A big fear of any manager is what to do when a team member doesn’t do what you needed. In a virtual environment this fear is magnified so intensely that many business owners don’t even try to build a virtual team.
In this episode we talk about the keys that have enabled us to build a worldwide high-performance virtual team. Discover the leading indicators to watch out for so you can address a hot spot before it derails a project or account.
You’ll also find out specific tactics and phrases we use with our team to smooth things out and increase performance.
Resources Mentioned In This Episode
1-Click Slack Status Update
You can set five “1-click” status updates in your Slack workspace. Here are the ones we setup in our workspace at Tier 11.
To change the choices, click “Edit suggestions…” at the bottom of the status menu.
Deacon Bradley 0:06
Hello, and welcome to the Virtual Business podcast. I'm your host, Deacon Bradley alongside Ralph burns and Angela Posner today, hey, we talked a lot in Episode Seven and eight about when things are going well, here's how we would recommend you, like, do these things and things should go well, but they're not always gonna go well. Right. So if the goal today is I kind of sum it up another question, what if my virtual team isn't doing what I need? and Angela, like what are what's an issue that like a common issue that we have where we're, we're kind of scratching our heads like, this isn't going well?
Angela Ponsford 0:42
Yeah, one of the big things is is unresponsiveness or when you just can't see the person you know, interacting anywhere and any of the channels that you have. So you know, we've you know, we obviously on Slack, we've talked about that lots. We're in Asana for project Management. We have our media buyers in ads manager and just been able to check up on that activity. And if there's no no comms from the people, that's that's the big set of one big saying that something's up. And that could be, you know, various reasons for why that's happening. It's not always that they're just, you know, not up not showing up for work and just not doing the job that there's often other other reasons behind why they're not there. And this unresponsiveness but that's one of the big alarm bells.
Ralph Burns 1:32
Yeah, hundred percent. I mean, we can talk about, you know, working too slow, or maybe people not doing things the right way. But I mean, the biggest red flag is just pure unresponsiveness. And sometimes there's a reason like you said, there's there's lots of different reasons for it. But for people who have worked at Tier 11, who are no longer at Tier 11 unresponsiveness was always the canary in the coal mine, so to speak, the thing that that was the flow lag. And it manifested itself in a lot of different ways. I can think of five examples off the top of my head. You know, maybe even predating you guys. But the point is, is that Yeah, you got to keep an eye on that. Because you can't see them like so many times you can't walk down the hallway and poke your head into their office or over the top of the cubicle like the way that you actually keep track of this is through electronic means and typically at Slack, secondarily, for us, it's a son, but mostly slack. Maybe a little bit of email, but slack is pretty much it. So yeah, you can spot it pretty easily and responsiveness is the number one
Deacon Bradley 2:36
Ralph I love that you described it as canary in the coal mine because like that is that's the perfect thing like thinking back about the issues that that we've all worked together through you're right that was core and central to those and and if I had known better at the time, that was also one of the leading indicators. Angela, what do you use? What does like unresponsive look like to you from your experience? Like what are you seeing or are not seeing, I guess that would raise that red flag?
Angela Ponsford 3:05
Yeah. So in Slack, we have our internal slack team. And then we have our, our shared kind of slack team where we have customer channels, we have the actual customers and channels in there. And so it's one thing is, are they not responding to comments or where they're being tagged in our channel, I mean, that that is one of the biggest things because that's the internal team, there should be very few who bought Holds Barred, no holds barred in there, you should be able to share most things publicly, within our slack in the correct channels. If they're not responding to comments if they're not signaling their emojis that they've seen something and then additionally, if there's very little going on in the customer channels as well, similarly, not responding to requests or just taking too long to respond. That is the the number one key that somebody thing is going on with that person, whether it's you know, they're just not getting the work done, or they don't know what they're doing. And they don't know how to say they don't know what they're doing it like it's absolutely the key factor.
