How to Lead and Manage Virtual Teams

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Transcript

Kimberly Moy:
Good afternoon everyone and thank you so much for joining us today. My name is Kimberly and I am the program information specialist at Ohio University for the online graduate program. And today we are joined by the wonderful Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco and we are going to be chatting about Leading and Managing Virtual Teams. Just some housekeeping notes for you, we do have a question and answer box, so feel free to pop your questions in there and we’ll get to them as we see fit, as the conversation is going on or if you have questions at the end we can also take those as well, but we’re going to do a lot of great content and then we’ll talk a little bit more about our program. So with that being said, Dr. B, do you want to go ahead and start to introduce yourself?

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
All right. Yes, I would love to. Thank you Kimberly. It’s always a pleasure to get to work with Kimberly and to talk about our programs here at Ohio University. And also just to talk about Leading and Managing Virtual Teams. It’s something that I think all had to think a lot about. I know it’s certainly something that I’ve been thinking a lot about with my background in leadership and management. And I actually have a background in organizational change and have helped organizations work through change. And we always say that change is constant, but I realized that actually it wasn’t always as constant as it is now. Change is happening so quickly now. So many things are changing and so quickly that some of our old stuff works and maybe we need to figure out some new things too. So I’m excited to talk with you about some of those things today.

Kimberly Moy:
All right. So…

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Thank you.

Kimberly Moy:
So, I know that when we were talking about this, both you and I are actually working remotely, right? Ever since the coronavirus pandemic, I went remote in about March. And it was such a transition to go from that office life where we’re seeing people day to day, being able to collaborate to working fully remote and it was so weird for us. How was it for you?

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Yeah, it’s such a strange thing because as professors we are in and out of the office a lot, so I did work from home but I could always be in the office. And something about not being able to be there made working from home different. Making that the home base. So I could see why… It’s about 50, 50. In this one survey that we looked at, half of the people respond that they’d like to work permanently remotely and the other half are like, “No, I don’t think so.” So I don’t know, Kim, I found that first I gained time. I didn’t have to commute, I didn’t have all these other things to do. And then now I’m not sure if I gained time or I’m just able to get more done. I’m not really sure if I’m accounting for my time quite as clearly as I was. How about you?

Kimberly Moy:
Yeah. I would say the same thing. At first that novelty of like, Ooh, I can set my own schedule. I can go grab a snack whenever I want to. I can walk my dog when I’m on the clock, so to speak. But as it’s going on, I’m 50, 60 years old. I feel that I’m working more hours now and I also feel like it’s hard to turn off and also feel like you have that work-life balance. Because it’s just either all work or all life in the same space. And that I think is a little bit hard. On the third bullet here, I thought that was interesting that it resonated with me. Some benefits of remote work include higher employee satisfaction and longer tenure. But I wonder if that’s the truth. That looks like that survey was in 2019. I’d be interested to know if that’s still true.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Right. Yeah, exactly. I was just looking at another survey when we were preparing to talk. I was looking at another survey on digital leadership and they said that 79% of employees are feeling overworked right now, or some need for some break or some downtime. And what I find interesting about that is, it’s all up to us now. We may be even doing that to ourselves. I know I’m doing it to myself because somebody is not making me work more, I’m making me work more. So how do we figure out that balance? And is there a benefit of higher tenure and better work-life balance? Less stress. I think it’s really hard to say as well because hitting COVID, we’re not just working remotely but we’re working in this air, in this time of uncertainty.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So organizations are having to adapt but the whole world is adapting. We’re going through global adaptation. So it’s a huge time of uncertainty and perhaps if other things were stable, maybe we wouldn’t be working from home but also working from home might be different. So yeah, it’s interesting this rise of the remote workforce. And I think it’s really interesting that 75% said that they’d like to continue working from home. So we want to look a little bit at some of the challenges of managing a remote workforce. And I think you could think about those folks as yourselves, as individuals working. You can think about it if you have a team below you or a team above you, maybe you have both. Maybe you have a team besides you. I don’t know. But just managing in this time.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So we’ve got that lack of visual cues and visual supervision. Nobody knows what time I show up in the office. I guess I know what time my students were checking, I guess you know what time your teams or whatever Zoom light goes on. But nobody knows what time you go in or leave. It’s all about the goals and getting the work done. Which we always said it was, but there were these other informal cues as well and so we don’t have the same visual cues. And we do have some visual cues but they’re just different ones than we had. And then there’s definitely fewer opportunities for just quick training and knowledge sharing. Like, hey Kim, how do you do this? How do you do that?

