What’s on the Other Side of Your Door?

Because of the pandemic are you leading a “Remote Team?”

How are you connecting with the hearts of your people?

On Monday,  my friend Dr. Mark Goulston, helped all of us who are leading remote teams with his terrific post: “The 10 Question Check-In Call.”

Yesterday, my good friend, Cru colleague and our U.S. Director of Leadership Development & H.R., Dr. Marc Rutter, shared, in passing, an incredible question he has used to connect virtually with different groups of our staff.

I immediately stopped him and asked him to repeat the question so that I could write it down.

Before I share Marc’s question, please picture each of your remote teammates:

Can you picture where each of them are working in their homes?  Maybe working at a card table set up in their bedroom or maybe in a walk in closet?  Somewhere isolated from the rest of their household.

Can you picture them and you meeting via Zoom? or SKYPE?  or whatever on-line video meeting tool you may be using?  Can you picture the door behind them? i.e the door that leads out of where they are remotely working?

Here’s the question that Marc is asking his teammates:

When you walk out that door, what do you walk into?

Maybe there isn’t a physical door separating them from the rest of their household – but what else is going on in their home that they are being constantly confronted with?

Maybe you already know some of your their answers.  Truth is almost everyone is experiencing not just one crisis – but multiple crises.  Maybe you already know some of the crises your teammates are facing:

  • Challenging Spouse
  • Educational – if they have kids doing on-line school
  • Financial – if their spouse has been laid off
  • Food – a shortage or simply the challenge of having to prepare 3 meals a day for their family
  • Childcare Crisis – if they have little ones that need lots of attention
  • Family Crisis – if they have elderly parents or high risk family members
  • Abuse
  • ?????

Marc went on to share: “Sometimes when I ask this question, I might also ask, ‘When you walk out the door of your home what do you walk into?’ (trying to get a feel for what might be happening in their neighborhood and community)”

Marc’s questions are “Game Changers!”  His remote teammates feel cared for!  They feel understood! They no longer feel alone!  They truly feel that they are a part of a great team!  No – the crises outside their door have not changed – but somehow their emotional energy to confront those crises has dramatically increased!

Here is a portion of what Dr. Mark Goulston shared on Monday, that also very much relates here:

In our experience when teams do this, something amazing happens.

Individuals from most groups that do this report feeling less alone, better, relieved, motivated, inspired and have even reported that they didn’t know what a special group of people they belonged to.

In truth it is more the “special experience” of being vulnerable safely that they is making the group feel special.

Also, people report feeling lighter as they walk around wherever they are sheltered.

But wait, we didn’t stop there.

Reports are now coming in from some individuals that they have never felt closer to anyone in their careers… a few have gone on to say… they’ve never felt closer to anyone in their lives.

What might the value be for each of your remote teammates for you to ask:

When you walk out that door, what do you walk into?

What might the value be for you to ask your teammates this question?

I would also love to learn from you!  What questions have you asked to the connect to the hearts of your remote teammates during this unprecedented time?

Bob Tiede


Bob has been on the staff of Cru for 52 years. He currently serves on the U.S. Leadership Development Team and is passionate about seeing leaders grow and multiply their effectiveness. Bob and his wife, Sherry, live in Plano, TX and are blessed with 4 incredible children and 8 remarkable grandchildren.


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