Managing Remote Teams: How to Achieve Together When Everyone is Working from Home with Luke Szyrmer

When working with a team, how do you effectively help each other while knowing that emotions are and will always be part of communicating?

Lots of things are being done in a company with all the skills of different employees. By combining the I’s to form the we, we allow everyone to show up in the best way that makes them productive.

However, there are times when a project feels so heavy because those who are involved weren’t able to communicate properly.

Remember that communication is also a form of listening.

Join us in this episode as we learn how we can work in a remote team while making sure that everyone hears and understands what each person is sharing.

Podcaster on Managing Remote Teams, Luke Szyrmer has managed or participated in remote only teams for almost a decade and has led teams building software, running marketing and sales. Most recently, he led a program of approximately 30 distributed across 13 time zones and 8 different locations. Luke is the author of #1 bestseller Launch Tomorrow and  Managing Remote Teams: How to achieve together when everyone is working from how.  

In this episode, Luke shares what he does to help remote teams achieve success and why facilitating is as important as listening when working with teams across time zones. He gives tips on how to engage introverts who work in the second language so that the value they bring is not lost on the team.

“If you do a lot of hierarchy, then just be aware that it can filter out important voices or data points.”

Luke Szyrmer

Listen IN Notes:

00:20 – Short Backgrounder: How playing his guitar as he grew up led Luke to notice the power of listening  

04:15 – Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: Luke shares the spark that inspired him to write a book and start a podcast about managing remote teams

09:16 – Lesson Learned: Luke’s piece of advice for his younger self in relation to one’s tone as we write and/or speak

14:04 – Choose Wisely: How to work with a team, knowing that emotions will always be a part of the process

19:19 – Facilitator > Manager: Getting people to show up in the best possible way, with as much of themselves as they can in work

24:41 – Show Us How It’s Done: Luke shares how he structures a workshop-type of meeting when working with teams

30:59 – Bye ‘I’, Hello ‘We’: Focusing more on working together as you deal with the fear of not being understood

32:44 – Finished or Not: Why it is important that team members have a common definition of the word ‘done’ as they hold themselves accountable to that

37:00 – Responding to executive demands: “It then becomes a question about resourcing and not about whether or not the team is underperforming

40:24 – How Luke listens to the energy in his team: “You ask them. Make it okay to talk about that.”

46:32 – Learn from Luke: One important thing leaders should know when it comes to remote work

54:48 – This Distorts Listening: The hierarchy within a company as something that’s meant to be a filtering mechanism

59:34 – Luke talks about his book, as well as his podcast, Managing Remote Teams

Key Takeaways:

“Music is a window into an emotional state over time.” – Luke Szyrmer

“It feels great to be listened to, definitely. It is a way of communicating respect for what someone’s saying in addition to making them just feel good about it.” – Luke Szyrmer

“When you are communicating purely textually, there still is tone on what you write, but it is very context-dependent. The same words can mean very different things, depending on exactly everything else that’s said around them.” – Luke Szyrmer

“They [meetings] should be fun. If they’re not fun, then probably, you don’t need a meeting.” – Luke Szyrmer

“It doesn’t really matter so much what that definition [of ‘done’] is, from a general point of view. What does matter is that the team defines it and they hold themselves accountable to it.” – Luke Szyrmer

“Most people, when they show up for work, don’t go there to do a bad job. They go there because they want to do something and enjoy doing it; they want to contribute to the whole. And my role as a facilitator is to help them do that as a group.” – Luke Szyrmer


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