This is a guest post by Matt Shoup. Matt is a thought leader who has helped and inspired many entrepreneurs and business professionals to make the most out of life, love, and leadership. We're happy to gain his insights, so we're excited about sharing them with you.
Let’s face it, business is difficult. I have been an entrepreneur for over 20 years. There is a thrill and exhilaration of creating, growing and managing something. There is a roller coaster of emotions and experiences watching a business flourish, blossom and explode.
The truth is, to do so, one must work with people. With technology advances and a global community of people willing and able to work for a common cause, an entrepreneur must consider two things.
First, do I hire a remote staff member for this job? If you are reading this, you may have already moved forward on or are strongly considering hiring a remote staff member. When I say remote I mean that you will be working with somebody virtually. The only thing separating you is distance.
The second, how do you manage them? Many questions can arise as to how to manage a remote team member from another country, culture, that speaks another language first, and your native tongue second.
Here are five tips to manage remote relationships.
Humans are humans
I have coached and worked with many entrepreneurs and leaders who share their fears about managing remote team members. I tell them two things:
- They may have the same fear about working with you.
- Humans are humans.
Forget country of origin, first language, and cultural norms. Those are excuses and cop outs of why a relationship may not work. All humans at their core, apart from basic food, water, and shelter needs, want to feel significant, loved, accepted, and to find a place to belong where they will have meaning as well certainty. When you break down all other barriers (excuses) and focus on these key human drivers you can build a phenomenal remote team.
Figure out your flag and plant it
Your flag is simply who you are and what you stand for. Every person has and carries a flag. Countries, companies, organizations and causes are built on a flag. Phenomenal companies and organizations are built on a flag where the leader is 100% crystal clear on his or her flag and how that translates to the flag of their organization. Your company is just an extension of who you are and what you stand for.
Align others on your team around your core flag and values. They will have one too. The deeper you can get with how all of your flags align, the more successful you will be as you venture into the journey and battle of business together daily.
Sincere appreciation has no boundaries
A simple “thank you” card or similar form of communication goes a long way and will cross time, culture and language boundaries. Always look for ways to sincerely appreciate others in the way they will receive it.
Get the language of behavior right
There are two components to the way humans are wired to behave. You can refer to this as the language of behavior. Your flag is who you are and what you stand for.
DISC describes HOW your flag leans and Values describe the direction the wind blows your flag and WHY you behave the way you do. Here is a simple, quick and FREE online assessment you can take to find out your DISC and Values. To the degree you understand your DISC and Values as well as those of others, you can work, interact, communicate and serve each other better. Getting this language right will create massive alignment and success. Getting it wrong, even slightly can have difficult outcomes. Make sure to watch the video on the free assessment page to see what happens if you get the language wrong. It is worth the 3 minutes.
Having fun is a core need for all people
When a team member can say “this is not work, I just wake up and have fun everyday,” they will enjoy their position with you as well as enjoy life better. Not only will they perform better for you, they will enjoy all other aspects of their life more. You are, in part, in the driver’s seat of making this happen for them.
Whether you already have a remote team or are putting one in place, live and operate using these five tips and your company will thrive with all relationships, including remote ones.