By Katie Kelly, DLE Social Media Intern, New York, NY
The shift into an even more technology-dependent society caused by COVID-19 has increased the importance of understanding how to lead through a screen.
Carol Chiavetta, the guiding force behind the Blue Man Group’s epic rise, offered a coaching guide for improving your virtual presence at the February Breakfast Club. Cultivated from interviews with a group of business leaders, Carol pooled their advice into these six tactics:
- Be authentic and show vulnerability. We are all victims of the pandemic in one way or another, said Carol. As a leader, it is important to show your emotions for others to understand that their struggles are validated.
- Scan the screen. You can no longer scan the room, so instead, scan the screen! Observe others’ posture, facial expressions and eye contact to understand the level of engagement. Then, work as a leader to improve the environment and engagement.
- Kindness and humanity are paramount. Remember that everyone is experiencing a stressful and challenging time. Online work can be hard—everyone is struggling and having variations of emotion. Being kind and understanding is essential to leadership.
- Consistent and regular check-ins. Constant online work can become monotonous and take a toll. Having check-ins to remind others that you are there for them is important in creating, sustaining and growing relationships.
- Deliberately build in spontaneity. Carol explained this point as a virtual “water cooler conversation.” Being online has hindered the ability to create connections with others and have casual fun conversations to break up the day. Tip: Create a Zoom room that people can pop into during the workday to talk with others and build those connections!
- Be hyper aware of your virtual presence and setting. People can see into your little world at home with video calls. It is important to hold the same level of maturity and leadership when you are at home as you would in person. Clean up your background to make it simple and organized; have good lighting so people can see you; wear professional clothing, make sure your hair and makeup look nice. This tip is important to be presentable for others, but also to prepare yourself mentally for a good day!
Through discussions in breakout groups, members learned about Zoom features, mannerisms to avoid and how to prepare themselves physically and mentally for a virtual encounter. In case you missed it, click here to watch.
The Breakfast Club will get you into a positive, productive mindset for the rest of the day. Take note and start your day off right on Friday, March 12 at 7:00 AM ET by joining the next DLE Breakfast Club.