How To Effectively Lead A Hybrid Team

Flexible working is here to stay, with a hybrid work format bridging the gap between in-office hours and working from home. When leading a hybrid team, we can’t use the same leadership strategies that apply to fully remote or in-person teams. It’s like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. In order to communicate, collaborate and create in these evolving work settings, leaders need a new set of skills and tools to fully equip them for the unique set of challenges and opportunities presented by the new working norms. 

This article explores the essential competencies leaders must embrace to effectively lead hybrid teams and offers ideas to try out with your staff.



In the MIT Sloan Management Review, self-awareness was shown as a key factor in becoming a better leader. This remains true whether leading a hybrid, remote or in-person team. However, the way we show and share this with our teams has changed.

Tool: Lead the way- As a leader, model the behaviours you wish your team members to emulate, listening with empathy and compassion along the way. Show your own vulnerability by sharing your own hybrid work challenges and constraints.

Clear Communication

Clear communication is a must with any form of teamwork, however, a hybrid working model can create challenges for even the most communicative of leaders.

Tool: Set Clear Agendas- Send agendas up front so people have a clear sense of what the meetings are about and why the meeting will be useful for them. You can also use this to encourage engagement by preparing people to speak on a topic. E.g., “I am going to ask each of you to share a few sentences on X at the beginning of the meeting.”


Create Connection & Belonging

Research shows that when people feel like they belong to a team they perform better and feel happier. The Harvard Business Review explains how social belonging is a fundamental human need. Through their research, they found that high belonging was linked to a whopping 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days. This data proves the importance of connections in the workplace. Collaborative leadership will increase the depth of your workplace relationships, allowing your staff to prosper.

Tool: Normalising and acknowledge emotions - Normalise some of the awkwardness and unfamiliar territory around hybrid working by telling your team that what they’re experiencing or feeling is normal and to be expected. You might find that the same old phrase “you’re on mute” can turn into a humorous bonding moment, if you use it as an opportunity to connect and grow together as a team!

Managing Expectations

This is key for creating two-way trust and when a team is working remotely, they require higher levels of trust than when working in person. You may feel some of your people will be more productive at home without the distractions of a busy office. You may also have a few staff that you fear will find it more difficult to feel ‘in the zone' and be concerned about their focus. By clearly outlining your expectations and offering timeframes for the completion of work, you’ll be managing your people’s expectations and your own.

Tool: Navigate Invite Forwarding- if meetings get bigger than expected due to invites that have been forwarded on to other people, consider blocking the forwarding option or add a note in the invite such as ‘Please do not forward invite. If you feel someone else should attend, please contact me directly.’ This way, you as the host can be clear about who is (and isn’t) attending.



We all experienced a great deal of change across the Covid-19 pandemic, whether we wanted to or not. As teams continue to switch to a more flexible work model, adaptability is going to be a new leadership superpower. What got us here, is unlikely to get us there.

Tool: Navigating Unexpected Questions- When you get asked questions that are either irrelevant, will be addressed later, or when there isn't enough time, you might want to consider handling the questioner through the 3 Rs technique: Find Right, Reaffirm, Redirect. For example, "Thank you for your question (find right), we appreciate you bringing such an important topic to our attention (reaffirm), we are going to address that issue at the end of our meeting today, so if your question hasn't been answered will you please bring it back into the discussion then?” (redirect). This is a simple way of making the questioner feel heard and appreciated and also, gives them accountability for holding the question and/or finding the answer for themselves.

Tools & Skills for Collaboration

As a leader, it is your duty to upskill wherever possible and to be mindful of the learning and growth process. We are all a continual work in progress, so understanding the tools you need to collaborate and offering them to your staff is a great way to lead by example.

Tool: Practice using “Yes and..”. Consider replacing a "but" with an "and" when dealing with difficult participants in a meeting. For example, as opposed to "thanks for the offer but we haven't got time" try to use ‘and’ instead. “Thanks for the offer AND unfortunately we're out of time today." AND signals collaboration and building on offers, whereas a BUT can feel like a block.


Triad Hybrid Programmes

Our hybrid training and coaching programmes can be a great option for practicing the skills and tools needed to lead a hybrid team. This way we can meet your team where they are, in the ways that they usually connect, and in the spirit of practicing what we preach, work with you in the ways you work too! We strive to combine the benefits of both virtual and in-person, to create an impactful programme with lasting results. Our action-orientated approach integrates learning by blending the excitement and energy of in-person events with longer-term coaching sessions that keep your people aligned with their commitments.

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