Ralph Burns 4:13
Yeah, the flip side of that is responsiveness. Somebody who's very responsive, like we've had people that have shifted around in different positions. And there's certain people in particular that I kind of keep an eye on. And to sort of measure like, that's the biggest thing. I think, from my perspective, we have now an automated way in which to measure this, but it's like take the temperature of the team kind of thing and individual people in new roles. Like when a new ads manager comes on board, I'm very curious to see like, what their responsiveness is and how involved they are, you know, what's their interaction like, you know, inside the slack channels, and then for people who may be moved around to different positions, you know, due to the never ending, shifting, changing environment in which we live. There's responsiveness Is, is a very good indicator that somebody is really enjoying doing what they're doing, too. So this is like it works both ways here. It's not just one thing or the other. But yeah, I think it's, you know, it's a key thing I said, I think it's more like potentially a performance issue if they're more of a seasoned person. So when I say that, like we, you know, we just hired a couple of new ads managers this past week, and they might not know that responsiveness and interaction inside slack is an important thing. So if I don't see a whole lot of interaction with them, eventually, Angela or Rita or whoever it is who they report to say like being responsive is important. Like, and you know, My son is now an intern at Tier 11. And he's notorious for never responding on anything. Like to me, maybe it's just me, but I'm like, you need to respond to Rita when she asks you something you can't like ignore it. You know, I mean, so some people need to be sort of trained in responsiveness. So if they're new, you might need to give them responsiveness training, you know, and then they sort of come into the fold. And I think you've got some good examples of that here today. And,
Angela Ponsford 6:15
yeah, totally. And so there's another additional thing that we have, because we are a Facebook ad agency is people doing things actually in the Facebook ad dashboard. So if you are a Facebook ad agency, and you're listening to this, or you have people working within the Facebook ads dashboard, there is the history little history button within Facebook. And that is one of my key key things to see. Okay, this person told me that they they were in there and they were doing this, and I go in there and I see that there's no action, okay? Red Flag because one, they're telling me that they're doing something. And two, it's not happening and the performance is down in an account. So you know, again, it's the unresponsiveness that like people Yeah, and I don't know if people know not everybody knows about that little history button. But it's, it's, it's not about, you know, just keeping track and constantly in there, I don't use it as much nowadays, as I as I really have done in the past. Because, you know, I think we've we've worked through a lot of issues and we we have a really great team and but I'm still in there occasionally and going, Okay, what's happening in here? What's what has happened in this account performance? It's usually when performance is down. It's you know, something's, something's happening here. Performance is down what's been done in the account, and then it's, it's, you can actually keep a good track of activity.
Ralph Burns 7:35
Yeah, that's a that's a very effective tool. And I can think very recently of one where we were having performance issues, and that was a very much of a leading indicator. You know, so I'm sure there's probably I'm not, I didn't, you know, I wasn't the one that did the six quick fixes to end slack overwhelm, so I'm certainly not the authority in the space here, but I'm sure there's some way to Log, like, Is there a slack log somewhere Deacon, people can even look to, you know,
Deacon Bradley 8:05
never look at the Admin Tools, they they do give a lot of info about how slack is used. That's actually a really interesting one that I'm gonna look up and see if it shows, people posting frequencies. I know it gets kind of general stats around channels or direct messages or things. But I'm really curious now, because I think one of the key things we're getting at here is, responsiveness is a leading indicator of poor performance. So if you can find the, if you can notice, if you have if you're equipped to notice unresponsiveness you can intervene before you get to the poor performance thing that might affect your business.