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
If I have to set up a call with her, make sure it’s time she can talk and so forth. So that informal training isn’t happening as much. At the same time, working professionals and people who are taking a break right now, a lot more people are going back to school and seeing this as a great time to learn and further their education. And I think even part of that could be because there’s different needs in the workforce but part of it could also be that we’re not getting that informal learning that we want so much. I’m sure we’re learning a lot about technology and other things but I’m not getting that informal knowledge sharing. So our traditional communication and collaboration and networking has changed and I don’t have all the answers.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
I have some of the answers and I’m looking or finding more on how to do these things. We know we have increased electronic communication. And we knew going into this because it’s an area I say that communication skills would be paramount, both written and oral. But I don’t think we could actually visualize how important these skills would be. So we’ve got electronic communication, so we don’t have that context or tone. And I’m somebody who likes to read tone and likes to read context. So that’s pretty hard for me. Some people may not find that as hard, but I do. And then social isolation and less team bonding. Days can go by where you don’t see anyone. Even people who are in the office. Many of our master’s students are in the office but they’re working on shifts where they’re seeing… For example, one of our students manages a lab.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So she has certain shifts that there’s only one other person there at the time that she is there. So there are other people but it’s still very isolating. And so there’s still team bonding activities and so forth. And then I don’t know about you but I have some distractions at home. Everybody’s got different things going on. I love the distractions at home and some of it makes it hard to get things done. There’s definitely less of a boundary between work and home life. And in my earlier days, in my professional career I studied, what used to be called at that time work-family conflict or work-life balance. And one of the things that I’ll say is still true is, it all goes better if we perceive that we have supervisor and organizational support.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So maybe these times are making us be a little bit better at articulating. As leaders articulating the support that we have for our employees, for the people that we work with. Hey, if you need to take time at this time, go for it. I know you’re going to get the job done. That kind of thing. So there are a lot of challenges of working remotely. I’ve heard people say, “Well, how do I know that they’re working? How do I know that they’re getting it done?” And I want to say, sometimes do you need to know that they’re working or do you need to know that the work is done? Because those are two different things. So we need the outcomes but we have a lot less control and maybe need less control over how people reach those outcomes.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So it’s certainly something to consider. So it’s also interesting to consider because everybody’s not on electronics all the time. I feel like I’m on electronics all the time but not everybody has Internet all the time. Some people are on, some people aren’t. So we need to allow people to work in the ways that are best for them at this time. And that can be tricky. And it all comes back though to the same stuff, we have to know our employees. We have to know our teams. We have to know who we work with and what matters to them. What their goals are and what makes them tick. We know that our work is paramount. It’s of utmost importance to them. Let’s be real and what else matters to them? Whether you’re alive matter to them. How does our work matter to them? Does it help them reach certain goals or not? What does it do so that we can be a little stronger in articulating that value? I think that, that’s really important because there are different types of leadership that we need to use. So if I move forward here[inaudible 00:12:23] Okay.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
I wish that went out. Okay. Challenges. All right. So if we go now to deep dive into management and leadership. So if we get into that deep dive, the first thing is we have to level the digital playing field. So how many of you spent a lot of time upskilling? I know for those of us who are older and I think I can safely say that I’m older than Kim and she’s probably better at this than I am. For those of us that are older, it took me a while. Probably a week of immersive study to learn some of the things that I’ve been meaning to learn. Things that I needed to know, but to learn some of those things. And I can say that age was part of it. But then I look at my daughter who’s going back to school, who’s a teenager.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
