Virtual Presence

Recently, I co-hosted a Facebook Live interview with John Bates, CEO of Executive Speaking Success. I was able to connect with John afterward to pull together his Top 10 Tips to Being Your Best, Virtually (see below). Again (and still), we are talking about Covid-19, and in this episode, we talked specifically about how to show-up for our best virtual presence. After all, that's what we're all doing right now!
From Zoom and WebEx team meetings to FaceTiming with family, it's all we have right now. You can click below for part 1 of our chat. (We were cut off, and needed to restart, so be sure to check out our playlist Coronavirus Self-care & Strategy Series for Entrepreneurs for part 2 and all other episodes. We will continue this effort through this event. 

My goal continues to be to help you all with recognizing entrepreneurial burnout. So, be sure to take the assessment and if you need a reboot and have an urgent need, we are offering strategy sessions to help you cope with any critical decisions you are facing.

John Bates' Top 10 Tips to Being Your Best, Virtually

John Bates is the CEO and communications guru of Executive Speaking Success. He sees success in leadership, sales, management and (more generally, in business and life itself) as a function of great communication. Executives at NASA, Johnson & Johnson, Accenture, and other forward-thinking global organizations often say that John’s methodology is quite probably the best and most effective approach to leadership, communication, persuasion, and influence that they have ever experienced. 

L=F(c) – Leadership is a function of Communication

  1. Remember people need more human connection in the virtual/distributed world. And, especially right now. Be conscious of that in an appropriate way.

  2. Think about your background and lighting. Your leadership presence is now all about your virtual presence. Background and lighting are easy to fix if you think about it.

  3. The biggest thing you can do up your game is to get a USB mic or a nice headset with a boom mic. Sound is more important than video and the built-in mic of your computer or laptop is small and far from your mouth.

  4. Practice Insightful Vulnerability. Share what you're having a hard time with and how you're resolving it. Talk about what you're learning, etc. Make it a safe space to share what's not working and make the expectation that people ALSO share what they're DOING about it, and learning from it.

  5. Remember, your employees are now a lot more like volunteers than when they were in the office. Inspire them to stay productive, have more, shorter meetings, care about them and let them know it, and consider more 1:1 meetings, more often, just so you can check in with people and support them.
  6. As a leader, I think your most important job is to continuously remind people of the “empowering context” for the work you're all doing together. And, always remember to come from that place, yourself. People are inspired to be doing what they're doing, but they sometimes forget when they're heads down in the details. Continuously remind them of why they're working so hard.

  7. Set the expectations upfront. Family is OK. Kids may be a minor distraction and as long as it doesn't last too long it's fine. Make room for everyone's different home realities. Create some boundaries and expectations with your team. We don't expect you to respond to emails after 6 pm, or 8 pm, or whatever. Setting some ground rules gives everyone some comfort and they can work within those clear boundaries.

  8. People LOVE autonomy! People love having some kind of say in how they do their work and when they do their work. If you support that and empower them they will become more productive, even if they may not do that in the way you expect. Give people autonomy, pay attention to their results and they will likely surprise you for the better.

  9. Be good to yourself. Do your best to plan your day and do your work in a way that supports you. You'll be more productive and you might even find things you can share with your team that will help them be more productive, while also being happier, too.

  10. If you're new to this, know that it's not easy at first. It's a big adjustment and once you find your way you'll probably love it and never want to give it up, completely.

    Thank you, John for these great tips and for spending time with the Tap the Potential Community to share your time and expertise. Looking for more inspiration? Hop on over to the Profit By Design Podcast!

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About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.