The 5 Key Areas to Ensure Your Team Is Highly Effective While Working Remotely

Hi everyone, Pete Winiarski here. Welcome back to Business Results Radio Podcast and I’m here today with our own David Tweedt, the president of our company and our CFO and we are going to banter back and forth about something really important for you today. Before we get there, David, how are you today?

Excellent, Pete. How are you?

I’m fantastic. I want to point out, notice we are in our home offices where many of you probably are as well and that really has to do with what we’re talking about today because if you’re at all paying attention, I hope you know what’s going on in the world at this snapshot in time when we are recording this podcast. Obviously, we have people working from home and being mandated to stay home and the schools and businesses are closing temporarily, of course, but they’re closing for the purpose of everyone staying safe and businesses have been mandating — no travel. They were telling you, “no travel until further notice” or only absolute necessary travel or anything that was discretionary, which, of course, is a loosely defined term that you just can’t do it. That’s creating the situation now where people are working remotely. 

The big question comes up, how do you still get your job done, your work done, your company’s purpose? How do you still fulfill that purpose? You as your team, how do you do what you’re supposed to be doing and do it as well as effectively as if you were all working side by side in the workplace? Well, now you’re not. You’re probably working remotely, so David and I were chatting about this because we experienced this as well. Clearly, we’re working from our own home offices and we realized a couple of things.

One is, we actually do this regularly. Our team is a dispersed team. We have our admin team and then we have our consulting resources and our other service providers, our executive mentors, etc. We’re all dispersed. People are working in different cities, actually, even in different countries because we’ve got Canada and the US where the majority of our resources are. Then you’ve got, of course, the situation where, in order for us to do what we do, we don’t go to the office five days a week, every day. This is not a totally uncommon thing for us to be having a conversation over the phone or over Zoom. Today, we’re using this Zoom platform to record this podcast so this is a normal day for us. 

For a lot of you, it’s not normal. It’s you’re scratching your head saying, “What do we do?” So, that’s the conversation today. How can you be more effective, more efficient, still produce what it is you need to produce, provide the service and the products, etc, that you need given this crazy situation that we’re in today, which by the way, might be the new norm, at least for a while so that’s the conversation. 

David, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? I’m going to treat this a little bit as banter back and forth. But certainly, for those of you listening to the podcast, you’re used to me maybe interviewing someone else. David, when you think about what are the elements that you really want to have in place when you have a remote team and you’re the business leader, and you’re concerned about how do I get my team to produce what they’re still expected to produce so that I don’t get in trouble because as a business leader, you have expectations on your shoulders. Let’s just open this up. Where do we take this conversation next?

Well, Pete, we’ve been doing this for quite some time and we actually we’re virtual with some of our clients as well, in addition to being on-site. 

Yeah, that’s true. 

One of the things that we’ve really refined is how to be highly effective while we’re working virtually. I think through a lot of trial and error and making a couple of mistakes here and there, we really refined it down to — there are five key areas that when we have that it, and we’ve refined those five areas to understand what makes that really effective. The five areas that we have identified that our key are tactical, technical, behavioral, team-based and then environmental.

Of course, we would come at you with a framework because that’s what we do. We take a whole bunch of disparate seemingly unrelated concepts and find a way to put them together in a way that can be useful for you. So, I think, as a business leader, if you go through these areas now, the tactical, the technical, the behavioral, the team-based and the environmental. Let’s just talk through each of those with the idea — our aim in this conversation is to help you figure out for yourself, how do I as an individual become more productive, more effective, given that I’m not in my normal environment, my normal day-to-day? 

Then, how do you get your team to still be comfortable and perform at those levels? Because what’s interesting, this week I’m supposed to be in Seattle, of course of all places, that’s hotspot number one for Coronavirus. I was on the phone with some of the people that we know, both from clients and friends of ours over the last probably two weeks. All the big Seattle based businesses are shut down including Amazon and Microsoft. These guys, they said the highways are clear. People are not commuting back and forth to work, and of course, as you know, people are now being told, don’t go to school, don’t go to the grocery store, don’t go to bars and restaurants. So your home, your home. And so, I want this to be useful information for you. 

Let’s start with the tactical. You’re the business leader. You want your team to still be able to be safe and do their job well. So, David set us up with some of the things that the leader might do on the tactical front.

