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The Critical Skills of Remote Management: Adaptive Leadership

15 June 2022

We have been sharing insight into some of the skills development pathways that our customers are taking in order to equip their workforces for success within new remote/hybrid working models.

So far, we have touched on the value of resilienceteam buildingcommunication and emotional intelligence skills within the general workforce. Here, we will be focusing on an approach and mindset that is valuable for organisational leaders and managers to develop: adaptive leadership.

Adaptive leaders can help their teams and organisations to thrive in the remote/hybrid working environment - a new and unfamiliar one for many.

So, what is adaptive leadership?

Broadly speaking, it is the ability to identify and coordinate the response to problems that require an adaptation of behaviours or ways of working. Distinct from technical problems, for which there is a pre-determined response or go-to experts, adaptive problems are vague and without obvious precedent. There is no pre-existing process or set of established rules immediately available for facing down an adaptive problem.

In fact, many well-intentioned leadership failures stem from trying to apply a technical or pre-existing process solution to an adaptive challenge, i.e. spending too long trying to use a solution that's worked before, for an entirely new and unfamiliar problem.

The adaptive leader recognises that these challenges require new approaches; understand that their organisation is a complex system, and that for solutions to be a success they have to harness the potential of the people involved.

Why is it so valuable for remote/hybrid leaders?

Autonomy & Trust

By the nature of remote and virtual working arrangements, it’s inevitable that management takes place at a greater distance, with longer periods between direct contact. Adaptive leaders excel at finding methods for their followers to solve problems, learn from mistakes and provide feedback. They invest and signpost levels of trust meaning, regardless of how much contact they have with someone, that individual is empowered with the autonomy and confidence to work without extensive guidance and apply, where appropriate, their own original thinking.

Communication & Collaboration

Adaptive leaders are experts at making sure all voices are heard and all relevant skills and experience are called on. In a remote or hybrid environment, where communication and collaboration require different approaches than those ingrained over the past century, and so are unfamiliar for many, this is crucial. Teams with an adaptive leader at the helm know that, wherever they are working and however much they speak to their leader, they will make use of all available avenues to draw on their skills, knowledge and expertise.

Eliesha provides engaging and informative virtual training on the topic of Adaptive Leadership - helping leaders, managers and team members learn about being more flexible and adaptable in their work.

Our Virtual Learning Environments and Webinars - also available on a wide variety of other timely topics - can help support your workforce with the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to navigate your organisation through changes like a new working arrangement, and push on beyond them.

Contact us now to find out more.

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