As a business owner, you may have started hiring virtual assistants or VAs. This means you are now en route to the next level of growth in your business. You may be new to leading your own team. Naturally, this would come with a lot of challenges. After all, leadership has never been a simple feat. As a leader, you would want to develop strong relationships with your team members to make sure that they are consistently productive and that any good results you gain are sustainable.
You can never overstate the importance of good leadership and teamwork.
When things go well in any area, it is often attributed to the harmony of diverse factors working together to achieve a common goal. In much the same way that harmony keeps our bodies and our natural ecosystems in check, strong team relationships contribute to a business’s success.
It is in your best interest to develop a stronger bond with your team because this reflects upon your team’s performance. This strong bond can lead to greater employee morale and a sense of empowerment among your team members. It can also boost creativity in the workplace and ensure that the whole team is on the same page as they work towards your vision.
Effective communication is a must.
In case you’re worried that you’re not connecting with your VAs or team members or that they’re not meeting your expectations, know that there is a lot you can do to improve the situation. Effective communication, the foundation of strong relationships, is a skill that can be mastered. Especially in a time when we lack the advantages that come with face-to-face communication, this skill is absolutely crucial.
Set expectations. Empower them.
One way to effectively communicate as a leader is by setting very specific expectations. You not only need to maintain high standards but you must also be extra clear about your vision for each specific role. Susan Ritchie, in an article for Be Leaderly, wrote that setting expectations will “allow roles to be clarified, success to be visualized, and individuals to be empowered to make the most of their talents.” When this is done properly, there will be less room for confusion and more room for maximum efficiency.
The best way to set expectations is to really just tell them. If more details are needed at the start, then simply give what is needed. It may seem like a small investment in time, but it will develop into a continuous feedback loop of trust and confidence between you and your VAs. This will also demonstrate your belief in their abilities (which can make them believe it as well).
There may be cases when you are unsure of an individual’s capabilities. You may be reluctant to overload them for fear that this may demotivate them instead. The best solution to this? Once again, just communicate!
The workplace is a safe place. This leads to more innovation.
There is no shortage of what can be further clarified. Your team members will be inclined to listen when they know it’ll be directly relevant to them. And if they don’t seem to be, it is often just a case of them not knowing just how much they can express on their end. This makes for another compelling reason to develop a strong enough bond so they feel confident expressing themselves around you.
Ask questions if you must. They shouldn’t be the only ones asking questions. You may just be surprised about any clever insights they can provide. Ask for their input often. Allow them to have a voice. Empower them to trust their instincts or come up with innovative solutions for their tasks.
As a leader, you would want to fully understand what’s going on at all ends. You would want to make sure to engage in active listening, emotional intelligence, and empathy. Make sure you’re approachable.
Have an open-door policy as well. You’ll likely get as much information as you need. This may allow you to resolve issues before they get bigger. Or this may allow you to receive fresh new perspectives from your most creative team member. In turn, your team members will feel at ease around someone who can provide a safe space full of learning and support. Less censorship, more spontaneity, courage, and innovation.
Leaders provide the vision.
Since you can stand outside the minute details of everyday operations, you are likely to see patterns that they do not see. You can easily remind them of the bigger picture–the overall vision.
It would also be helpful to educate the team on their shared values and common goals, as well as to let them know about how their roles impact your business. This will allow them to see meaning in their roles and make them feel more important and appreciated. This will also empower them to improve their skills and perform to the best of their abilities.
While you’re at it, praise when it’s due and deserved will raise their spirits. And for when things aren’t going so well, feedback must be specific and constructive.
Rapport is the Rhythm of Success
Once you’ve built a lot of rapport within your team and you have a good rhythm going on, expect ripple effects of positive change. A smoothly working business team won’t develop overnight, and so business owners need to get to know their team members well enough to know how they can all best work together. Developing strong team relationships highlights the human aspect of the workplace which will give you a better understanding on how to maximize their human potential without resorting to micromanagement.
To finding a better rhythm for your business,