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Antoinette Oglethorpe

Antoinette Oglethorpe Ltd

Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Author specialising in Leadership Development and Career Management

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind – The Challenges of Working Remotely


This week I’ve been continuing my review of 360 degree feedback with a leadership team as the start of their coaching programmes.

What struck me was how valuable the feedback was in helping leaders recognise the challenges of working remotely and to identify ways of addressing those challenges.

My client is a global organisation with a complex management structure.  Most leaders have 2 reporting lines – a direct reporting line into the global function; and an indirect reporting line into the country or geography that they support.

What that means is their direct manager is often in a different location (and time zone) to the leader and their team.  And there lies the challenge.

Sometimes, the 360 degree feedback showed close alignment between the leaders self-perception and that of their direct reports and colleagues.  But their manager’s view was different and the scores were lower.

So what are the direct reports and colleagues seeing but the manager isn’t seeing?

Well, everything.  Literally!

The manager isn’t there to see anything at all.  So their view is limited to the occasions they meet face-to-face and what the leader communicates by email, phone calls etc.

And the reality is the leader doesn’t bother communicating their achievements, their progress and what’s going well.  Instead, they focus on problems, challenges and what they need help with.

So their manager’s view is unbalanced.

For leaders to manage their careers and develop effectively in an organisation, they need to create a positive impact on their key stakeholders.  If some of those stakeholders are in a different location, they need to make sure they communicate and present a balanced view, promoting their achievements as well as their challenges.

What advice would you give to those who are trying to impress from a distance?

One Response

  1. Blowing trumpets!

    Good observation Antoinette – we often see very capable people who simply do not communicate enough about what they are doing/achieving; partly through a perceived lack of time, and partly due to a personal belief/cultural element of it not being attractive to 'blow ones own trumpet'.

    Nonetheless, running a bit of personal 'PR' is necessary – and ideally should be re-framed for individuals who might struggle in this regard as being more in the spirit of sharing success to help the organisation learn, rather than a 'look at me, aren't I wonderful' declaration.

    So I think advice would be to consider regular communication about what they are doing/achieving as part of the task itself, and genuinely consider what might be of interest/use to the organisation from hearing about something which has gone well and which others can use as a blueprint for similar success.



Author Profile Picture
Antoinette Oglethorpe

Consultant, Coach, Speaker and Author specialising in Leadership Development and Career Management

Read more from Antoinette Oglethorpe

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