Why Leading a Remote Team Requires Radical Candor
How to build better relationships with your team when everyone’s stressed out and miles away
Whether you run a company, lead a team, or just find yourself navigating the challenges of working with others at a moment of uncertainty and social distance, it’s obvious why it’s important to care personally about your colleagues now more than ever.
But caring is only one half of the formula we need to keep our teams and organizations functioning. If we are to not only endure but prevail in these times, we need to know how to challenge one another, too.
Teams everywhere are facing unprecedented challenges, and it’s tempting not to share scary information when there is already so much bad news.
“Radical Candor” is what happens when you care personally and challenge directly at the same time. It’s easy to fall into the trap of ignoring one of these at the expense of the other, or feel the temptation to withdraw into ourselves and do neither.
No one wants to pile on during an already bleak time; but allowing problems to go unaddressed will only result in much bigger problems in the future, when you may be even less equipped to deal with them. Even in difficult times, you need to avoid ruinous empathy to be willing to challenge directly. At the same time, challenging your colleagues without showing compassion manifests as obnoxious aggression. This can be a natural reaction when stress levels are high and things are as unpredictable as they are right now. But acting like a jerk just increases stress levels and doesn’t help solve problems.
Failing both to care and to challenge is the worst place to land — and also an all too human response to a crisis. When every day brings new and unexpected emotional and practical challenges, you can feel overwhelmed and pull into your shell. Teams everywhere are facing unprecedented challenges, and it’s tempting not to share scary information when there is already so…