setup remote team.


“Remote work” is now just “work” in the age of forced social distancing due to the COVID19 pandemic – when people are forced to limit all interactions to a device in order to get the work done. 


Now that getting together in a room is a potential health risk – how can you help your team overcome social isolation and succeed in the new normal of remote collaboration?  


1. Turn up the energy 

You need to ensure that everyone is energised to communicate and collaborate. In online meetings and classrooms for example, you have to do more to enliven the conversation to make up for the lack of in-person interaction. 


2. Establish communication structures 

There are certainly distractions and physical limitations to remote work that make collaboration challenging. You can no longer expect the same level of focus you once had when the whole team was in the office.  

As a leader, you need to establish a structure for the team’s activities – when and where do you do check-ins and how often – so that the team is aligned and on-task. This is where you need to take full advantage of digital workspaces like Slack and MS Teams to make sure that everyone is on the same page. 


3. Communicate visually  

Get your team to absorb and engage with your message by becoming a visual communicator – using compelling video contentgraphics and animations on your presentations. There’s a library of free visual assets and tools available online to help you get more creative in communicating your intent. 


4. Encourage continuous learning  

As a leader, you’re not just implementing business-as-usual activities online, you also need to think about how your team is growing in this new spaceHow are you managing the implementation of new ideas and strategies once the team goes offline? Leaders need to match virtual lessons and instructions with real-world scenarios to help their teams transfer new knowledge into serviceable skills. 


5. Make it fun 

Finally, you must find a way to keep the team spirit alive by making time for an online team party. No work agenda, just one hour in the work week to socialiseFor example, end the week to celebrate team wins, no matter how small, over beer and pizza. 


Learn the right approach on engaging and supporting your remote team through a crisis by reserving your spot for the CORONA VIRUS LEADERSHIP SURVIVAL LIVE WEBINAR SERIESfeaturing AIDAN PARSONS, CEO, Keystone Executive Coaching. 


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Engage in learning virtually and develop the skills for effective and inspired leadership wherever you may be. Get tickets to LIVE video streaming of The Leadership Institute’s Training and Events today. 


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Two Things To Remember When Handling Poor Performance

Poor performance can feel personal – it can feel like an insult to your ability to manage people, and it can feel like the person is deliberately trying to sabotage, make you look bad or insult you or the company.

When I manage poor performers, I try to remember two key things.

The first is from Brené Brown, who says in her book ‘Dare to Lead’ that the first step to being vulnerable and accountable is to assume everyone is doing their best. Failure to achieve their best is not because they dislike you or have no respect for you, it’s because at that particular time, that performance is their best.

“All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.” – Brené Brown

The second thing I try to remember when managing poor performance is from Jocko Willink’s book ‘Extreme Ownership’. Jocko’s book states that any failure on behalf of an individual in the team is the responsibility of the team leader because the leader has not held that person accountable to a standard.

“Implementing Extreme Ownership requires checking your ego and operating with a high degree of humility. Admitting mistakes, taking ownership, and developing a plan to overcome challenges are integral to any successful team.” – Jocko Willink

If you go into a performance meeting with an employee thinking these two things, ‘this person is doing their best’ and ‘any team failure is also my failure’, I think you will get better results. Why? Well, the meeting doesn’t start with ‘you have failed’ and changes the focus to ‘how have we not succeeded in this together?’ The conversation moves from shaming and reprimanding the individual to one of collaboration and engagement. If you approach it correctly, you may walk away with a stronger relationship rather than just biding your time until you can fire them.

