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7 C’s Of Virtual Leadership

Updated: Mar 18

Know your team can produce more in less time?

Are you spotting gaps but unsure how to fill them?

Are team members taking a long time to reply and engage with peers?

Virtual leadership is full of challenges that aren’t native to even the most natural manager.

Read the following seven considerations I’ve found to be of most impact in leading remote teams.


Most directors and team leaders are wasting huge amounts of time and energy because their message isn’t getting through. This is because they are communicating exactly the same way online, as they would in-person.

They lead, everyone listens. End of call.

Seminar, webinar and lecture styles are not effective for learning. They’re not effective for leadership.

Digital and face to face communication are similar but different.

We need to stimulate and engage peoples’ interests differently.

A framework I use is; R.E.I.R (laugh in Spanish).


Take the first 2-5 mins to recognise and check in with each individual, both by you as group lead and between peers. Ask appropriate personal questions, share a fun fact or even some humour can be a great way to start.

Invite colleagues to ask each other, taking the attention off you.

Let them feel seen and valued.

Make this a routine for every meeting that they can start without your approval or presence.


Yes, you can lead the discussion but you don’t need to be the guru and centre of all knowledge.


Get them involved. Recap previous tasks, ask for reports, updates and information regarding the agenda.

Ask for opinion, feedback or suggestions where necessary.

Play the role of facilitator or guide rather than authoritarian. Keep people on their toes with a free-flowing discussion or digital tools like polls or surveys, for all to participate in.


While you’ve got ideas flowing and people talking, are they talking to you, amongst themselves, or both?

Encourage dialogue between team members. Create short, fiery focus groups to brainstorm and shoot out solutions in breakout rooms.

You don’t need to be at the centre of the discussion. Direct it, like a conductor of the orchestra.


Set a timer to ring 5 mins before the meeting ends. This attracts attention and regroups everyone around you.

Elicit the findings discovered and coordinate next steps together.

Minutes should have been saved using a recording tool (e.g and shared via cloud system for everyone’s access.


One of the biggest challenges to leading remote teams is creating a genuine connection between colleagues.

When we are around other people, we pick up and respond to each other’s positive or negative energy which deeply impacts the end result of what we’re working on.

Sitting behind a screen creates a barrier that filters this energy. Not all of it can get through because we can only see and interact with a “limited amount of the other person”.

Check in with people (and even clients) not only when you need them but to see how they are progressing, or not. Listen to their concerns and commend their achievements. Be present.

Video messages and live calls on a semi-frequent basis are an easy and effective way to do this.

Control (or lack of)

The old school style of management is highly correlated with control but these days, our leadership methodology has evolved and these two factors are becoming stronger, the more separate they are.

Allow me to explain one example.

Working remotely means being in a different location to that of your office or HQ. Colleagues are not sharing the same environment.

Management doesn’t have any control over anyone’s environment.

At the blink of an eye or the click of a mouse, a teammate may scan email or instant message while supposedly listening to you.

Effectively, you don’t have control over their attention or actions.