Unknown Speaker 8:47
Ralph Burns 8:49
Yeah, I mean, I wouldn't use this like Remember, you were in a virtual environment and you have to have employees or people that you work with their 1099 are full blown employees. Do you have to get them? Like, what's the goal here is to get work done. You know, GSD, which is and his middle name are we always joke about. Since we don't want to get the, you know, offensive rating on iTunes, I won't say what the SS but get stuff done is, is that's the goal. So if they're not getting stuff done when they need to get stuff done, then that's even more of an indicator. And then you can kind of go back to responsiveness. It's like performance drives everything. We're a high performance company here, everything is driven on performance, our customers can leave us in 45 days if we don't perform. So there's a lot on the line. And responsiveness and performance sort of go hand in hand. If the performance is suffering, then you sort of look at all right, let's look at the responsiveness. But in some cases, things were going really well. Like in that one case where we went back into the Facebook Ads Manager and identified the real issue and you know, the performance was good, but it should have been great. And that was the reason why that became an issue. So yeah, so at the end of the day, it's like it's all about whatever you're doing as a virtual business. You have some sort of KPI you have some sort of success metric. For us, it's achieving our customers KPIs, there's nothing more important. Pick your KPI or whatever it is for you. And if people on your team aren't achieving that or getting closer to achieving those goals, then look at probably its lack of responsiveness is going to be plain and simple. One of the reasons
Deacon Bradley 10:35
Yeah, I gotta I got to share this real quick, Ralph because you brought it up, Angela, don't forget what you were gonna say. I logged into slack to see if there's any leading indicators we could pull from here and inside their analytics. We can look last 30 days as as narrow as you can get it but it shows you days active and messages posted. And sure enough like sorting this by messages posted is a very clear glimpse of this is the leadership team right here at the top second place and great job. But this is actually a really interesting view. Given that we're talking about responsiveness.
Angela Ponsford 11:14
Wow, that's super cool that you can actually see those metrics in there. So I have a couple of examples that we, you know, maybe if I give you those, and then I think we've probably got some tactics that we can we could use to, like, see how we could have done this better or how people could actually deal with this. So if I just talk through this, these are examples that are actually happened this week in Slack, and it's not for underperformance, I don't think But definitely, if these had gone unchecked, there could have been an issue in our accounts and with the actual overall performance. So when that happened, we have a you know, fairly new person on our team. So they're still finding their feet. And it's the they're on their first account, and we've had a discussion Myself and the media buyer during the week about some new ads that we could get going in some of the accounts. And that was I think, on Tuesday. And so yesterday I was in looking at the account and performance wasn't that great. And, you know, we, you know, we needed to get some more ads in there. So, at that point, we'd already had the discussion previously in the week about something that needed to happen. This was a few days later, and those things still wearing fully implemented into the account. I knew that there was progress happening. And so at that point, it's a very specific question. So in Slack, a very direct question to the person. How are you going with getting those ads into the account? What help do you need? So it's not absolutely just been accusing? You know, why aren't those ads live in the account? It's asking, how are you going? What help do you need getting them going? And then there was a bit of a discussion between us, okay, we've got this we're doing that and then it was get these go and get these going today, basically. And it happened, no problem. We had a really good chat. gave you some more thoughts on it. And it happened? Would it have happened? Just you know on that at that time? Would it have been another day or two? Who knows? But sometimes you just have to you have to be on top of those things and just be very direct, and always making sure you're asking what help they need.
Ralph Burns 13:14
That is the single question right there. If there's one snippet for this show, it's understanding as a virtual manager to ask that question. And I think we talked about this on like our one on ones like, what do you need help with? Like, what can I help you? How can I help you be more effective at your job? Like you by you asking that question, you are management by virtually walking around, but you're also saying, we need to GSD here, we need to get this stuff done. How can I help you and I know you know that I know that, you know, that I'm watching you. You know, and that's the perfect way of doing it instead of like, you know, accusing them or saying something like that. You know, eventually you might need to get to that point where you actually do say All right, well, they're obviously not getting it done, I need to tell you what to do, which is what again, is sort of like the next step. And it's funny we have, we have a couple of new managers here at Tier 11. And said, it's okay every now and then to like, just tell people what to do. You don't have to always kind of do the lead by being led thing. But the way that you approach it is the right approach. And you have to do it.