And she had to learn some things too. So it’s not even always age. It’s just there are new platforms, new technologies out there. And so the first thing is that we just have to level that digital playing field. So once we get there, then there’s a lot we can do. But that digital piece I think is really important and how we do that. So providing training that makes the workforce just ready and puts the spotlight on people’s digital readiness. And also organizations making decisions about what platforms and what technologies they’re going to use. I know I have one platform that I use more for work, one I use more for family stuff but that’s dictated hopefully by work and then family at the same time.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So, okay. So level that playing field. Boom, as if it was so easy. Level that playing field. And then once we do that, we’re dealing with the same stuff. It’s still, how do we find our stability amid tremendous change? So a lot of you may not think about or maybe you do that the world is changing all the time. There’s so much change happening all the time. It’s just not something that is normally in our face. It’s not something we’re normally tuned into, because it can be overwhelming. And the truth is that human beings are actually really good at change. We’ve really good adaptation but psychologically speaking, that psychological principle that we need, is we need some things to remain the same. So if I know that some things are going to remain the same, I can do a lot to change. Because that makes me think as a manager and as a leader, I need to communicate what’s going to stay the same.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Are we going to have the same goals? Maybe we had five goals, maybe two of them are going to stay the same. Are we going to be working with the same people? Maybe that’s going to stay the same. Maybe not. There’s a lot of these things that we thought of as constants are not always constant anymore, but let’s find the ones that are and let’s hold on to those. So I’m really focused on that stability amid change. And you when you’re talking to your employees, when you’re talking to those you work with, ask about something every time that’s going to be the same. Kim and I were talking before this, how’s that pet doing? How is whatever it is, maybe a partner, something. I know you love plants, how is gardening going? Or something like that.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
But just something that… This is pretty much the same day in and day out. I know a lot of people have dealt with change for other reasons in their personal lives and a lot of the advice is around, keep it within a 24 hour period. So what’s going to change today and then tomorrow I’ll deal with what’s going to change tomorrow. But let me just focus on one day. And I know people say that one day at a time and it’s an overused slogan, but literally 24 hours. What can we do in that 24 hours? And how can we work toward our goals and what strategies are we going to use? So there’s a couple of theories and I can’t help but do this, there’s a couple of leadership theories that I think are really, really helpful.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
And some of it focuses on the fact that we’re pretty much in the same place. So Barry Posner talked about a great article that he wrote was, why would someone want to be led by you? So why would someone want to be led by you? And then I think, why would they want to be led by you, by me in person? Well, why would they want to be led by me online? What am I conveying online? So I put myself in the other’s point of view and think, why would they want to be led by me? So I think some of those basic constants are the same thing. So, focusing on those positive skills, that can do it attitude, that perseverance and absolute clarity on a goal and then communicating trust and caring.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So just because we’re digital it doesn’t mean we can’t communicate that trust and caring. So learning some of these skills can lead to these long-term positive results. So one thing there to move to my next point is clarity on line of sight. So do I know today what I’m doing affects somebody else? Do I know that I’m helping the organization reach it’s goals? So these are the same feelings. If a leader wants to help me reach my goals, they can go about it different ways, they can go in a really directive way. And I don’t know. Personally, I think directive can be a bit helpful in these times. I’m not usually a fan of major directive leadership but I think it can be really helpful right now in a lot of other things that are competing for our time and our energy.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So there’s directive leadership, there’s supportive leadership, there’s a whole bunch of different types of leadership. But if we look at these different theories and if we really look back to Path-goal theory of leadership which says essentially that people will put in the effort to be able to do a good job if they know what the outcome will be. So if they know that I’m doing a good job in this or that or the other thing. And to get people to put on the effort, I need to reach different people, different ways. So I’ve got to rely on different approaches. So we can get into that a little bit more if you want. We could see if there are questions based on time, but we can get into that a little bit more into some of the Haskell Siri. But what I would say right now is all of the different Haskell aspects, all of the different forms of leadership need to be coupled with supportive leadership and supportive leadership is one of the strategies but I think right now in particular, it’s a strategy that we need to employ with the other strategies.

