Power skills for leaders and managers in the virtual world

21st May 2021

The pandemic has changed the world beyond a normal stretch of imagination of an individual. It brought with it both challenges and opportunities of which you have been a witness in the past one year. What we have entered into in the present era is often called the virtual world. As a manager, you must impart due focus on the factors and skill which you need in this virtual world.   

This article helps you navigate through some of the essential skills which you must develop to become an effective manager/leader in the present virtual world. 

The skill of clarity

Technology, undoubtedly, is a game-changer in the present world scenario. It has connected the world virtually. But, what cannot be neglected is that even working in the virtual world via the use of technology we, still are, dealing with people. In other words, the human aspect even in the virtual world is not lost. In this regard, it is even more critical for a manager to focus on the aspect that it is not just the mere communication which you will impart to your team but what holds greats significance is the ‘clarity in the communication’ which you will impart. The underlying reason is that when you are virtually connected it might be difficult to get the appropriate response from your team due to the virtual connection.  

Do they need support?

Working in an office and working from home are two diametrically opposite things. In the office, the ambience and the overall environment of the work keep the focus high and helps to build an interactive scenario where one person is able to communicate in no time with the other person. But the dynamics change when people work alone at home. They are all by themselves. It might, at times, lead to a feeling of loneliness resulting in a lack of motivation for work. Therefore, you as a leader is required to keep the motivation of your team members high and support them from your end. 

Chaos to conclusion

At times, a virtual meeting may get difficult to conduct. In the traditional form of meetings when the team sat together to discuss, factor like eye contact, ability to respond, having some patience to wait for the other person to complete and also giving others the opportunity to speak automatically brought a subtle synchronisation in the team. But in the virtual framework, this aspect gets difficult. At times, two people would like to speak at the same time, or someone would like to counter when the other person hasn’t completed it yet. This can bring certain chaos which needs due attention. As a manager, you must have the ability to synchronise the thoughts of all your team members in a manner that everyone gets a fair chance to communicate. The ideas, viewpoints, concerns must be assimilated by you in an organised manner to lead the team to a logical conclusion on an issue.  

Is the personal touch lost?

As a manager, and indeed as a leader, personal touch with your team member at an individual level is an aspect, the importance of which cannot be undermined. Earlier, as a manager, a cup of coffee with your team member or simple five minutes walk often helped you to keep the personal touch with your team members. This was a way in which you built trust and gained confidence with them since your employee can heavily count on you not just as a manager but also as a trustworthy person. In the virtual world, this aspect gets hampered. Therefore, you as a manager must make all efforts to keep the fragrance of the personal touch alive. Wishing your employee on their birthday and other anniversaries, having one to one phone calls and listening to their concerns at a personal level can certainly help you to build a good relationship with your employees.  

Your intuitive ability?

As a manager, you surely develop, to a certain degree, the intuitive ability to understand your employees. Gradually with time as your interaction increases, you understand the person from different perspectives. This comes from your observance power. You understand the likes and dislikes, the kind of work the person enjoys doing, the kind of challenges which s(he) enjoys working upon. Therefore, in the virtual world, you must have the ability to read in between the lines regarding what your employee prefer to work upon and allocate them the work accordingly. 

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