Within the tactical, if you really boil it all down as a leader, Pete, a leader has three primary responsibilities. Number one is set the vision and set the goals for the week, the month. The next is provide resources, and the third one is removed barriers. As you think through these tactically, what do you need to accomplish within the team, number one, and then what do each of your team members need to accomplish within the week, the day, and tactically, how do you get that all done?

So, being really clear about what expectations are?

Absolutely, and with expectations, for some individuals, they need a high level of detail. And Pete, we know those individuals that require steps 1 through 10, A through Z, give me every single step that I need to accomplish. Then you have others, tactically that need to understand the objective, need to understand what the output or the outcome is that you’re looking for as a leader, and then get out of their way. It’s understanding and communicating what each person needs in order for you, as the leader and your team to be highly effective, you need to make sure that’s very clear.

Which brings us to the second part of leadership.

Which is the second part of leadership is providing resources so part of that, part of the resources are, what are the touches that each person needs tactically and what does that look and feel like? For some, and we have some individuals on the team, it’s a quick text. “Hey, how are things going? What’s going on?” And a quick banter back and forth, and then we continue on. 

And our texts have been flying since 7 o’clock this morning between you and I, and Renee. If you don’t know the name, she’s our chief of staff and directly keeps me honest and David directed and who’s got what, when, and then had our 8 o’clock meeting turned into a phone call this morning. It’s meant to be at a coffee shop. We had heard the rumor that the coffee shop was actually closed this week so just with schools and all that other stuff. That was like, “Hey, let’s go through the schedule today. What do we’ve got coming up? Who’s got what?” “Renee, you take care of these.” That kind of banter and I haven’t spoken voice to voice to Renee today, but man, we have texted a ton and we’re taking care of stuff. So, to your point that works very well in that way. 

Let’s talk about just rounding it out. By the way, you notice these are normal expectations of a leader and it just so happens that in this dispersed reality where you are now working from home where there are slight tweaks and modifications to still effectively do what we’re talking about. So, round out the last leadership point on the tactical side of what you do when you have to work remotely.

The third one is “remove barriers” and understanding with each individual, what you need to do as a leader tactically to help them remove those barriers. For some, it’s a frequent touch, every hour, a couple of hours, “Hey, how are things going? Any issues on this really intense project I know you’re working on? What can I do to help?” That’s for one type of individual. Other types, other end of the spectrum is, “Give me a quick call or text if you need any issues or help thinking through part of what you’re working on.”

And so, you could do that in a highly structured way or a relatively unstructured way depending on the person, but also depending on the project. And so, the same as you might have a weekly progress review on a project, you still do that. You still have the weekly progress review and what you might do now is, “Hey, let’s have a daily check-in.” Because now, people are craving human touch, if you will, without getting to cabin fever like and stir crazy where you’re just not having that context. Some people love it, they’re like, “Hey, head’s down. I’m just like pounding through.” But other people like that, there’s that human nature element of actually wanting to interact with other people. I’m putting structurally in place, let’s have a 15-minute meeting virtually on Zoom or over the phone at the first part of the day. “Great, let’s knock that out,” then everybody is clear. “Anybody need help with something?” Boom, boom, and then off you go, and then maybe there’s an end of day or if you have a once a week. “Okay guys, let’s do our Thursday, at 10 o’clock on Thursday.” You still have that. You just change it from being in a conference room to in a Zoom meeting, for example. 

I think I just started to get into some of the technical side and the technical is probably pretty easy. If you want to set someone up at home, you got one of these. You got a phone. Do you have a Wi-Fi connection? Do you have your computer? In some cases, it’s your home computer. In some cases, it’s your work computer but if you have an internet connection, you can get away with a lot of the free apps that are out there. As I said, we’re using Zoom and Zoom is free for 40 minutes or less for short calls and discussions. And of course, we have a paid service because we use it all the time for long meetings and for workshops. We actually do client workshops using Zoom so we’re set up to do that with a few bucks a month, not a big deal. 