Kimberly Moy:
So would you say we [crosstalk 00:20:48] is-

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
… Yeah.

Kimberly Moy:
-is that because we’re in a digital landscape now or do these strategies stay the same depending upon where we are?

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Thank you. Yes, because we’re in a digital landscape. So we’re going [inaudible 00:21:05]to be supportive and maybe there are ways that we do that. Maybe it’s just a smile at your coworker or the people who work with you but because we’re in this landscape, we need to show our support. Make work more pleasant by just showing some concern and support for the people around me. And that can be done, everybody but particularly as a leader. So, that’s absolutely more related to these times. So that’s a really good question.

Kimberly Moy:
I know that when we used to go into the office, one way people would show support would be like, here’s a pizza party. Thank you so much. And I think that those days are gone now, not only even if we were back in the office, there’s not as much group activity and things like that. So I think it’s a huge challenge for leaders to find ways to recognize their teams and show that support without essentially being one hand tied behind their back, with not being able to have the budgets, hold a large pizza party and then there not being real… Want to be in a large group of people nowadays. So, that’s really interesting.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Absolutely. No, absolutely. And you know when we try to mimic the virtual social hour, that kind of thing but we’re not really bringing anything but ourselves. Some of the research I’m looking at signs that the leader just setting that up. And some people like more of a social hour or more of a working lunch, but the leader just setting that up, we used to think it was providing the pizza. But do people really go for the pizza? I don’t know. But the leader just showing up to have that downtime with employees that’s a real way to show our support. Because we’re so goal-driven but taking that time out with our employees is still really important. And I guess we have to show it in different ways.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
There’s a whole bunch. That’s a whole another thought of things in different ways and I’ve been asking my students different ways that they’ve either shown support or been supported. And it’s really, really interesting. Your leader calling you out of the blue to tell you something that you did well. That’s such an easy thing to do. Such an absolutely easy thing to do but something that I know that I wasn’t doing much of. And so that was really helpful for me to look at. And then just having people’s back and telling them that you have their back. We build trust by taking care of each other. And so that supportive trust building is really important. So of course there’s some of the other strategies, directive strategy, tell people what’s expected of them and how to do it. I think now I want to be told what’s expected of me.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
I don’t know if I want to be told how to do it. I want to be given the opportunity to figure out how to do it. But I think a lot of us are looking for more autonomy with how we do it. And then there’s a participative leadership. So even though like a little… Honestly, I’m not lately. I don’t know what you’re seeing Kim. But I’m seeing, how does a leader get the participation of the people they work with without having a meeting to get people’s participation when a decision’s already made. How do you bring people together for 10 minutes? I’m not sure on that one.

Kimberly Moy:
Yeah. It is such a different time now. It’s so interesting. And[crosstalk 00:25:11]

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So how do you think we can overcome all of these issues? I know we talked about building trust and maybe it’s just me but I have actually a hard time building trust with someone I can’t see. And so that might be small minded and paranoid but in these times it can be hard to build trust even though I’ve worked with someone. Yeah. I’ve worked with[crosstalk 00:25:45] for years. Yeah. And I don’t know. So how do we do that? Do you mind if I move on to the next slide and then-

Kimberly Moy:
… Yeah. Please do.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
I think that one of the things with trust is that, trust is really full time. Any kind of trust right now or before it’s both reciprocity. So it’s really built on that kind of do me a favor. That you know that someone thought of you and cared about you. And what I think we’re finding is that, everybody’s feeling a little less certain in these times right now. So even the people that you knew cared about you and you trusted you have to dip back in. Put a few pennies in that jar or whatever. Show people that you still trust them and you still care about them. So I don’t know that trust… It’s interesting because my son used to say to me when he was little, “Let’s play junior favor.”

