Virtual leadership training is the perfect opportunity to take bold steps forward in your company’s leadership development plan. In a world that’s increasingly digital, virtual coaching fits right in.
Today’s workforce is a hybrid mix of in-person and remote workers. A recent Gallup poll found that 45% of all Americans work remotely at least partially, and 25% are now exclusively working remotely.
When it’s time for your company to engage these workers in virtual leadership development activities, certain techniques make the most impact. Here’s how to get the most out of your virtual business leadership coaching.
What is Virtual Leadership Training?
Before you begin, plan to set aside enough time for your participants to focus on the topic without other interruptions. To maximize buy-in and productivity, be willing to schedule sessions during nontraditional hours that best suit your remote and virtual participants.
Decide on an overall timeframe and how the sessions will be divided into a series of virtual interactions. How you divide up your program depends on your goals, timeframe, and the individual needs of your participants.
Some virtual leadership training programs take place in short bi-weekly sessions for six weeks to six months. Other seminars are longer, more intensive, multi-hour sessions that take place less often.
Arrange Reliable Virtual Communication Methods
In a traditional classroom setting, it’s fairly easy to control how the room is set up. As long as everyone has a chair, you likely have a productive session with in-person connections between the leadership coach and the participants.
Contrast this with a virtual leadership training setup. The individual settings of each participant vary widely from professional settings to personal living rooms. Everyone is relying on their computers, smartphones, and audiovisual equipment to work smoothly throughout the experience. The leadership development coach can’t control as much of the experience as they could in person, although an experienced coach has a strong background in virtual coaching.
To combat the challenges of the virtual environment, establish how communication will take place well in advance. Set standards for communication methods, times, and professional boundaries. Using Zoom meetings, for example, give everyone ample time to set up Zoom on their devices.
Also, prepare everyone with a bit of testing to ensure things will work correctly for the virtual leadership development activities. Encourage them to share any technical issues that could interfere with your upcoming sessions and proactively resolve them in advance.
Take Advantage of Graphs, Clips, Chats, and More
Virtual business leadership coaching is the perfect setting for digital features and options that enhance learning. Seize the opportunity to provide graphs, charts, video clips, and other educational materials that support the educational experience.
The chat function on your videoconferencing software offers an excellent way to boost communication and build buy-in. Encourage participants to answer questions and share their concerns throughout the leadership development process.
Incorporate Breaks and Catch-ups
Some participants will inevitably miss virtual sessions or miss out on portions of sessions due to lost connections, interruptions, illness, and more. Head off any gaps in learning by offering catch-up sessions and emailed materials that keep everyone on track.
Take the shame out of being absent! It’s just a part of virtual learning and shouldn’t slow down the leadership development process.
And remember, remote learning can be just as demanding and draining as any other type of work. Allow for plenty of breaks, especially if you’re hosting long sessions. Encourage your participants to refresh their minds and bodies so they can continue to learn and work productively.
Choose the Right Virtual Leadership Development Coach
Get the most out of your company’s virtual leadership development activities by working strategically. Provide your team with the resources they need to succeed. Experts say the best way to make a meaningful and lasting impact is with virtual leadership development programs instead of one-off virtual training programs.
Leadership Resources provides customized virtual business leadership coaching services for thousands of successful companies around the world. To learn more about our wide range of individualized leadership programs, please contact Leadership Resources. We’re here to help you accomplish your goals, whether in person or virtually!