Thrive NOW™ was Smart Simple Marketing’s full-day virtual summit created especially for small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the impact of COVID-19. Companies have learned a lot since then about new ways to do business, including conducting virtual meetings and leading teams that are working remotely from other locations. That was the topic of our 4th session with Tara Powers.
First, a little history about the origin of Thrive NOW™. We’d had many conversations with our peers in the spring of 2020, about how the social distancing regulations were affecting local businesses especially. The same question kept arising: “What can we do?” Long story short: We put together a program of five actionable insight sessions, each with a unique topic and expert guests, and more than 300 people attended!
- Emotional health: How to Overcome Your Fears and Rewire Your Thinking for Success with business coach Michele Molitor.
- Legal considerations: COVID-19 Legal Considerations – Action to take Now and Pitfalls to Avoid, with attorney Brian Ripley.
- Getting found online: Getting Your Business Found Online and Attracting New Customers with Tom Petty, digital marketing consultant.
- Business model: Creating New Streams of Revenue – What to Consider and How to Do It, featuring Elaine Betts, CEO of Go Far Consulting
Meet Tara Powers
Tara Powers is the founder and CEO of Powers Resource Center, a training and consulting company that has worked with more than 300 brands on leadership development, team building, team development and, the topic that she shared with us at Thrive NOW™ — leading virtual teams. She has more than 20 years of experience with team development and leadership.
We have known Tara for many years. She is a small business owner, so she understands the Thrive NOW™ audience very well, she’s a sought-after speaker and certified Wiley DiSC training expert (a personality assessment tool that’s used in corporate team building and development).
In 2018, Tara authored the book “Virtual Team for Dummies” (Wiley) after working with companies for a number of years as more and more workforces started remote working as a norm. That set her up for a busy time this year, as sheltering in place forced companies to accommodate home-based workers.
“I had no idea it would be so relevant right now,” she told us.
Here are some highlights from my session with Tara.
Key Learnings from Tara Powers’ Session
Tara and I started our session by talking about the importance of communication when you have distributed work teams — people working from home or across time zones, for example. Your teams may need more guidance than you are used to giving, Tara said, because we’ve got a lot going on in our brains. Not only are we adjusting to working from home, but we’re also worried about a global pandemic that the world has never known. Our attention spans during crises can be limited.
I love that Tara pointed out the importance of communication with virtual teams. Here are some other takeaways from our talk, which can apply to remote workers during any working conditions:
- Be purposeful about writing, summarizing, and documenting conversations and virtual meetings. What were the action items, when are they due, and who is responsible?
- Check-in with each other. Ask your teams, “How resilient are you feeling today? Where are you at right now?” especially given how rapidly our circumstances are changing right now.
- Technology can be challenging, especially if you are trying to reach a broad audience. Test your equipment and do a run-through before the actual virtual meeting or event.
- Share information in bite-sized chunks. Create short messages, bullet lists (like this one!) with takeaways, and use video and voice recordings to quickly share information.
- Remember the importance of face-to-face communications. Use video and look for ways to creatively connect with each other by taking a few minutes out of a video conference to get to know each other. People crave personal connections.
Tara and I also shared tips on how businesses can support each other during an economic crisis. Tara said she reached out to her clients and asked them how they were doing, how their employees and families were doing, and she included a message saying, “here are three ways we can help you now.” We talked about how to manage expectations of financial compensation until things given the current crisis.
Thank you to Tara, who shared solid advice. We really appreciated her time! Click here to register to listen to Tara’s session and our other guest experts from Thrive NOW™ Virtual Summit.
Connect With Tara Powers
You can follow Tara and Powers Resource Center on Twitter at @taralpowers, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And learn more about Tara’s workshops, custom solutions, and clients at her website, powersresourcecenter.com.
About the Thrive NOW™ Virtual Summit
The Thrive NOW™ Virtual Small Business Summit was held April 14, 2020, after Wil and I heard from our network the need for support for small businesses and entrepreneurs. One resource predicted that 25% or more of small businesses may not survive in 2020, and we knew we couldn’t just let that happen.
Smart Simple Marketing has been serving the small business community for more than 14 years. We’re so proud to have worked with 8,000+ small business owners in 79 industries from around the globe. Thrive NOW™ is the product of our experience in results-driven content marketing, producing virtual events, and delivering hundreds of workshops, seminars, and webinars worldwide.