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Virtual Leadership and Management Skills Programme

In the relatively new area of virtual leadership and management skills, research has shown that there are six key areas that require specific focus to enable effective and consistent results once physical interaction is removed.

These issues can be summarised as follows:

Trust – Trust can be established in many ways, some of which relate to physical interaction which is eliminated with communication through virtual media. Leaders need to understand how to adjust their style to accommodate this loss and how to use a range of virtual media techniques to generate trust in other ways.

Standards – Organisations operate partly through the adherence to standards either imposed from outside or generated from within. Virtual systems can in some ways enhance the ability to implement and monitor standards but can also suffer from not having the same level of flexibility to conduct non-standard operations and checks.

Sensitivity – The use of technology often has the effect of desensitising users from the impact of their words and actions because of the lack of an obvious and physical response. Leaders need to learn new behaviours to ensure that their messages and meanings are correctly embedded, that the context of delivery is appropriate and that participants have an adequate ability to effect their responses.

Diversity – Each country and culture will have different responses to the use of technology depending on its deployment and adoption within that society. All participants in virtual media communications need to have an equal understanding of the use and the benefits of the tools they are using. The leader’s role and flexibility in the implementation and use of virtual media across countries is essential to the success and growth of the organisation.

Complexity – When involved in the management of a complex process, leaders will use a range of physical behaviours and media to express and give depth to key elements. In the virtual environment, many of these opportunities are unavailable and new approaches need to be learned and used.

Alliances – Leaders are responsible for developing and maintaining rapport and alliances between individuals and groups (both internal and external) who rarely physically meet so they need to be able to develop appropriate methods to establish and build these relationships within the virtual environment.

As with every SpokenWord programme, your leadership group addresses each of these areas with a “learn by doing” approach through targeted and carefully tailored interactive exercises. The exercises are followed by personal and group feedback, individual findings and specified focus areas. Each manager has to work outside their comfort zones playing roles and dealing with exceptional circumstances. By stretching the individuals and their existing skills base, the facilitator will identify development areas for each person and demonstrate techniques that result in more efficient and effective leadership and management across a range of delivery media from telephone and videoconferencing to a web based platform such as Microsoft’s Live Meeting.

The objective of this programme is to ensure the management group learns how to plan, organise and lead a virtual meeting that achieves their goals. The words, stories and arguments they use have to “win” the approval, support, acceptance and/or buy-in of their staff members and external organisations. Through contextual learning, the managers learn how to understand, manage and control their meetings, how to keep the attention of the meeting attendees and how to persuade and influence across the different media.

During the programme, the leaders use telephone, video and web conferencing systems. It also employs newer technologies and systems including those focused on online assessment and review, collaborative planning and working and social media and communication.

The content has been crafted around experience from previous virtual programmes but has been done so in highly flexible way so each section can easily be adjusted and changed to suit your organisation’s specific requirements.

Key sessions include:
Personal Impact, Presence and Influence
Professional Negotiating Techniques
Advanced and Basic Selling Skills
Presentation Skills for Quivering Wrecks
Virtual Leadership and Management Skills
Networking Skills - How to “Work a Room”
Sales Management
Exhibition Skills Training
Cold Calling for Chickens

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