NetSpeed Learning Solutions February 2019
Are You a Remote
"Remote Leader?"

I always chuckle at the term "remote leader" because one definition of "remote" is "having very little connection or relationship to." I've worked for some of those leaders in the past and they were sitting in the office right next to me, not across the country. When we feel disconnected or out of relationship with our manager, it's hard to do our best work. Of course, when applied to leaders who manage geographically dispersed teams, "remote" simply means far away. It's an interesting double meaning, isn't it?
As I think about the "Five Deadly Mistakes of Remote Leaders," our next complimentary webinar, most of these errors are the result of virtual leaders feeling disconnected from their team.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind:   Managers are usually pretty busy attending meeting after meeting, resolving conflicts, and tackling tough challenges. It can be easy to forget virtual workers laboring at home or in another work location. This deadly mistake leaves team members feeling abandoned and unsupported.
No News is Good News:   The virtual leader may fail to give feedback when it's most needed. This lack of communication can lead to team members focused on the wrong priorities. Worse, it sets both the remote manager and their employees up for demotivating conversations. If I only hear from my boss when the news is bad, I'll work to avoid communicating with them.
Read My Mind:   Some remote leaders fail to communicate clear expectations. Essentially, they approve some project results or criticize others, but it's a mystery to the virtual team whether their work product is going to meet the leader's expectations or be sent back to the drawing board. It's as if the virtual leader is saying, "I can't describe it, but I'll know it when I see it."
What the Heck are They Up To?:   A virtual leader who doesn't have a window into people's activities can make the mistake of micro-managing their employees. If leaders doesn't trust people to commit, take action, follow through, and report, they might fall into this trap. Remote managers must set up systems to make it easy for people to communicate their status, or they'll constantly wonder "what the heck are they up to?"
Listen Up - I'm Talking!:   Remote managers who avoid the use of web or video conferencing may make the deadly mistake of relying on one-way communication over the phone. They assume that their words are so valued that virtual team members will listen carefully without multi-tasking. This deadly mistake makes virtual meetings mind-numbingly boring and unproductive.

To learn more about how to avoid these (and other) deadly mistakes, join us for our next complimentary webinar, The Five Deadly Mistakes of Remote Leaders on Wednesday, February 20, 1:00 pm ET/10:00 am PT.
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Cynthia Clay
Trainer Tips: 
Cultivate Resilience
Any skilled professional speaker or trainer has learned to test, test, test their equipment. But despite our best intentions, stuff happens. It just does. How we respond to these challenges can make the difference between a successful experience and an unmitigated disaster!
Here are two recent cases:
On a web workshop today, my co-presenter had very weird audio issues going on. Occasionally she sounded garbled like she was under water. Now we are both in the Pacific Northwest, and this whole area is under siege with snow and ice. It's been a challenging winter week! I wondered if I sounded as garbled as she did but was assured by our host/producer that my audio was fine. We elected to continue to present the session without commenting on it again, and, indeed, her audio soon cleared up.
Last week, I presented a session at a training conference. We had 15 minutes before my session to test the audio. I was planning to play a short video and the audio needed to play through the speakers in the room. The audio technician was concerned because the previous speaker had experienced an audio failure. We hooked everything up, including my microphone, and tested everything. The video worked fine before my talk started. Yet, despite our best efforts, when the time came to play the video during my talk, there was no sound. I gave the audio technician a minute or two to try to fix it, but then decided we needed to get this show back on the road! So, I thanked him for his efforts and cheerfully explained what the video was about to my audience.
Like most of you, I prepare and practice everything before I log-in to a webinar, deliver a workshop, or speak at a conference. I tend to get my presentations well-organized and ready weeks in advance because I don't want to stress about it at the last minute. Then a day or two beforehand, I review everything again to be sure I haven't missed anything. Yet, despite my best efforts, I find that I can still make dumb mistakes.
To be resilient means that we bounce back or recover rapidly from setbacks. I cultivate resilience in a moment of "failure" by doing several things:  
  1. Stop the critical voice in my head that is shouting, "This is a disaster!" or "You screwed up!"
  2. Take a deep breath and allow myself to relax.
  3. Remind myself that we are all human.
  4. Focus on the needs of my audience and my objectives for the training or presentation.
  5. Make whatever adjustment is necessary to get back on track.
  6. Bring my best, upbeat self to the rest of the delivery experience.
One Final Thought

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Cynthia Clay's Upcoming Speaking Events
If you are planning to attend an upcoming conference, Cynthia Clay would love to meet you there.
February 25, 2019 (8:00 am)
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Achieving Maximum Retention: Brain-based Principles for the Virtual Classroom

March 7, 2019
Chapter Meeting
Brain-based Learning in the Virtual Classroom
March 8, 2019
One-day Workshop
Delivering High-Impact Virtual Learning Experiences

March 15, 2019
Anaheim, California
Captivate and Accelerate: Ensuring Results in the
Virtual Classroom

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May 20 - 22, 2019
Washington, D.C.
Visit our Booth #1419 in the Expo Hall!

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