Last week I gave a keynote about high-performance leadership in a virtual setting.

While preparing the talk I realized that the virtual space increases focus, yet sacrifices context.

Think of reading an email-a virtual communication-which is textually clear, but is still confusing about meaning.

A few sentences with missing context can be enough to create doubt and uncertainty: We use context to derive true meaning.

As a virtual leader and professional it’s therefore more important than ever to create context wherever possible.

Here are eight keys to drive context and stand-out in a virtual setting:

  1. Start every meeting with the same question: What does success of this meeting look like?
  2. Explicitly test for understanding when explaining a course of action.
  3. Reiterate the most important team goals at every opportunity.
  4. Be specific in actions and deadlines.
  5. End every conversation with the question: Who needs to know what based on this conversation.
  6. Check in on people’s moods with metaphors: “If you would be a car right now, what it would it be, and why?”
  7. Focus especially on defining activities together which can be stopped.
  8. Increase the frequency of communication, decrease its duration.

Which of these items would be your biggest opportunity for improvement?

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