Revisiting the old ways

Over the past year and the half, the offline world slowed down, while the online world flourished. The pandemic and the resulting social and economic impacts have been difficult. It also has held some of the most challenging lessons leaders have witnessed in decades.

With all that has happened and severity of changes, it is easy to forget that connecting virtually is just the poor relation to real face-to-face connection. Digital tools and social media have not changed the bedrock of communication. The Human Connection.

From a distance, face-to-face communication tends to be limited yet onsite visits allow leaders to interact with staff members in face-to-face conversations and to build and nurture relationships.

It is not uncommon for teams to become uninspired or stuck during regular business activity, even more evident perhaps, in the time of pandemic. The face-to-face presence of a leader will not only help the team through a barrier and challenge, but also demonstrate genuine care and connectivity.

A leader is considered to have the essential knowledge so by providing suggestions and direction to individuals, clarity and commitment will evolve. Expectations become clearer. The leader’s physical presence from time to time is needed for success and reinforcement of a feeling of belonging in an organisation.

A great leader will always promote and celebrate development, progress, and change when small wins and progress are evident. The leader’s presence is often the facilitator of a community spirit. By coming on sites, leaders send the message that each part of the organization is valuable. When conditions are hard, the leader’s presence highlights a willingness to share that hardship.

There is no substitute for being present.

Situational context and office climate do not simply transmit through email or phone. An onsite visit allows a leader to gain new information about personalities and relationships that one may never have received. The flipside to a leader’s visit is that it allows the leader to share strategic context with the rest of the organization. Getting news directly eliminates the potential for rumour or misinterpretation. By highlighting the vision and values of the company, the leader gets to evoke what he or she stands for and to reinforce personal credibility.

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