Qualities One Must Possess to Manage a Remote Team


Self-awareness is critical to relationship building and trust, especially in any remote environment. The fact is that people want to learn and be guided elsewhere. The GitLab CEO goes so far as to reveal his communication preferences and flaws, which require a high degree of self-awareness, a low sense of shame and a bias for transparency. 

Self-aware supervisors are open about their literacy and communication preferences, allowing those who report to them to communicate without obfuscation. Be mostly susceptible to micromanagement. 

Especially for new remote teachers, you may be tempted to “check-in” to systems that are more crowded than usual because you won’t see anyone working in the same physical space. 

This is a destructive practice. Rather, use an open discussion with a direct account of communication and work style and find a remedy that works for each side. What a manager perceives as proactive work to keep planning on track may be labelled toxic micromanagement by a direct report. 

Not having an open channel to communicate preferences can weaken working relationships.


Empathy and kindness are the essences of great remote managers. It can be exhausting to put yourself in the shoes of direct messages with text interactions and video calls. In-Person relationships make it easier to read body language. 

In a remote environment, leaders need to be visionary because they are asking for a direct report on how life is going and what their literacy aspirations are. GitLab empowers people and trusts that every team member embraces and acts as a leader. 

Working without pride, the image that people are not their work, and short toes go a long way in building confidence as a leader. The modesty required to be a modest leader is rare and makes a big difference in a remote environment. 

Especially for those reports that are formed as the first remote part, leaders can start working on illustrations. In many cases, reports are found in real-time as they are rather once managed. 

To gain trust with a direct report, it is important to maintain the perspective that managers transcend when they serve. People tend to be more embarrassed when they ask a manager for step-by-step instructions at a distance – like, “I’m bothering them in their house!” You can intervene proactively, ensuring that you (as the administrator) are not distracted by sincere requests for support. 

In general, distance leaders should operate from the perspective of wanting others to succeed. If critical feedback is needed, try to raise things constructively and do so in a 1-1 setting. 


Managers often have time. A critical, albeit common, mistake is to assume that you can make up time by not fully communicating with your direct reports. Great remote directors take their time writing effects. GitLab’s handbook-based approach to certification encourages instructors to contextualize thoughts in text. 

Communicating opportunities, updates and feedback through text is highly appreciated. This allows the direct report to absorb the information at their own pace and it eliminates misunderstandings. Written words are more fluently questioned, creating a more direct path to absolute truth and understanding. 


To be a successful remote team leader, a position of trust must be developed within each group. A secure remote team leader provides constant feedback so that team members feel included, valued, empowered and admired. A remote manager must be intuitive and able to adapt to the preferences of his direct reports. Some team members want more or less communication from their leader, some harmonious protest, and others autonomy. The ability to ask and accommodate their preferences is crucial. Many of these principles are taken as implicit requirements in other associations, but great leaders strive to clarify and demystify. This is an important part of servant leadership.

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