In terms of free resources, you’ve got things like, there’s a number of those and search them out on the internet. Zoom is extremely powerful and simple to use video conferencing service. You’ve got your phones, you’ve got your internet connection, you’ve got your Wi-Fi, you’re ready to go so technical doesn’t really need to be that much more. Now, the one thing I will say is if you have confidential things flying back and forth, you might want to get a secure VPN, talk to your IT department. We’re not going to tell you what you need to do there. Just know that, if that’s important to you, then have that conversation and figure out what you can and can’t do easily and then frankly, you’re ready to go. There’s very little of a barrier there. That’s the technical.

One more technical especially, if you’re working within a team, what are the data sharing type of apps and tools out there? One thing Pete that we use quite often is Google Docs because you can have multiple people in there at the same time and you can see what everybody’s doing. You don’t have to have version control per se but it makes it a whole lot easier when you’re collaborating.

And the whole Google Suite, we also use the Google Sheets which is like the spreadsheet versions like Excel, but it’s Google. And here, about same thing, multiple people can be in there and we have used this very effectively for task tracking so very simple. What’s the task? Who’s got it? What’s the status and so, you can do a whole lot of kind of keeping that open on your computer, and go in and out of it through the day and that could become back to the tactical side. “All right folks, let’s use the tool. Let’s track, let’s make sure we’re tracking it. If you have any questions, don’t wait a second to text or call but certainly, you can do an updating exercise with that.” So that’s free. There are other things out there, other productivity tools — that’s the easiest way to get started so just start there. 

Let’s get into behaviors. What are some of the things behind behaviors? I think of this as I an individual, and then control of how I do what I do on a day-to-day basis. I’ve got my area here, I’ve got my work habits, my behaviors that make me productive, or make me unproductive. So David, let’s start shaping some of this.

You’re absolutely right, Pete. The behaviors are within your working environment, what are the behaviors that you need to create or habits for you to be personally effective? And also as a leader, what are the expectations when there is collaboration when there is team interaction, when there is interaction with potential customers, doing all this virtually, what are the expected behaviors then? 

Some behaviors may be that even though you’re virtual that you may be asked as an individual to dress professionally. You can’t wear just a tattered sweatshirt if you’re talking to an executive.

I hope you like the way I’m dressed today. It’s the sports jacket, golf jacket sort of thing over the top of a button-down shirt, and I shaved, and I showered and all that. By the way, I mean if the norm for you and your team is throw on the hoodie and the baseball cap, then go for it. I mean you’re not trying to impress your teammates necessarily if you set that team norm and that’s really the key — discussion ahead of time.

Yeah, and Pete, part of those behaviors also is what, individually — what do you do on a daily basis to be more effective? A couple of years back, you wrote a book called back, Act Now!

It’s a tracking system for — the full name of the book, Act Now! A Daily Action Log for Achieving Your Goals in 90 days, and it talks about what are the goals that you have and how to set them correctly, and then cascade them down and give you some down to a weekly focus, and then what am I going to do every day. There are three different types of actions to take on a daily basis. There are the planned actions, which is based on the action plan that I created for my goals, what are the things that I intend to do today? I’m going to put them on a to-do list or my calendar right there, slots them in, and I’m going to do them, I’m planning to do them. What are those? 

Then there’s the daily habits which are those things that create an environment for success so it’s focusing on your goals, visualizing them as complete and successful. These are all those success accelerators that have to do with journaling, or meditating or exercising, or reading or all of those things that just make you a better, productive individual human being that performs at a higher level so there’s that whole list of things.

And because you have invested maybe 30 minutes or an hour, whatever for you a day on the daily habits side, and you have your plan, you also have an intention for the day. So today is going to be a client-focused day or today is going to be a product creation day or today is going to be a catch-up day, whatever your focused intention is for the day. That’s the context that you — then take all those other actions in so your planned actions, your daily habits, and because of the clarity of your intention, which is like the clarity of what we said before, here’s what has to get done this week team, here’s what has to get done today team, here’s who’s got what.

Now that leaves you in a place where, because you’re doing the daily habits, it enables that light bulb moment so you can see my little hand light bulb that I’m signaling over my head if you can actually see me sitting here in this chair. 

That was a good light bulb. 

That was a good light bulb. So, the light bulb moment is now here’s this intuitive hit or this inspired idea that now you have to take the inspired action as a result that wasn’t part of your action plan. It’s like, “Ah, don’t forget, call Joe. Joe’s got some news. Joe has some input. I have an idea for Joe.” Whatever it might be, that might get you to move forward more quickly. Those are all the types of things within that structure. Then there’s a daily structure that goes with it. 