Angela Ponsford 14:25
Yeah. And then my other example is where I actually was do this. No, just Just do it. And so it was this is one of our more seasoned media buyers, and we were doing a big promo and it was the last day of the promo. And the results were amazing. You know, when I got up in the morning, I think it was 9am pacific time. So Still, we had the rest of the day to run ads through the account and I was like, crushing it. How can we get some more can we get some more budget into these campaigns today, and so we can crush it, and the media buyer was just resistant to it. They were the Results hadn't been great some of the previous days. They were really good. Now, he didn't want to mess up the results by adding budget on that day. So you know, this is relevant to whether you're running Facebook ads or not like any anything, this is relevant. And I was like, Okay, well, maybe we could you could do this, given some suggestions. And then they were giving me reasons why they didn't want to do it. And it got to the point where I basically said, add, add more budget here, tell me which ones you've done. And when someone else on the team will keep an eye on it for you. This person, you know, is in a different time zone. They were going, you know, they were going to be logging off soon. And again, you know, the sometimes that's going to happen, people have a certain unwillingness to do something because of something external that isn't actually even related to the job at hand, but they know something else is going on, and they're just unwilling, but I was like, just do it. And they did it and it worked.
Deacon Bradley 15:52
So Angela, we said the goal of this episode was to answer the question, What if my virtual team isn't doing what I need now, this scenario you just laid out, there was something that you needed done. This was specific to a Facebook campaign. It was, Hey, this is doing well, let's scale this. And that was met with resistance. Am I summarizing this? Right? I kind of want to put this in perspective for anyone if they don't run a Facebook campaign, so yeah, you needed something done. It was met with resistance. And then your next step kind of more generically, was was
Angela Ponsford 16:26
giving them some ideas of how they could do the thing that I was wanting them to do with them. That was before I specifically said, Just do it. It was giving them the opportunity to think about it a little bit more. And that was still met with resistance. And then the final step was just do this please.
Deacon Bradley 16:45
Like how long of a timeframe was this whole thing happening over?
Angela Ponsford 16:50
That was probably about 30 minutes 20 to
Deacon Bradley 16:52
30 minutes. Instant, is like in Slack, you sit you kind of just went quickly down that? Yeah, Shane Oh, Way to just do this thing? Just do it. Yep.
Ralph Burns 17:04
Yeah, I think that's a good example. Because that was in the middle of a promotion where you didn't have the luxury of time. You couldn't, hey, let's get on a zoom call. And you know, he's going to bed. Yeah. I don't know where you were like in your day, trying to figure it out.
Angela Ponsford 17:19
I literally just started
Ralph Burns 17:20
just started, right. So it's like you were starting the day, he was ending the day, which happens in virtual teams all the time, you know, especially with the time zones that were in here. But you didn't go through that course of action, which I think we all sort of do now. Taken from, you know, the one minute manager is like, how are you going to scale this? Tell me how you're what's your plan to scale. Like, if you had the luxury of time, this was a Mother's Day promotion. You might have started that way. Tell me about how you're gonna get us from $1,000 a day to $10,000 a day. For example, this could insert your KPI or thing that you need for your business in there. It's always a good place to start to ask that question. Just like what do you need help with was your other question. But in this case, you're like, I don't have time to like go through the strategy, we just need to add budget because time is limited here. And that's where you like you sped up that progression, and didn't get into a long drawn out conversation, which you may or may not have done depending on the situation. It's like, Alright, we'll just do it. You know, yeah, the end result?
Angela Ponsford 18:22
Totally. And, you know, they gave me some really good reasons why they weren't going to do it. And that's great. And I simply, I could have gone back with Well, here's all the reasons why I think it needs to be done. But at that point, it was like, just do it. Make it happen. Yeah.
Ralph Burns 18:39
What was the result? I was just like adding budget. I'm just curious.
Angela Ponsford 18:43
Yeah, adding budget and and this this is a bit cheeky, and maybe this isn't a good thing for a manager to do. But as soon as I knew that they were in bed. I added budget on everything because you know, and got a lot of experience in that I was confident and you know, and sometimes as a manager, you know, that's okay. And then of course, I told them, I was like, hey, look, you know, you know, I knew when they got up in the morning, I was like, Look, I added budget all over here, here, here and here. And they were like, Yay, cool. It worked.