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
And I’m just like, “What?” And he basically wanted something. So he wanted me to do something and it’s like, “But that’s what we do.” But he actually had broken down human behavior. It is how trust is built. I do something for you, you do something for me. So leads me to think every day, is there somebody I can do something for? Something little, but is there somebody I can do something for? Okay. So, as we move on… And that’s part of self-management, so we don’t have that structure of the Workday anymore. So we’ve got to manage ourselves and figure out how to do that and how to build resilience and how to build those tools that we need to develop trust, to keep on our employee’s radar, to keep on our manager’s radar and so forth.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So there’s so much where we can go back into management and leadership theory. But let’s move over to looking at some of these actual things that we can do with remote work issues on the manager’s side. So on the manager’s side, there’s that presence and persistence. So I need to know that I’m going to speak with my manager, that my manager’s going to be online at certain times. There has to be some consistency and it has to be a little bit more persistent. So especially as an introvert, this is hard for me. I have to go out of my way as a manager and be a little more persistent in checking in on my employees, not on their work but on them. And then I’ve got to set boundaries and even boundaries for myself.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Maybe I have to set the healthy boundaries I want them to set. I’m not available past a certain hour at night. Of course, I am if you really need me but to set those boundaries so that my employees feel safe setting those boundaries, but then to demonstrate that I’m flexible around certain things. I also need to be really clear with my teams what their goals are, make sure that we set them together as possible if not set them for them. What are those goals? How is what you’re doing today, reaching your goals? So a lot of people do this. They have meetings every day. Okay, what are you working on? What are the barriers to it? And the manager’s job is to remove barriers.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So what are the barriers to it? So everybody says something they’re working on and then if they have a barrier, they say and if not it’s assumed that they can do that. And that can take 15 minutes. So that’s one way to check in on those work-related things. And then there’s other ways to check in. To have the water cooler time or the hallway time at the end of the day. And again, it doesn’t even have to be at the end of the day but it can be 10 to 15 minutes. So to share openly, listen fully, just be there to listen to people whatever they have to say and set some communication norms with these types of strategies. And most of all know your employees and figure out other ways to get to know them. Ask them what’s most important to you, what’s not.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
And show them that their work is meaningful and worthwhile. So whether it’s sending something, even sending them an old fashion note. I don’t know. I have someone from my old work days that I’m actually writing letters with right now. Writing cards back and forth and that is much more meaningful to me than an email that says, Oh, you did a good job. Getting that card really takes nothing but it’s very meaningful. So those are some of the things on how managers can overcome remote working issues. And I don’t know. Kim, do you have anything else that you want to add there before we move to the employee side?

Kimberly Moy:
I think you really, really touched on it. It sounds like it’s really that human connection that managers can… It can be very easy to get into this routine everyone finds online. We say hello in the group chat and we talk about our weekend in the group chat but you really miss that lack of human touch. And really I think that’s what is important and makes the difference between good leaders and great leaders. I’m a little bit wary, I guess I still make the paranoid employee of someone who is constantly checking in on me. I think there has to be a fine balance but maybe that goes back to that open communication again, asking the employee, how often do you want me to check in on you? Should we have a one-on-one every week? Or do you want to try weekly? Just keeping that person’s preference in mind alongside with getting to know them and taking down those barriers. That’s really great.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Yeah.

