Sharing leadership responsibility fosters a common understanding and a stronger commitment to the team’s goal. This is particularly important, if the team members are culturally and functionally diverse. It is easy to see the advantages of involving every team member in the decision-making process but maintaining a decentralized leadership style can be very challenging while working from home. However, it is the leader’s responsibility to keep the spirits up and to make sure that none of the team members feels isolated, especially in times when everybody is struggling by the consequences of COVID-19. By making decisions collectively the feeling of being excluded or isolated can be decreased and the relationships between the team members are strengthened.
So, how do you decentralize leadership and make decisions together as a collective, if the communication time is reduced to the minimum and only relies on virtual meetings or emails?
We suggest distributing the responsibility of broad topics to several specific persons. That way decision making is not dependent on one single person – that saves time and gives room for discussion to reach an optimum outcome. Although all decisions should be made collectively because the opinion of each team member counts, it is helpful to know who the responsible person for a topic is. This responsible person in turn needs to make sure that everyone is part of the decision-making process and that everyone is following through.
Keep online meetings short, precise and efficient.
Since there is no face-to-face interaction when working remotely, the amount of online meetings, emails, and messaging can increase immensely. This reduces valuable time which can be invested efficiently in the actual work. Thus, it is important to keep the meetings short, precise and efficient.
To achieve that pro-con-excel sheets regarding a decision can be created and collected before the actual meeting. It facilitates the decision-making process and avoids endless discussions during meetings. Additionally, online voting tools like Doodle can be used to finally reach a collective decision. This process has multiple advantages: not only is everyone asked to give an opinion, the votes are also on record which can be helpful in cases of doubts or ambiguities.
Do you feel involved in the decision-making process while working from home or do you feel like your opinion has no impact? Do you think a collective decision-making process could improve this? Share your thoughts with us!