Ralph Burns 19:16
Yeah, and I think that's, I remember when we were first talking about this when you became like, the director of media buying and you're like, well, I won't be running any ad accounts. I won't be a tactician anymore. I'm like, you will be Trust me. And you should be and you have to be. So like, if you're a manager, managing people, like if you're a sales manager, but have never sold before, like, it's gonna be hard for you to do that. Like if your sales rep is out and you can actually ask the trial close question or fill in the blanks on the proposal or whatever it is, if you're, you know, managing a bunch of line workers and maybe you're trying to do that, you know, remotely and you've never actually done their job might be a little bit harder for you to be able to do that. But we're tacticians first and then managers Second here, which I think is another thing that's really actually important. Like Angie has to step into that role. Like if, in this case, you know that the media buyer wasn't available. Like, the goal of the customer is the KPI and the scale and we know what that is. So you step right in and do it, and then tell them afterwards is key. Cuz, like if you're getting in my workspace, I need to know, like what you did, obviously, but also, I didn't do that they might get sort of upset unless you actually tell them. But as long as it's in line with the customers goals, like everyone's cool. Yep, absolutely.
Deacon Bradley 20:36
We talked about how important responsiveness is. We went through a couple scenarios that you had recently Angela, where in those cases it I believe the people were capable and could do what you needed. They just maybe needed some more clarity or a little bit of a push. Yes. Do you ever come across just flat out in a virtual environment, like I think one of the big fears is people doing it just completely wrong? I, this is my business. You're in charge of this whatever thing and then you're just like delegating something and it's just off the rails wrong. Like, is that something you run into? And what do you do?
Angela Ponsford 21:14
Yeah, I mean, it has happened for us in the past where something has just been set up completely wrong. And that's again, where it comes down to, excuse me, having processes in place that people can follow. Like to seeing for us is a huge thing. So whatever it is for your business, you know, QC and campaigns before they go live. That's our big thing. When that process doesn't happen, that's when we get have had, you know, huge mistakes happen in the past and you know, these mistakes are always going to happen. Everybody knows that. But having enough things in place to do the checks and balances, make sure things aren't completely falling off a cliff and making sure that things are done well.
Ralph Burns 22:00
Yeah and processes in slps, we use tetra for slps is like as a great resource to fall back on. And this is one of the questions people still give me a hard time for is like, whenever they would ask me, How do I do something I'm like, won't go find it in the SLP. It's in there. Like, I'm not going to go do it for you, and nor am I going to get on a call and explain you how to do it. Because those slps took years and years for us to write. Like if you have procedural manuals of how to do something, and they don't know how to do it. Go back to that not to you, like they need to go and follow the process. The flip side to this sometimes is that when we and this has happened, have would say a fair number of times, but I can think of one specific example, within the last six months where we had an ads manager who was doing things well and then all of a sudden when we gave them more responsibility, all of a sudden they just screwed it up. And then Angela and I had conversations about like, Is he the right person for the job? I said, Well, did he do the training on that? And so we actually went back. And at that point we are in Trello. We looked at the Trello board, and it's like, holy crap, he never actually did the training on that. So here we were thinking that he should do something, right. He had no idea how to do it. He didn't ask, which was stupid. But the point is, like, he never actually completed the training. And we realized we had a hole in our training as a result of that. So you know, when you have stuff, people doing things wrong, there's a real question is a people issue or is it a training issue? And we found in that case, it was a training issue, and went back, he's done it, he's now performed, you know, he hasn't progressed like to the highest level as of yet. But the point is, is like he's moving in the right direction. He took the training, now he's getting more experience, and it's vital. And if you're doing this, like you have online training, and if you are running a virtual company, I'm sure every company has training in some way in some way, shape or form. For sure. Have checks and balances to make sure that they do at all, especially if it's vital for, you know, the health of the business as well as vital for success on the job.