Here are my top tips for managing poor performance in your organisation:

  • If you assume the person is doing their best and that their performance has slipped, be open to finding out why. There could be circumstances within or outside of work that are problematic for that person that you don’t know about. Ask questions, listen actively and clarify your understanding.
  • Be open to feedback, even if it’s not what you want to hear. Systemic or personnel problems don’t evaporate when a person leaves, they still exist. If you aren’t open to discovering what they are, you will replace the person but not fix the problem
  • Willink’s book is all about accountability. If someone’s performance has slipped or has been problematic, is this the first they’re hearing about it? Were the objectives, behaviours and actions required for average, good and excellent performance made clear? Did you support them? Did you hold them accountable? Clear is kind, so were you clear?
  • What does support look like to this person? If you’re not willing to ask this question and be willing to provide that support, then the person is better off in another organisation. Be open when you ask that question, be clear about what you can offer and make a commitment to provide it.

Learn about the importance of failure to doing great work, the influence of empowering those around you through mentoring and coaching, how to support your people to drive organisational success, and much more at the Authentic Leadership Summit in Sydney next month. Taking place on 17-20 March, Australia’s top CEOs and MDs will help you develop your leadership through authenticity, openness, and trust. Tickets for this highly anticipated summit are available here.

How To “Ultralearn” and Accelerate Your Career

How to ultralearn and accelerate your career

To be successful in the modern workplace, you need to be constantly learning and growing. Accelerating your career demands that you stack up on knowledge and skills and learn them rapidly while fulfilling the daily requirements of your job.   

Successful companies like Google, for example, view learning and development as an essential part of the culture with the 20% rule which requires all employees to assign dedicated time to learn a skill.  

With or without the support of your organisation, it’s still possible to create the space and make learning a habit. How do you do it?  


Hello ‘Ultralearning’  


Scott Young, author of Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition and Accelerate Your Career, achieved fame for teaching himself the four-year MIT computer science curriculum in just 12 months.  


The same rapid and focused type of ‘ultralearning’ according to Scott, whether it’s to develop skills from coding to foreign languages, to public speaking, is possible for all of us.  


In his book, he lays out the techniques for how to teach yourself exceptionally quickly. Aside from charting his ultralearning journey, he studied people who have accomplished impressive self-directed learning projects.   


5 Steps to Start your Ultralearning Project  

If you are learning on your own for the first time, it’s ok if you don’t know exactly what you need to learn or how to do it. So, before you crack open a book or sign up for a course, take these steps to get your ultralearning project off to a good start –  

1. Identify the specific skill you want to acquire and that you can learn within a short period, say 1 to 2 months.  

2. Research how other people learned that skill in the past.  

3. Do a simple Google search to identify what learning resources are available.  

4. Find people who have learned the skill and have a conversation about the resources they used. This step is extremely crucial because you can’t waste time with resources that are not the best for the type of skill you want to learn.  

5. Schedule dedicated time for learning. Using Google’s 20% rule as an example, set aside Friday’s for weekly learning.  


5 Ways to Transfer Ultralearning  

Transfer learning is when you learn something from a book, an online course or a classroom and apply it in a different context, like in the real world, for example. Here are five ways to make the most out ultralearning and successfully transfer new knowledge into serviceable skills – 

 1. Just do it.   

Obviously, you need to start practising and failing forward to gain confidence in your new skill. If you’re trying to learn a new language, for example, start training by having more conversations.  

2. Mock projects  

While you’re still in the process of building competence to be functional in your new skill, work on mock projects such as a test website if you’re trying to learn how to create one.  

3. Space repetition  

If studying requires intense memorisation like learning tax codes or human anatomy, for example, use the flashcard technique to recall vast amounts of information effectively. 

4. Over-learning  

It’s the method of applying your new skills in a more challenging context. For example, using your newly acquired knowledge of coding by performing website troubleshooting, is the fastest way to gain mastery. 

5. Master and apprentice model   

Learning a new skill in tandem with someone who actually knows the skill can help you get quick feedback. Learning this way enables you to get from studying to performing super-fast.   

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llow you to “ultralearn” through the knowledge and experience of certified experts. Start your learning plan and accelerate your career by reserving your spot for any of our expertly curated content and speaker lineup in 2020.  


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