16 episodes

In the series we share our experience and expertise as coaches and facilitators, focusing on leadership and leadership development in virtual or online contexts. We explore not only the inherent challenges we face in these environments but importantly, how to address these challenges yourself.
Whether you are a coach or facilitator, a leader looking for ideas or solutions or just a team member wanting to make a difference, we will offer our experience, thoughts, tips and suggestions of how to approach this, as we dive deeper into the specific key areas.

Virtual Leadership Development: how to master the new normal Philip Botha, Bernhard Zimmermann

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

In the series we share our experience and expertise as coaches and facilitators, focusing on leadership and leadership development in virtual or online contexts. We explore not only the inherent challenges we face in these environments but importantly, how to address these challenges yourself.
Whether you are a coach or facilitator, a leader looking for ideas or solutions or just a team member wanting to make a difference, we will offer our experience, thoughts, tips and suggestions of how to approach this, as we dive deeper into the specific key areas.

    16 Curiosity & Conscious Listening

    16 Curiosity & Conscious Listening

    In the virtual world, listening becomes much more important because of all the additional - real or perceived - barriers we need to overcome. However, instead of listening more, we tend to listen less.

    We often listen to what we think others are saying, instead of concentrating and listening to what they actually say. Few people really even practice active listening in their day-to-day life despite being aware of the need for it.

    In our 16th episode, we go even further than just active listening. From our perspective, developing curiosity is the foundation for what we call conscious listening, and this needs to be actively developed and nurtured. Both curiosity and conscious listening start on the being-level, where we need to foster interest, that in turn can develop into curiosity. Crucial also, is creating a safe space for people to be able to speak freely,despite feeling vulnerable. This is the starting point for building a deep connection, so often missing in online interactions.

    On a practical level we actively need to bring people into a conversation, while at the same time, following our intuition and be able to listen at different levels. If we are able to do all of this, combined with the right questioning techniques, interaction amongst participants will need far less intervention from our side, as we would function more as a conductor in these conversations. Leading to a different kind of virtual conversation.


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    • 11 min
    15 How to manage yourself: In the Moment

    15 How to manage yourself: In the Moment

    To manage ourselves in a virtual leadership development context, we need to take ownership for our attitude and emotions related to the challenges we face.  How do we show up? Where is our focus when things are not going to plan in a specific situation? The Player attitude enables us to focus on our ability to take responsibility and act, rather than blaming others. The Learner attitude opens the space for curiosity and is absolutely essential for effective listening.

    When disruptions happen, what capacity do we have to deal with the impact they have on us emotionally? How does this impact on others? When a participant shows up in a disruptive way? How do we deal with their disruptive behaviour.

    Emotionally reacting to unforeseen events is normal human behaviour. However, we need the mental capacity and awareness to accept these and deal with them constructively and not being overpowered by them. To keep calm when things are not working out as they should, is an essential role model or the participants. Making issues transparent and staying calm helps normalise them.

    They secret to interaction, is to keep the best possible connection to participants. Technology and its inherent challenges at best play a secondary role.

     Be proactive not reactive!

    Own issues that show up as normal.


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    • 17 min
    14 Rules of Engagement Part 3

    14 Rules of Engagement Part 3

    We discuss the 7 key themes that always emerge in an RoE alignment conversation. These again, give rise or connect to every other topic or behaviour that is important to participants in a virtual interaction. Essentially, if we are able to align participants and their behaviour around these, we effectively establish psychological safety.

    The 7 are:

    Respect, which underlies almost all other behaviours

    Openness, which is the starting point for everything

    Trust, which in turn fosters collaboration

    Confidentiality, for example is really important in an online context as effectively participants allow others into their private environment

    Honesty, in a sense of being truthful in your interaction and behaviour

    Fairness, without a sense of fairness it is difficult to be open

    Listening, is key for online work so people feel to be heard and seen

    A specific circumstance or context requires additional topics that need to be explored through open questions and reflection on connected attitudes and behaviour

    Supporting participants to reflect on these helps them get clarity on their intention and purpose and enhances their commitment


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    • 16 min
    13 Rules of Engagement RoE Part 2

    13 Rules of Engagement RoE Part 2

    Episode 13 continues our discussion on Rules of Engagement (RoE). We dive deeper into how the alignment process works and how to use this to create a solid foundation for safety, trust and collaboration. In online situations, this is even more important, as well as difficult, than in face to face situations, so that participants feel empowered and not subconsciously vulnerable, having to distance and protect themselves. We also focus on the impact of values and behaviours, touching on how to deal with, for example, disruptive behaviour, aligning participants behind constructive behaviour.

    RoE builds a really strong connection with participants helping them uncover what they deeply need, in order to be able to work together constructively and effectively, supporting them to create what is important for them.


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    • 15 min
    12 Rules of Engagement ROE - Part 1

    12 Rules of Engagement ROE - Part 1

    The 12th episode dives into the first part of Rules of Engagement (ROE). The essence of Rules of Engagement is to align on how we engage with each other, which in an online interaction is much more difficult to do than in face to face. The direct outcome of this alignment is the establishment of a circle of safety, which in turn lays the foundation for trust and in turn fosters collaboration. 

    Return on Engagement: If we are able to collaborate more and better when we engage online, we find a natural impact on results. In other words, we achieve a direct return on our 'investment in engagement'.

    In Rules of Engagement, the focus lies on the process, in helping participants understand and express, for themselves, what is important for them in how they want to show up and engage with each other during the virtual reaction.  It is not so much the specific topics, as the process that builds trust. This means that focusing only on the topics in a discussion will not have the same effect as using the process of alignment.  Therefore it is important to take sufficient time for this, and allow for depth in the conversation. This will allow for an understanding of both acceptable and unacceptable or disruptive behaviour to be aligned on. This particularly pays off in especially longer engagements.


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    • 21 min
    11 Elements to own In the process - Part II

    11 Elements to own In the process - Part II

    We continue in our 11th episode with part 2 of the elements we need to own in the process. Especially in a virtual context, where distractions are so tempting and easy for participants to drift off, providing a powerful hook and clear alignment with the purpose of the workshop or meeting has a direct positive impact on participants' motivation to engage with each other and the facilitator or leader and to stay engaged. 

    The final element also facilitates reflection and engagement. The ritual of Check In & Check Out is essential to lay the foundation for interaction and engagement.


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    • 8 min

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