Angela Ponsford 24:11
Yeah, that was, you know, and that was absolutely a leadership management issue there. And it's it's worked out really well, for us know that we, oh, we realized that we took took stock, and that's a key thing. And don't always assume that it's, yeah, because they're underperforming or they don't want to be there. Like, always try and default to Okay, is that what is the other issue? And that's why that, you know, what help do you need question is super, super, super, super important one to ask.
Ralph Burns 24:43
And it's powerful. It really is. And, you know, I think the conversation we had about that particular employee, I was like, This isn't his issue. This is your issue. It's like that it was back I mean, probably Wasn't that nice the way that I said it, but the point is is like, like mix How is he supposed to succeed if he has not done the training in order to get to that success level, so super important to make sure that you look at all things. And from our perspective, we always default and give people the benefit of the doubt. You have to at all times. So it's like, and maybe it wasn't all that responsive, you know, you might be having a hard time or, you know, it was his father's birthday, and he had a heart long travel or whatever it is. But then all of a sudden, if that non responsiveness is a pattern of behavior, like I remember this happened once was another person that's no longer with tier 11. It's like, he just kept giving excuses excuses in there. But it wasn't like an episodic thing. Like, Hey, I'm offline for one day here because I'm traveling or doing whatever bad cell service. It's like, if it's repeatedly, like you've got an issue.
Angela Ponsford 25:47
Yep. Okay, so one of the big tactics that we we generally only have had to employ this when there has been an issue identified, and we maybe put like a remedial training plan in place, but it's setting expectations. around how quickly you will respond to something. And generally what we like to look for the rule that we'd like to live by is within 24 hours at the most. So if someone has pinged you in slack or somewhere with a task, get back to them within 24 hours and that kind of allows certainly for us, the timezone differences and people being you know, available at certain different times of the day, if all of your team work in the same timezone. Then I would say, you might want to make that a bit shorter, maybe, but, you know, setting those expectations, and I something that Deacon does really well is his slack notification. And he note he changes it when he's done for the day. So when he's done for the day, it changes and, you know, a lot of the team members have started taking that on as well Deacon.
Deacon Bradley 26:50
It's, it's called your status and I should I need to go put this in the slack guide download that we have, so check the show notes if you want the kind of the SLP that we use to run All of our slack stuff, I'm going to add this to it. And what's cool about it is like you click your name in the top left, and there's a handful, it lets you put, let's see, 12345. It lets you program in five for your business that are just one click, set it. And so one of the ones that I put in there that I use a lot is the the green checkmark box for the emoji. And then it just says done for the day. And I when I finish for the day, and I'm like, Alright, I'm all slack for the day, I'm done with working for the day. I'll just click in there, and it's one click to just click done for the day. And then people messaging me at least, like the whole point of this is to set expectations. So if I'm going to be offline for an entire day, I will tell my direct reports and I'll tell you guys on the leadership team, guys, I'm going to be offline today I got this thing. If you need me text me. I'll also put that in my status. So it's really just about what we've talked about unresponsiveness being a red flag, this is kind of the opposite. How can you set expectations Better and an easy way to do that is just with that slack status thing. Like I probably should have put one up that I was recording and I've got everything on Do Not Disturb for a couple hours. Yes,
Ralph Burns 28:10
yeah, I I'm not as vigilant as you are, because I feel like I never really stopped using
Unknown Speaker 28:18
which is sort of one of the problems with a virtual good if you just
Deacon Bradley 28:21
check done for the day if
Ralph Burns 28:24
I wanted to. That is true. However, I have something here which I have to go back and listen to your show from last week, obviously, for some remedial training, but I have Google Calendar integrated into slack. So it shows people that I'm in a meeting, which is really helpful. Like that's an automatic thing because I I always forget to kind of like I'm done for the day kind of thing. But this way, I never have to worry about it. So people at least know like if somebody messaged me right now they would see that status. Ralph is in a meeting. Yeah, because I'm doing this podcast. So yeah, so that is super helpful and that helps with the responsiveness thing. And I have noticed a lot of people starting to do the status. And it's really good and it gets creative too. It's kind of funny. So we're actually only
Angela Ponsford 29:11
kind of cute. And one that I used to use all the time, but I don't at the moment is traveling for never. I used to be on a plane. Yeah. We'll get back to there. We'll get back to using it again. Oh, travel?
