In our last blog post, we talked about authenticity: far from being a feel-good fad, authenticity has been found to be incredibly important to leaders, and especially to leaders of virtual teams.
Suffice it to say that authenticity breeds trust, and trust is the driving force for engagement, productivity, and results in virtual teams. Authenticity is also surprisingly hard to achieve. To be authentic is a process of learning to be self-aware.
We believe that authenticity is a major facet of the human side of virtual teams. Authenticity refers to being true to who we are.
- How often in our daily lives do we exhibit our genuine selves by being honest with ourselves and others about what we feel and desire?
- How often do we pursue the things in life that truly make us happy?
Our authentic selves must be expressed through our actions; in other words, we must live genuinely. Living genuinely allows us to be fully present in our jobs, families, and every activity in which we are engaged in, including our virtual teams.
We can’t be fully aware of our authentic selves without being fully present. So let’s take a moment to reflect on our level of self awareness.
Evaluating your level of self-awareness
We have a series of things to consider to guide you through this process.
- Do you respond with awareness in my virtual meetings? At your next virtual meeting, become the observer and notice how you respond to your colleagues or team members.
- When someone offers a dissenting opinion, do you take a moment to reflect and respond in a way that values others’ viewpoints?
- Do you listen for the intent of what is being said, not just the words that our colleagues use? Do you multitask during your meetings?
- Do you listen for the tone of voice, the pace of their words, and notice whether your colleagues or team members are stressed?
- Do you judge what someone is saying or do you seek to understand?
What else do you notice about yourself in and out of virtual meetings?
What do you notice about your team members?
- Do you notice that they’re present or multi-tasking on mute?
- Do you notice your team members respond quickly to opinions or questions without reflecting?
How to use self-awareness as a leader
If you are the leader, consider how you can influence your team in a positive way. One way of encouraging your virtual team to be present, be more aware, and be more authentic is to open the dialogue to them about what presence looks like in your team.
At the beginning of a meeting, have a conversation with your virtual team about what being present looks like; engage your entire team in the conversation.
Self-awareness leads to presence
The more you are aware of your behaviour, the more authentic and present you can be, and the stronger of a leader you can grow.
In our next blog we’ll continue developing our self-evaluation from an outside source: we’re going to ask how your team members perceive you.