Interestingly, David and I just went out to a full three-day conference, high-performance experience and it was all about what the most high performing people do. We’re big fans of Brendon Burchard, he wrote a book called High Performance Habits. We’ve read the book, we’ve gone through his experience. The good news is, what’s in Act Now! is consistent, there’s just this bigger perspective out there and what he did is a ton of research, studying the most productive and high performers out there in the world with a number of different researchers, exercise, and things. Those exercises and the data that came back created, essentially a curriculum that he put together and we’re learning.

Even though I wrote a book on this topic of how do you achieve your goals in 90 days, with the right level of focus and structure and all that. There’s still a ton of learning that I’m doing, and David and I are both doing and we came back from that a couple of weeks ago, and we structurally changed how we do what we do. I’m modifying some of my behaviors consciously as a result of doing that. That’s the whole behavior modification and part of what’s really interesting, we’ll talk about David and Pete. My work style is different than David’s work style. I, for myself, I am the shiny object guy and I’m very social. If there’s an opportunity for me to be distracted by a conversation that’s going on on the other side of the office and it sounds like it’s fun, this is the extrovert in me like, “Hey, how can I get plugged into that?” 

The other thing that I believe that I have about my role as the CEO of this company, is that I want to make sure everyone’s supported and I don’t want to be the barrier to other people getting their jobs done. If someone has a question, I want them to come ask me. I want them to tap me on the shoulder and interrupt what I’m doing. The problem is interruptions are a major barrier for me personally to get over as they would be for anyone, but for me in particular, it’s just something that I know I recognize. I’ve studied myself over the number of years but that doesn’t work as well for me. Of course, there is some data that when there’s a disruption and interruption, especially when you’re head down working on creativity time, it creates a problem. There is an actual delay and the productivity is markedly or remarkably last, when you have frequent disruptions. And so, I am susceptible to that. I know that and so now I have to put up some mechanisms around me to protect myself from disruption. 

What’s great about this office as you can see here, if you’re able to see from a video standpoint, this is in the basement of my house. There’s a nice window light here. It was a mess very recently and Renee and I cleaned it up in a big way. Motivated by the chipmunk that had broken into my house and lived here for a week and pooped all over my office. There was a sanitary reason to do that too but my goodness, it’s an environment that I can actually get some work done in now that wasn’t so easy before and all the other activities upstairs and I’m pretty well protected right here. David, just say a few words about your work style, what some of your tricks are?

Pete, you’re so right how different we are. 

There a lot of ways, not just work style but yes.

That’s very true. For me, when I’m head’s down looking and working with a company’s financials and doing a lot of analytics as that all ties together, I’m able to block everything out. Even if there’s conversations right next to me, I’m able to block that out with an understanding that if I’m head’s down, I need to be head’s down and can’t be distracted. Someone asking the question that will take me out of my zone, and then I’ll come up and of course, we both want to help everyone in the office — it’s that passion as well.

One of the tricks that I’ve done is when I do have something very intense, I’ll do a couple of things either I’ll work from home where I have my own environment that I’ve created here and we’ll get into more of those details here in a minute, or I will let the folks in the office know, “Hey, for the next 30-40 minutes, I’m going to be head’s down so please don’t distract me. Don’t ask me questions. I will then come up for air in 30 or 40 minutes and answer any questions you have and we go from there,” and I call them sprints. It’s very intense head down sprint’s and then come up for air, make sure everybody in the office is doing well and then back head’s down. I find that to be very effective. 