Kimberly Moy:
And look, not as single pizza party was mentioned.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
That’s awesome. Oh, I love it. [inaudible 00:32:09] I love it. I think you’re so right figuring out how each employee wants it. I’m probably somebody who doesn’t need a lot of communication but a little bit every once in a while, you’re doing a good job. Oh, okay. Thanks. I’ll keep working harder. So whatever it is, I think that’s a great, great point. And then on the employee’s side and of course this is true for any manager as well, but on the employee’s side that Workday planning and reflection. I know years ago when I started, my first job was at PricewaterhouseCoopers. And I started and I remember it was such a big job that I got what was called the Franklin planner, which is still FranklinCovey it is now. They still have a whole planning and organizing system to work on your tasks and get things done by planning the night before what I’m going to do the next day, figuring out how I’m going to monitor that, reflecting on it.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Those are really important as employees. And honestly, in these times as human beings. So I’ve actually just started tracking how much time I’m spending on other things too, so that I can know that I put my time in or accomplish something even though little accomplishments. So just that planning and reflection. And then assume your supervisor supports you and give them opportunities to demonstrate that support. I think managers are so concerned now about giving objectives and how to do it and there’s so many different things going on. And employees might feel a lack of support when they’re actually… It’s just that they’re doing a really good job and their supervisor isn’t worried about them.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
So to seek out that supervisor support if you need it. I’m not saying go to them all the time. How am I doing? That’s like the dog that keeps coming back to be praised, not that. But just reaching out in some way to ask how you’re doing and what you could do to make their jobs easier. That’s always a good one. Communicate early and often. So really following rules and procedures probably more than ever. And I’m not a rules and procedures person, but I realize how critical they are. And then communicating early if I run into barriers or issues. And communicating often like, hey, this is under control, working on this, here’s where I am. And creating a professional work environment at home or wherever you are.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
I know a lot of people are going back and forth. I’ve been working with my setup a bunch of times. Kim, I noticed you have a nice set up there. You have a pretty consistent set up at home which looks nice. So figure out what that work environment is, set it up for yourself. Maybe a few different environments. I’m someone who likes to move around so I just need a few different spaces I can be in. Assuming the best of not only your supervisor but of the other employees around you. Part of being a good employee is assuming the best but obviously being aware of the worst but planning for the best. And balance that work-life balance that everything balance when… Take a lunch time, if you can. I’m just the ones who never really stopped for lunch. Take a lunch time, find that balance.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
It’s about managing your energy not your time. It’s a well-known book on the topic but figuring out that balance, what gives you energy? Find a hobby that you love, find something else that you love doing that helps you create balance. And then my favorite one is, get a pet. When I used to talk to my students, I could not believe how many people had gotten, they were calling them COVID pets. A lot more cats than I had seen before. And it’s cool because you can actually see people’s pets. They could tell you who their pet is and what’s going on, but get a pet. They keep us all grounded. So that’s just another little tidbit of advice while we’re working from home. And when you’re doing that Workday planning and reflection, I would encourage you specifically to think about what skills you need to develop.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
What do you need to know? We don’t usually have the presence of mind to think about that. We think about the job we need to get done but we don’t always think about, what else do we need to know? What else can we learn? What other learning would be helpful to us. And as we moved to thinking about that, we can talk a little bit about the masters of science in management and some of the really unique aspects of it. And the insight and the flexibility and so forth. Kim, do you want to talk something about that? Do you want me to start? How would you like to do that?

Kimberly Moy:
Yeah. So just a quick point about the planning and reflection. I saw that meme earlier in the pandemic that was like, why did I even buy a 2020 planner? And as someone who also loves to plan, we always in our meetings show off our planners and our little notebooks. I have to say that consistency of being able to plan out a week, knowing that it’s going to change but still planning out a week and then going back and taking a minute to reflect has really what’s been getting me through this. It’s those little things, those moments of gratitude or those little memories that would only happen during this time, that it’s just made the difference.

Kimberly Moy:
So I love the planning aspect of it. And just like you said, it’s a really good place to set down some goals. I love setting goals at a 30, 60, and 90 day. That sounds really ambitious. More like 60, 91 day. And then adding to my list of, how am I getting there? What am I going to do to get there and what people do I need in my life to help me get there? So I love it. I completely agree with it. And it’s the only way to fly at the front. And I look forward to buying my 2021 planner, even though we don’t know what would be inside. So I-

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
… I love it. Hope you can have the best. Yeah.

