A few years ago, I decided to run my first marathon. I had eased into the idea of running races with a few 5Ks, a 10K, and a half-marathon. So when my friend Tara suggested we run the Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth, TX, I decided it was time. Tara is a triathlete and a personal trainer, so I was excited to have her as a training partner.
There was one challenge . . . Tara lives in Texas. I live in Northern Virginia.
Luckily, technology allows the world to be much more connected than it has ever been in the past. Tara and I set up regular check-ins throughout the week. On Saturdays we’d text each other to say how long our long run would be. After we finished, we’d check back in to let each other know how it had gone. These check-ins were often the only reason I got myself out on the trail. The accountability helps when it’s 20 degrees out and you have a 16-mile training run planned!
Tara was my resource and support any time I had a question about running, strength training, foam rolling, and nutrition. She shared articles, videos, and tips. She listened when I needed to vent. In return, I encouraged her, kept her accountable, and gave her recommendations on podcasts and books to listen to on long runs. We were partners, even though we weren’t physically together while we trained.
Partnership at Weaving Influence is much the same.
A large part of the Weaving Influence team works remotely from all around the U.S. We even have international team members! Most of our clients are also spread out geographically.
Yet we all have the same goals. We want our clients to succeed. We want our team to succeed. We want to support each other.
The remote environment offers some challenges, but the basics of partnership remain the same. Here are 3 things to keep in mind while building and maintaining a partnership remotely.
Use technology to your advantage.
Technology offers literally hundreds of ways to stay connected. Email, text, phone calls, social media, video chat, Google Docs, Basecamp, etc., etc., etc.! Decide early on which technologies will work best for you and use them.
Establish regular check-ins.
The Weaving Influence team holds regular video “stand-up” team meetings. We have internal calls and video chats about projects. We check-in with and update our clients weekly or monthly. This communication is essential, particularly since we’re not all in the same room every day. These check-ins hold each other accountable but also serve to motivate, to encourage collaboration, and to keep lines of communication open.
Remember the goal.
Ultimately, the aim of any partnership is to achieve a shared goal. For Tara and I, our goal was to finish the marathon without injury. For Weaving Influence, it is to see our clients and teammates succeed. It can be easy when you’re not physically together to forget that everyone is moving towards the same goal. I’ve always been impressed by how well the #WITeam supports each other and our clients to see each other succeed.
In a surprise twist — the Cowtown Marathon was actually snowed-out that year. Tara and I had a great weekend in Fort Worth and ran the half-marathon instead. We then each ran the marathon on our own back home. I ran 26.2 miles on the W&OD Trail and she ran on a treadmill. And we checked in before, during, and after our “races.” Goal achieved.
What other tips would you add to help build partnerships remotely?
Stephanie completed her masters in public relations and corporate communications at Georgetown University in 2015. She lives outside Washington, DC with her two dogs.