Right. So here we are talking about the differences between the two of us and you could tell there’s still a sense of what it looks like in a normal work environment. Well, let’s convert this into today’s conversation, which is now well, how do you put things in place when people are automatically working remotely and they may not have done that as part of their normal drill? So, if you’re the business leader and you recognize that you’re working with David, who is a relatively focused guy, and he may tell you or you may ask him, “Hey, when’s the next time we can connect.?” If you’re working with me, who you know is fairly distracted, if I have someone messaging me back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, that could be an issue. I’ve actually turned — I have messaging enabled on my phone. The notifications rather, obviously, messaging comes up on the phone or the computer, but my notifications on my computer are turned off all of them. I get my calendar reminders and my texts and things to pop up on my phone. If I need some focused time, this is what I’ve learned about myself and you can maybe have conversations with those people that you know are easily distracted. Let’s say, “Hey, let’s practice this sprint for an hour then check-in thing.” So I’ve got my phone out of sight at this moment because we’re doing this podcast. With that in mind, this enables us to have this conversation and I’m not being distracted by, “Hey, look at that. Hey, look at that,” new notification, new pop up. I’m not multitasking of one focus at a time right now so if there are some things that you might implement and have conversations around for yourself.

Yeah. And Pete, you just touched on something very important. As a leader, one of the roles of highly effective leaders is being a coach and mentor to every person on the team. People on the team may not have ever worked virtually before so they’re struggling on how do they deliver to the expectations. So, as a leader, ask them some questions. Some basic questions like, when are you most productive in the day? And if you’re working on something that is really intense, describe that environment to me. And through some basic questioning, you can find out that, “Wow, this person is like Pete, who is distracted very, very easily.” Okay. Let me give him some tips or her some tips on how they can be more effective. Or this person’s like David, when I’m working on something very intently, I can’t have silence. I actually need to have a little bit of music going on in the background because it helps me concentrate even better.

Music helps me concentrate too it’s just that every new song I’m like, “Oh, what song is that? Let me check out the lyrics.” You as the leader are also now helping and mentoring your team members to be productive in their environment and the message here is not everyone is the same. There are different preferences, different styles, and you have to help them to adjust.

And the most important thing is, as a leader in these times, is encourage your team members to experiment. Maybe talk to them in the morning or at the end of the day, ask them about how their day went, what went well, what didn’t environmentally, and we’ll get more into that here in a second. But as far as the tactical, did they get enough information from you? Not enough. What else was getting in their way, and then experiment the next day. Running multiple experiments over and over and over will do two huge things for you as a leader. One, it will help your team members be more effective faster — number one, and number two, we still have to get those projects done.

Certainly, how are we doing on the projects, part of the conversation, but then also make the whole question of how are we doing productively? What challenges are you finding — make that part of the conversation because everybody is having it. Your people are moaning to each other about, “I can’t seem to get anything done.” Or, “Oh, my goodness, I’m so far behind on this because I had these distractions.” They’re real. They’re talking about them so just elevate them. Bring them into everyone’s conscious awareness, and empathize with, “Guys. I get it.” “Team, this is different, I understand and with that in mind, let’s support each other. I’ll support you. Let’s support each other with becoming more productive, more efficient than you would in a vacuum.” So, what can we do? What support do you need? What can I do for you? What did you try yesterday? How did it work? How did today go? Make that part of the conversation and the matter of a few days, you’ll find that people are really starting to click again. But you have to proactively make that your part of the purpose as opposed to just assuming everybody’s going to do what you already have figured out because maybe they haven’t. You might have a lot of employees who have never worked remotely before so you’ve got to help them through that. 

Let’s go to environment before we finished up with, how to be team-based. The reason is, we just mentioned it a few times and I mentioned it here in the office. One of the things I recognized maybe a couple of weeks ago is my environment is not supporting my high levels of productivity, my high levels of creativity. We’re doing a lot of product creation right now. Creation is creativity. It’s, “Hmm, let me think through. How do I tackle this problem? How do I create this? How do I build some new ideas?” If I’m in a distraction zone, it’s harder to be creative over a period of time. I just shot a series of videos and even though these were relatively short videos, there were about 20 of them. I figured I’d take a couple of hours of time, focused, distraction-free to start knocking these things out and if I didn’t have that time, and that may or may not be your story, but in my case, what I just experienced with this, I needed that. 

And so, the environment wasn’t necessarily set up for that. One of the tasks was to clean up chipmunk villa here so tell around me, where the chipmunk had really made a mess. Actually, this little guy was come in and start on and you would run across where I had papers stacked up. He’s knocking papers on the floor. He knocks like a stack of business cards on the floor, and like, “Oh my goodness, I have to clean this.” And then, of course, he’s pooping everywhere. Then I had to go and from a sanitizing standpoint, take the wipes and get that all cleaned up and I did some of that. Then Renee came over and she’s like, “Hey, let’s tackle this office in a major way.” And we did that, I actually had a client on the phone the other day sitting right here and I had some stacks of papers right here, stack this high. If you can see that’s a foot high for those of you just listening.