Kimberly Moy:
Yeah. It’s true. So our Master of Science in Management it’s the newest master’s degree that we offer at Ohio University. And it is so interesting because it really takes that personalization of all the skills that you want to learn and it rolls it into a degree so that you can get what you want out of it. That is so different than any traditional MBA where it’s like, well, you’re going to learn six business courses and do some accounting as well. And well, that’s really great. Those are good for generalists. What I really love about the MSM as we call it internally, the Master of Science in Management is the fact that we hyper-focus on leadership which is the core of any industry that you want to get ahead in. But then you can customize it as well to your interests. And we’re always expanding what those interests can be, but it’s almost perfect for this COVID time because of its flexibility.

Kimberly Moy:
And going back to setting goals. Just because this year might be a loss, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you personally are stuck in a career. Yeah. It might not be as great move or shift careers right now but you can still do things to make sure that you’re getting ahead and standing out and beefing up that resume so that when those jobs come back or when your leader’s box is open and you’re able to make some moves, you’re ready and you stand out. And that’s what I really love about this is that, it really truly sets you up for success. We’re stuck inside, but it’s not too much, oh my gosh, I have to go to class today. That’s great. And it’s 100% online so again, we’re just going to spend more time on the computer while you take classes one at a time too.

Kimberly Moy:
So you don’t have to worry about learning a lot of material while maintaining your full-time job. You’re taking one class at a time and you certainly can commit. So you’re still getting the two courses per semester or for a semester. And then you just keep going and you keep on stacking things on and we get to have wonderful professors in faculty that we speak to and learn so much about this area of expertise. So right here on the screen are just some highlights of the program. Again, you can use that question answer box. Amy and I are here but it’s really interesting. And I know that you Amy, this is yours. You built this for us.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
I’m really excited about it. I love it. And the whole team, I got to lead it but it is really a whole team of us that built it. And we are just here for you in different ways. We have people in such different areas of management and leadership and we just launched the program and our students are saying they can’t believe the depth of their relationships that they have with faculty. And it really is the knowledge. What we do is, we study content and we have knowledge but in addition to that you get a mentor or somebody to help you through that transition. Like Kim said, whatever you want to learn about. So this year is meaningful and valuable for you.

Kimberly Moy:
Yes. So I just switched over to the next slide, just so that we can talk a little bit about the what. I know I was very vague on the last slide, but the way this degree stacks up is everybody no matter who you are takes the management and leadership coursework. That’s three courses. And then it Bookends with the Capstone coursework as well. But in between there, you see that we can choose from two certificates in any one of these specialization areas. And if you don’t see a certificate in the middle here that you might be interested in don’t worry, it’s constantly changing. We’re always adding new certificates of stack in there. Or even we actually also and Amy, Dr. Taylor-Bianco, sorry, also teaches in our certificate program as well. So if you’re not ready to commit to the full master’s degree, you can start off with a certificate and then work your way up into the master’s in Science in Management.

Kimberly Moy:
So I love how flexible it is. I already see three of these certificates that I have on my list to take. I am currently enrolled in a master’s degree program. It’s a challenge but it’s a good challenge. Going back and talking about those constants, being able to know, okay, I have to do my coursework. I have to do my readings on certain days and get my writing out, log into Blackboard and get my discussion posts done. Keeping that constitute, I am still in school even though there is a pandemic. I’m still making positive changes in my life, even though there is a pandemic. So, I don’t know. Maybe I’m just a nerd who likes planners and coursework. But I think that this is the constant that we were talking about earlier.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
I think absolutely it makes so much sense and then you have your work folks that you work with and you have those relationships and then you also have your school folks. So it becomes in a way a downtime, goal pursuit and work with those people. I know that I usually look forward to and again, maybe that’s icky, but I would say that my students look forward to it too and it’s not because of me but because of each other. They look forward to that literally one night a week when we log on to say, hey, how you doing? For most of these classes there’s a lot of asynchronous works so they’re not stuck online all the time with times that you can’t make it or anything like that.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
But we have a night, a week in my class that we log on and for the most part people are there and we have a check-in about people’s week and discuss the content and so forth. And it’s something that I’ve come to look forward to. This other group of people to see how they’re learning and growing and hear about their different industries and their different background. And some folks are right out of school and other folks have a lot of years of experience. So it’s just a neat, almost random mixing of people that all in my case want to learn about management and leadership. So it’s really fun in addition to being I think useful. It it’s really fun.

