Building Connective Communication Habits in a World Removed

Here’s a 21st century leadership challenge… You accept the relocation, new territory, or a change in reporting structure that, among other changes, introduces a long distance leadership component. You cut your teeth for years in an office rubbing shoulders with your teammates, then your team and then working side by side with other leaders. Overnight the patterns and routines of your traditional leadership, communication style and influencing tendencies are turned upside down. It quickly becomes apparent the most powerful channel for building connection and influencing changes when you cannot actually “be” with your team day-in and day-out.

How do you pivot and continue to be effective in this new long-distance leadership role? As you have learned, leadership is based in trust – two way – and nothing undermines trust like a lack of authenticity or a feeling of distance. So how do you build proximity where none exists?  How does one maintain that authentic trust without sharing the space, the eye contact, or the physical closeness that don’t exist in the world of long distance leadership?

The answer, as always, begins within… The first step is to forget about “them” and get in touch with “you.”  What do you really bring to the game?  How do others really see you?  Why are you trying to make a difference?  Then use that information to shape how you choose to communicate with your team which is the crucial step between you and actually making something happen – certainly between you and successful leadership.

Remember that leading doesn’t have as much to do with simply communicating “what” as it does with building belief around “why.”  And the best leaders drive that belief by creating situations where they discover a “why” for themselves.  Without the nuance of proximity and regularity, those two can easily be mistaken.  Be sure every communication you deliver – regardless of medium – creates that kind of opportunity for the receiver – to discover, on their terms, the why beneath the what.

Be mindful in your communications that your team will quickly observe and expect the patterns you establish. Never, never vary.  Not from one communication to the next, or from one person to the next.  Be the same “you” – in the same way – with those you lead and those who lead you… with clients, coworkers and supporters.  Don’t fall into the inauthentic “looking for a reason to reach out” thing, but think, honestly and deeply about those you lead everyday.  Find something that honestly needs what you can bring… and start the conversation.

There will be times when nothing will replace the need to be together – and you’ll have to make the sacrifice in time and money for Bridge Payday to connect in person unless you’re able to maybe get a loan, if you consider this options may be time for you to learn more about Lending Tree.  But even within the limits of long-distance, if you work hard to stay connected to yourself and to them in an honest and open way… are both persistent and consistent, and work to help others find the “why’s” in their world  you can lead from anywhere.