The point is like I mentioned the office cleanups like, “Well, it looks like you have more to go.” That stack isn’t there any longer because I conquered it. But now, I’m like this is great. I have this man cave for work just as you might have a man cave to play and this is my man cave for work and I can be productive in here because I changed the environment proactively. So, David what other environment things might there be?

Pete, as far as you have the physical environment and then you have all the — if you’re working from home like today, I have my wife and daughter who are in the house. As part of the environment, they know that when my door to my office is closed that would be a heads downtime. They also know that I come down, I take frequent breaks, or I opened the door, and at that point, my office to my door is open. That environment also, you think about what are some lighting requirements that you have and is there a part of your house that has those lighting requirements. If you need absolute silence, we talked about that earlier, or if you need a little bit of music or whatever so you if have the sound and then when I’m in my office, I have a diffuser going on. I have different smells.

It sounds so funny when you say that way. Why don’t we call them sense? Let’s call them essential oil sense as opposed to David throwing smells into his office.

Probably not ideal. So different sense and that makes me productive. Some days it’s on, some days it’s not but it’s all those different aspects to what makes you as an individual, productive and experiment.

I’m having this image of David getting into creativity mode. He’s got his sandals on. He’s burned some incense. For those of you know David, that’s like 180 degrees of who he is but sandals, yes. Anyways, the other elements of the environment. If you don’t have a good Wi-Fi connection where you choose to work and like the signal is not strong enough, then fix it. It doesn’t take much. In an hour’s worth of effort in your house, you can probably get your environment really set up so make the conscious effort. Put it on your to-do lists and just set up your work environment so that you’re comfortable and can work the way that you need to work.

If you got a crappy chair, go find the comfortable chair in your house that you would prefer to work in and use that chair. The reason I bring that up, I’ve had that problems like, why is my back hurting? I’ve been sitting for three hours on a crappy chair so get the chair or stand. My wife just had a back injury. She slipped on the ice, the black ice, fell, hit hard, actually cracked her sacrum. It just a hairline fracture but clearly, sitting on a hard surface became problematic so getting the right chair for her was part of it. And like Stan, thankfully she’s shorter than I am so some of the tabletops end up being really good surfaces even if you don’t have one of those elevated, up and down Vera desk type things. I do not, but I do have something that if I wanted to work standing, I actually have a little shelf unit that I could just plunk here on the desk. We could be doing what we’re doing right now standing rather than sitting and sometimes I do that. 

So anyways, those are really simple things with the environment. Make it important enough to spend an hour or two, getting it set up because you’ll be way more productive through the rest of the week. 

All right, team-based, we’re kind of in the home stretch here. This is the last thing that we talked about in the model. David, what do you mean by team-based?

Pete, everything we’ve talked about from an individual perspective, think about putting that within a team environment and understanding as a team, that Pete works and thinks a certain way. If Pete is head’s down, I’m not going to be texting him. It’s understanding that from an emotional connection perspective and respecting how each individual is highly effective, and then how does that work together to make the team effective.

Within your team, getting that all dialed in as you’re working virtually and then start having those conversations with other team members as well in other teams to understand and they may not even think about some of the things that make them effective. Now you have an opportunity to share some of the secrets and techniques that you’ve refined and helped them because this is all a new process for a lot of individuals out there and just recognizing that there is going to be some people that are anxious about it.

Yeah. And so, that’s tailoring to the individuals and then the other thing I would add into the whole concept of team-based is, how do you still collaborate as teams. And so, something that I’ve seen work really, really well when we’ve done some of our workshops and things is, especially, if it’s something that extends over multiple days where you have a touchpoint, and you review the work that needs to be done, and then you say, “Who’s got this? Let’s put two or three people on it.” It depends on how meaty the task is, because sometimes it’s just a task, you knock it off the list. It takes 20, 30, 40 minutes and it’s done. You just cross it off. But sometimes, go figure this out, go create a process, go do whatever that has a little bit more complexity to it and make it a team exercise. And so, “Team, when would you like to come back with your results or your recommendation?” 