Ralph Burns 29:23
The days of airplanes and hotels. Yes. And long time ago.
Angela Ponsford 29:30
Oh, it does. It just does, doesn't it. Another big one is talking about the expectations is having due dates and delivery dates. And that's where it becomes. It's a challenge in slack sometimes, you know, setting dates on things and that's where we get like having a good project management system is critical if you're working virtually some kind of task management, some kind of place where you can have tasks and due dates set and making sure people under Stand up and, and commit to those dates, you know, there's no point, creating a task for someone and giving them a GED without consulting with them and then realizing, you know, they've got a heap of other things on that they need to get done. But um, definitely, that's a big focus we've had I think, in the past year for sure is making sure people put due dates on things.
Deacon Bradley 30:20
And this is something that Ralph is particularly gifted at as a manager. If Ralph wants you to do something, Ralph, what's the line that you always drop at the end of things where it's like, oh, hey, you know, I'd like I think I'm going to do this thing with whatever thing like, what do you say to me to get me to, like stamp a date on it?
Ralph Burns 30:40
What like the agency accelerator? Yeah, actually didn't actually do it in that
Deacon Bradley 30:45
case. Yes, you did this. I did. Oh, no. In that case, you told me when it was. But usually you do it a different way. So how do you do that? Usually,
Ralph Burns 30:57
it's a Elan musk tactic for reading his book and I've totally stolen it. It's not mine, but I say, when can you get this to me by? And all I can say the alternate to that is I need this from you by Thursday, which is an impossibly short period of time. Will you commit to that? I use the second one a lot less. But the first one works wonders. When can you get that to me by? And I'll know it's like, based on the task, I'll probably want it like, I'll have in my head, like what the answer should be. If it's like, oh, I'll get a T in two weeks. Mike, that doesn't really work. For me. This is a lot more urgent. I know it's gonna take you less periods. Give me another date. Like, what why don't we agree on if they don't give me a date, or they say, all right, well, 10 days from now, like, you're just not getting this. Fortunately, we have such smart people inside tier 11. I never really have to go down that road. But then the last thing is like Alright, let's go To what, you know what, how does Wednesday look for you, that's when I'm dictating it to them. You don't get to that point in most cases. So there's a lot of reverse psychology here. And it's not manipulative. Some people might say it's actually manipulative. Maybe it is a little bit I don't know. But they are committing to you to do something by x date. Now you're not telling them. So this is totally the whole lead by being led idea, which we've talked about here on this show. And we'll continue to talk about because I think it's the only way to lead virtual teams is they are committed to that they have a stake in the game, it is now their date, not yours. And if they don't get it done by that date, in most cases, what I'll do is I'll set a reminder for the task inside either you know, reminders, or I'll remind myself on slack or pick any way in which to remind yourself, especially if you're using it as a little bit of a test for somebody. In most cases, I you know, I don't need that To set due dates I was explaining this to our creative director yesterday is like for you, like if I need you to do something, I don't give you a due date, because I know you're going to do it like within the next 24 hours. So it depends on who it is. But if you do need to get stuff done, have them dictate back to you. And you'll you'll find out very quickly who you should do this with and who you shouldn't do it with, and soon enough to learn. Like that's how you do it. So they're gonna give you the date in which it's due in advance of you even asking that when you've done that, that you've reached virtual management Nirvana.
Angela Ponsford 33:34
Yeah, that's a really, really good point, Ralph, is that is another leading indicator, not probably a little bit less. So maybe about the same as unresponsiveness is, if they're setting due dates for themself, and continually not hitting them. That is, that is another leading indicator that this person either isn't really clear on what they're doing or it isn't Isn't committing to the task at hand. And there's like little, little alarm bells start going off then.
