Today's guest post is from Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™ and founder/president CAS, Inc. Kate is a former techie turned people skills guru who turns interaction obstacles into business success. For 30 years Fortune 500 leaders have tapped Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™ to create dynamic inspirational leadership, high performance teamwork, and superior customer experiences.


Why is video communication so important when it comes to being a good leader and connecting with people?

Live video communication (vs. pre-recorded speeches) create a two-way dynamic collaboration with everyone in the organization. It can reduce and even eliminate the old problem of "headquarters" vs. "remote office" hierarchy and mentality. The entire organization becomes virtual collaborators with all the meaning and purpose that boosts morale. It also provides one-on-one opportunities for building trust. What benefits do you see with using video (i.e. conferencing, livestreaming, etc.) to communicate in large group settings?

In large group settings, livestreaming gives everyone a chance to replace the grapevine chatter (which may or may not be true) with up-to-date discussions of important issues.  Live video interactions can build more trust than pure audio teleconference.  At least in USA culture, seeing people's faces and body language has a significant effect on relationships. Also, large group settings give everyone a chance to hear many new issues that weren't on their own radar. What are some of the more creative ways you’ve used video to engage with employees/clients?

I have run entire teamwork, leadership, and customer service workshops around the globe via high-end video interactions.  We've done games and even role plays on teamwork, leadership, and customer service. One tip: Pre-plan to have people at each virtual site help facilitate! What tips do you have for executives/managers leading largely remote teams?

  1. Stop calling them remote teams. The word remote carries a connotation of "far away and less important than the non-remote teams".  Use the phrase "virtual" for everyone! 
  2. Respect people's downtime, especially in different time zones. 
  3. Get to know your people as people -- not just as workers.
  4. Be VERY clear in your communication. When employees are all together in an office, they can quickly seek clarification on issues. When they are working from home or in an office with only one other person etc....lack of clarity can be very stressful.
  5. Lead morale. Treat everyone with respect and dignity. Morale is all about dignity.It builds trust and commitment. Engage their ideas. Recognize their effort as well as their results. Show gratitude and appreciation. If you lead with the idea that they are getting paid and that's enough, you will crush morale. Commitment wanes and so do results.

How can video communication help to drive change management?

This is a simple question. Live video keeps people engaged in the change as communication flows more frequently and regularly. Make sure these live video sessions are interactive, not just status reports.  Also, instead of just asking, are there any questions, ask employees specific questions about the obstacles they are facing, issues they have seen that you might not know about, etc... 

"The evil of isolation from distance or differences undermines the true potential of virtual teams. Live video communication and a unified purpose narrow the distance and remove the isolation. Engage, inspire, and empower."  ~ Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, Author, Leading Morale.