What are special traits and skills (that are different from a “face-to-face” leader) that a virtual leader should possess?
It needs to be positive and not critical of my fellow student
According to trait theory, intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity and sociability are all important leadership traits. (Northouse, 2016) All of these traits help leaders form excellent communication, problem solving and social judgement skills. Developing trust and close relationships with team members will be a challenge in the virtual working environment because there is no face to face interaction. Leaders, who focus on building those relationships and provide regular feedback, will succeed in building an effective virtual team. Next, virtual leaders will need to incorporate the main skills of the “Skills Approach” theory: technical, human and conceptual skills. They will need to be technically proficient by focusing on processes and production. They will also need to use their emotional intelligence, the ability to manage ourselves and our relationships effectively. (Goleman, 2000). Finally, they will need to be able to express their vision and plan to employees in order to maintain participation and commitment.
The leadership styles that will be most effective in a virtual team are the approaches that include both directive and supportive behaviors. According to the Situational Leadership Approach, the coaching style is highly directive and has high supportive behaviors. It allows the leader to focus communication on both achieving goals and meeting team members socioemotional needs. (Northouse, 2016) In addition, the coaching approach requires “constant dialogue, and that dialogue has a way of pushing up every driver of climate.” (Goleman, 2000) Once the team begins achieving goals, the virtual leader can move forward to supporting and eventually the delegating approaches. During the project, the virtual team may move fluidly through all variations of the Situational Approach. It is the leader’s responsibility to recognize in which direction his/her team is moving and set them on the right path.
I am currently the Clinical Nurse Officer in Charge of the Operating Room and Sterile Processing Department in Iraq. We perform monthly teleconferences with our counterparts of the unit coming to replace us. Communications are difficult due to time zone differences and technical difficulties. In this virtual team, I am a team member, who strives to provide pertinent information to the oncoming hospital commander while maintaining my section for my current hospital commander. Both leaders have different visions on how they want to proceed. In this situation, regular feedback is vital as well as effective communication skills so that seamless transition can be achieved.
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