Ralph Burns 34:05
Yeah. And if that is the case, the answer that I would typically have is, Hey, you know, where is this? You know, we set this as the due date, and I'm expecting you to do it like showing a little bit of disappointment. It's like guilt strategy number one, you know, which I'm sure we'll talk about all the different guilt strategies we use coming from an Irish household, and a fair amount of guilt left I mean, as a young child, and still do to this day, by the way, so, but it works. It really does work. They're like, Oh, shit, I just let Ralph down. Like, you don't want to get to that point. You don't want to let your superiors down. Like if they don't care, you have a performance issue. I'm sorry. Like, yeah, I don't really feel like doing it because I don't know. I just didn't feel like it. You know, if that's the case, you're like, Oh, my God, maybe I've made a hiring mistake. But, but yeah, you can you Can, you can use that very effectively. The key is as a virtual manager, you have to remember and remind yourself when that stuff is done. Otherwise, they're gonna like I said, Any day I want, Ralph will never check, Angela, never check both you call them out on the carpet on it. They know, like in there, that behavior just nip that behavior in the bud.
Deacon Bradley 35:24
We talked about a lot of different scenarios and different approaches to things like that. And I think it's been what's been really interesting to listen, as you guys Ralph and Angela are talking about this is something I'm noticing goes back to I feel like it's the foundation the underlying thing that makes all of this work. And it's not like, oh, use this specific tactic or use this specific tactic here or like play this card when they do this. It's nothing like that. It's like this foundation that that we all share. And and now that I'm thinking about it, it's actually interesting. coded in our ideal team player attributes, and I think that's humility. We never go in with the mindset of, I told you to do this, you did something wrong. We go in with the mindset of like, discovery. Why did this happen? Why was it wrong? We might find out that they were wrong in that discovery, but we also find out that we were wrong sometimes. And we brought that up in the context of, oh, hey, we've got gaps in our training. Or Ralph, when you're pointing out, this is actually your problem as the manager, not their problem. So I think that all goes back to humility. And an Angela, I know you've dealt with this a lot. Where What do you see on the other side for how they respond? That I think is also humility, but I thought I think that's a really interesting point as well.
Angela Ponsford 36:47
Yeah. So sometimes, you know, when you're raising issues there, I can tell you get a really good idea. Sometimes it's Oh, okay. Yeah, I didn't even think about that. Absolutely. Yeah, I'll do that next time. And then on the other side of it, it's Excuses, excuses. It was someone else's fault. There was lots of reasons, no acknowledgement that it could have been done in a different way or done better. And that absolutely the people that have displayed those traits are no longer with us.
Ralph Burns 37:22
Yeah, that. I mean, you're going to see this in a physical business as much as you're going to see it in a virtual business. But I think it's just magnified in a virtual business because you're assuming that everybody is trustworthy and is doing their job. Like you're not looking over their shoulder all day long. So like, you know, the, all the people that report to Angela, she actually spends like one on one time with them, maybe an hour a week, maybe hour and a half, one on one time. Like he never really but you might have 10 X that in an office building. So you're assuming that people are, you know, going to do things in the right way. And when you when they respond, either one of those ways it's a, it's a big red flag, and people who make excuses and with no hint at any sort of humility, don't make it into 11.
Deacon Bradley 38:21
Thanks for joining us today on the virtual business podcast. If you haven't already listened to episode seven and eight, where we kind of lay down the foundation of things that you should do as a virtual manager, definitely check those things out. Now, to make it work well, long term, your team is going to be made up of people and anytime you're working with people, you're going to have to address the things that we talked about today. Episode 10. Today, I think is a key episode. Because this is people who haven't figured this out I think are really missing the benefits of a virtual team. It's challenging, it can be done, and we give you guys a lot of good scenarios today to kind of set yourself up for success. So with that, so head on over to the Virtual Business podcast comm download our slack guide where we show you guys kind of how we set up slack and that'll help you with everything from virtually walking around and managing and checking out your team and just making sure you have a good setup that you can get things done.