You might imagine 24 hours later, you’re going to have a brief touchpoint to understand progress. That’s some of the structural things we talked about before. You still have a progress review and then you back off and you let them say, okay — they set up their own Zoom call or phone call or whatever to work out the details but you don’t have to do that. Just as it would be, if you were in a conference room and said, “Okay, this is what has to happen next. You three, take care of this one and update me tomorrow”. And they would just go huddle around someone’s desk but in this case, it’s not huddling around someone’s desk, it’s over a phone. With that in mind, it’s funny, we’re talking about environments and I forgot to mention, I was recording a podcast today so I just had a visitor delivering my mail. I just got this huge box in the mail for my workshop — that’s all next week. So sorry about the distraction but that’s exactly what we’re talking about. This is the virtual workshop. I just got this box in the mail through FedEx rather than flying out to Seattle. So, bingo. Thank you to my wife for delivering that, very quietly, by the way. 

So, team-based David, what’s what else is missing, team-based?

Well, I think as a team also, we talked about using the collaboration tools. We talked about Zoom, we talked about phone calls. What are the other forms of communication that the team finds very effective? My daughter just had an assignment. They’re off for the next two weeks. The schools have said, “No, we’re going to shut them down for the next two weeks. So kids, we may assign you projects.”

So, my daughter just got a project and she has to, within a team, put together, develop the project and deliver it back to the teacher. She — I didn’t say anything about Zoom but she said, “Oh, we can FaceTime.” You can FaceTime multiple people and collaborate on there. Then she said, “Oh, and we’re going to use Google Docs.” I’m going to tell you, if you have children, ask them how they collaborate virtually because a lot of them have figured that out. It’s interesting. 

Exactly. Yeah. We just had — for those of you know me personally, I have three brothers and three sisters so there’s a lot of us. I’ve got a brother in England and all of a sudden, the phones start buzzing on Saturday or Sunday, whichever day it was on this weekend. It was a group Facebook Messenger call and so there we all were right. Not everyone was available because it was unplanned, unscheduled in this particular case, but I think there were five or six of us on the line. There you are on your phone; your phone is this big and you just have six little boxes. They’re on the phone which is perfect. And so, we had your 10-minute check-in, “Hey, how’s everyone doing? By the way, Sophie’s birthday, happy birthday.” That kind of thing so it was really an easy way. So, FaceTime, Messenger, WhatsApp, all of these things are very functional. They all work. You can jump on and use them all. You don’t necessarily need to use Zoom, although there’s a Zoom app for your phone too so you can do that. 

My son just had a meeting with our financial advisor who’s coaching him on some of the money management techniques for him now that he’s graduated from high school and is out there in the working world. So, with that in mind, they had a Zoom call and it was powerful, very, very simple. And Nick was on his phone, that’s the point. Nick was on his phone so that was to replace an in-person meeting. It’s happening, it’s happening every day. If you haven’t been doing it, yet, know that you can, know that you can still be productive, know that your team can still be efficient. They can still kind of meet their team collaboration, human contact needs through video type ways and hopefully, some of these other tips that we shared today can work for you as well. 

David, anything to wrap up with kind of a parting statement?

Pete, there’s a whole lot of more detail that we just haven’t gotten into because we’d have a limited amount of time. One of the things I would say is check back. There are other podcasts that you and I have spoken about to go a little deeper into some of these categories to give the leaders even more information, to give the individuals more information. But at the end of the day, it’s understanding. This is a change and with change, there is going to be some trials, some error, but continue trying things.

Yeah, thank you for that. Take the pressure off yourself. I think this is tough for everybody out there in the world right now. We normally, Business Results Radio is helping business leaders to get results, but it’s also how to transform yourself, your team and your company and what do you know, I mean what can be more transformational than having the kind of the commuter and you taking right out of your car so you and your team, you do have to transform yourself in how you work, your team and how your team works, and your company and how you do what you do and still provide the product and service that you do. 

Thank you for being here with us today. Come back, we’ll continue this conversation as long as it’s something that’s important to you and we have ideas that can help you out — we will share them. Till then, we’ll catch you again on another episode of Business Results Radio shortly. Thanks, everyone.

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