Kimberly Moy:
Yeah. It’s so interesting how you can connect with an online classroom. I feel sometimes more connected to my fellow cohort of students than I do with my coworkers right now. And maybe it’s because we’re all in that mindset, we’re all learning the same material at the same time. But I also really like, like you said, hearing their different perspectives. Whether it be about what someone is dealing with at work and how the coursework goes along with it. I know we do a lot of case-based work, like here’s the scenario type of situation but it’s really interesting getting that perspective and also knowing that these are people who are also going through the same things that I am. I just feel split, but they’re also not you’re involved in my day to day, so maybe that’s why they connect better. There’s enough distance but there’s also enough connection. That feels good. Yeah.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Yeah. That perfect combination where you can try new things and ask questions that you may not want to ask at work but you really want to learn about. And yeah, maybe that’s the perfect combination. But we really hope some of you will be interested in learning more about this. We’ve got fun things in addition to the classes. For example, this Friday we’re having a panel for experts just to come and speak where people who are enrolled in the program can drop in and hear what they have to say on a particular topic. So there’s even fun additional learning in addition to the classes. So,

Kimberly Moy:
Wow.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Yeah. And it’s all free, included.

Kimberly Moy:
Exactly. Thank you guys for joining us. And actually, I just found out that if anyone is truly interested in joining us for our spring 2021 cohort. We are actually doing a application fee labor for you guys who just hung out with us for an hour and talked about it. So if you’re interested in applying, I’m going to pop this fee waiver code into the group chat there. So that way, we do require a $50 application fee, but with this code, you don’t have to pay that. And all you have to do is during your application, there’s a little box that says for administrative use only. You’ll pop this code in there and then you don’t have to actually… Hey, it’ll be just a free application.

Kimberly Moy:
Oh, there’s a question. Hi, Pamela. And Pamela works on the international projects team. Oh, and she is talking about trust. So she says, we build trust by understanding our roles within the team and partnering to resolve open items and responding to requests immediately or within 24 hours. That’s interesting because I absolutely agree. I hate having to wait for an answer. I think that part of trust is at least responding to say, hey, I’m a little bit busy right now, but I am acknowledging you and I will get you an answer as soon as possible. Would you agree?

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
That absolutely makes so much sense to me. Just a quick, I’m on the other end. I got it. Yeah, that makes so much sense.

Kimberly Moy:
Yeah, for sure. So thanks so much, but yeah. And if you have any other questions I’ll be hanging out here in the group chat for a little bit longer but also if you forget this code or you have questions about the application, feel free to take down our email or phone numbers here. I know Dr. Taylor-Bianco always is willing to meet with our potential students as well. So feel free to email us and then we’ll get you guys connected or she’ll call you, she’ll even text you in the middle of the night. No, I’m kidding. [inaudible 00:50:54] about connection. And we’re talking about work-life balance and boundaries, can’t let it go.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Yes [crosstalk 00:51:01] boundaries Kim.

Kimberly Moy:
Oh, I’ll send you a pizza. It’ll be fine. No, [inaudible 00:51:07] today. But thank you all so much for joining us today and be on the lookout for our email, be on the lookout for any other future topics that are coming your way. So thanks so much to everyone.

Dr. Amy Taylor-Bianco:
Thanks everybody.