Leading in Uncertainty: Activating Remote Teams

This quick reference tool provides tips for leaders on activating remote teams.

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There are three conditions for remote teams to function well.

As a leader, you need to:

  1. Build solid relationships

    Strong relationships are built on trust and authenticity.

    • Share what you are learning, as well as the challenges you are facing and what may not be going well. 
    • Invite team members to share their challenges so that you can help them, and they can help each other.
    • Share what you've learned from your team members and acknowledge their efforts. 
  2. Encourage problem solvers

    Problem solving requires innovation, and innovation requires risk. Encourage risk tolerance to activate team members' creativity.

    • Ask questions and listen. Learn in detail what your team members are doing so that you can properly acknowledge their efforts in moving towards a particular objective. Footnote*
    • Talk about the risks you are taking and the challenges you are facing.
    • Engage your team in generating ideas on how to address the challenges.
    • Cultivate a growth mindset Footnote** by focusing on learning rather than on avoiding mistakes and failures.
  3. Support performance

    Stress can bring a team together under the right conditions. Use team members' curiosity, collaboration, and contribution to strengthen bonds and heighten performance.

    • Learn more about your team members' strengths and what they enjoy doing. 
    • Work collaboratively to ensure that each member of the team can work to their strengths and receive the support they need from others in the group.
    • Encourage persistence and team cohesion by tying actions to purpose.
    • Give people authority to make decisions.

To learn more, see Carol Dweck's TED talk on growth mindset (10 min.)


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