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Lead Anyone From Anywhere: Communication

This article is part 3 of a four-part excerpt from our latest ebook, Lead Anyone From Anywhere. The previous articles can be found here and here.

How to Improve Your Communication Skills

Communication is critical, but even more so in a hybrid workplace. So establishing clear communication will open the door for conversations, coaching opportunities, and constructive feedback.

And here, you’ll learn to do just that.

Because after more than 11 years in business as a 100-percent remote workforce, we believe in over-communicating – and then communicating even more.

We’ve all been there: We say one thing, but the person we’re speaking to hears and interprets something else entirely.

And so you really have to be very conscious about how you’re communicating – and even more so when working remotely.

How To Be A Better Communicator

Communication – clear, explicit and thoughtful communication – is, at least for us, the foundation for, well, everything when working remotely. Because regardless of industry, job or even whether you work in a brick-and-mortar office or virtually, how we express our expectations and needs inevitably impacts and affects every outcome.

For hybrid employees, leaders must be decisive and proactive in following a game plan that heightens the odds of success and satisfaction for all involved.

This calls for open communication, a sense of shared purpose, and a commitment to growth.

After all, the one tie that binds us all is our need to connect. We need to feel seen, heard, and understood. And just how, exactly, do we do that? By continuously asking yourself and those around you: “How can I be a better communicator?”

Communication 101: What to Use – And When

Whenever possible, we try to cater communication to the style – or styles – each employee prefers to help them stay connected in the manner that best suits them. While some may prefer video conferencing, others may prefer written communication.

And as an organization, you have to have all the right communication tools, but you also have to set some expectations that go around that, too.

And as we mentioned, we over-communicate – meaning we embrace the ‘virtual nod’ to let people know we’re ‘on it.’ Here are all the ways we communicate — and when.


We like to say that we use ‘email as the pillar, and instant messaging as the glue.’

Let us start by saying that it’s such a wonderful tool. Everybody has it on their phone and computer. It’s easy and quick.

Instant Messaging

We do a lot of instant messaging in Slack. We find that an email works for things that can wait and instant messages are for simple, quick questions or clarity – like those times when you would have gotten up from your desk and walked to someone’s office.

Video Conferencing

At BELAY, as we’ve mentioned, we highly encourage video meetings.

Video conferencing is — as we’ve already discussed — a requisite for us. And we conduct a vast majority of our meetings — both internal and external — using Zoom video conferencing, which has been awesome for us.

Text & Phone

This is an easy, quick communication because everyone has a phone.

But just as with instant messaging, it’s important to establish policies around someone using their cell phone for sensitive information. So regarding cybersecurity, you might need to determine how you want your team members to use their phones.

Courageous Conversations

Oh, courageous conversations.

At BELAY, we firmly believe in their importance and impact, but don’t get us wrong: They’re not always easy. But they are always the right thing to do.

A courageous conversation is one with high stakes, is emotionally charged about issues that matter, and involves the perspectives of more than one person.

Courageous conversations are the essence of healthy conflict management – and are the most effective way to avoid conflict escalation. No workplace will be conflict-free, but it is possible to create a non-judgmental, emotionally intelligent environment that allows for hard conversations in a respectful way.

So when initiating courageous conversations virtually, visual contact proves even more important. Facial expressions provide a lot of visual cues about what people are feeling — even small, fleeting changes, called micro-expressions, provide useful information about people’s initial reactions to information. And exchanging emails, texts, or phone calls means you’re likely to miss momentary changes in people’s facial expressions — and the meaning they convey.

It then proves paramount to use video conferencing to create an exchange wherein you can interact effectively and intimately.

Managing Expectations with Employees

We think expectations – and communicating them in no uncertain terms – is mission-critical.

You have your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), metrics, and goals for your team members. Those are relatively standard, regardless of whether you’re brick-and-mortar or hybrid. It’s very similar.

Setting expectations is your opportunity to let employees and teams know from the beginning exactly what your expectations are of them, their role, and the team. It is also your opportunity to explain the shared and measurable objectives in no uncertain terms to eliminate the temptation to micromanage.

Your Communication Wrap-Up

Communication – clear, explicit, and thoughtful communication – is, at least for us, the foundation for, well, everything when working remotely. Because regardless of industry, job, or even whether you work in a brick-and-mortar office or virtually, how we express our expectations and needs inevitably impacts and affects every outcome.

Those qualities that we consider to be inextricably human – sociability, empathy, compassion, kindness, patience, adaptability, and a willingness to learn – will be the key to the success of your partnership. Unlock those and the sky’s the limit!

Lead Anyone From Anywhere: Communication Tips For a Better Workplace

When your team has healthy communication, you can only thrive as an organization. Communication takes practice and boundaries — you have to work at it. 

You can do it, and this book will help.


Download Lead Anyone From Anywhere to dig deeper and grow as a leader of a hybrid team – for free!