Management Styles For Managing A Virtual Team

Tammy Durden, Business Coach
3 min readOct 25, 2022

Written by Tammy Durden

You are ready to create a subcontracted team and manage them virtually but perhaps you are not sure how you should manage them? You probably have a management style. Would you like to know what your style is? Let me introduce you to five management styles I created a number of years ago for managing a virtual team.


Helicopter Manager for a Virtual Team

The Helicopter Manager Style is the one where you are ‘hovering’ more than hands-off in nature. You oversee all processes within each project of managing a virtual team. You also must review all finished work from a team member before handing it off to a client. Many who are new at managing teams take this approach in the beginning.

Project Manager Style for a Virtual Team

The Project Manager Management Style is when you assign the project or ongoing work to a team member and you may pull them into a client’s meeting but you generally are the one who is all client-facing. You still review all completed work prior to giving it to your clients to make sure it is correct.

Sifter Manager for a Virtual Team

The Sifter Manager is the only management style that you, the owner, who is the only one who is fully client-facing. The team member is given the work via you, the manager. The team member completes the work and gives it back to you for review. The team member has no interaction with the client.

“All new leaders need to align their team on goals, roles and responsibilities in the first 90 days. With virtual teams, however, coordination is inherently more of a challenge because people are not co-located. So it’s important to focus more attention on the details of task design and the processes that will be used to complete them. Simplify the work to the greatest extent possible, ideally so tasks are assigned to sub-groups of two or three team members. And make sure that there is clarity about work process, with specifics about who does what and when. Then periodically do “after-action reviews” to evaluate how things are going and identify process adjustments and training needs.”

Harvard Business Review

Hands-Off Manager Style

The Hands-Off Manager Management Style is the only one where you, as the manager, do not have to be involved in any of the steps once the client has been onboarded. You assign the client to a team member and allow them access to the client(s) to both communicate and give work back to directly.

“The more often team members meet “face-to-face” through real-time technologies, the higher their levels of success.”

-Center for Creative Leadership

Let us know which management style you are in managing your virtual team. Until next time…

To Your Continued Success,

Tammy S Durden

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[Origianally published on Fearless Business Boss Blog]



Tammy Durden, Business Coach

Hello, I love empowering women service based businesses to create, grow, or scale your business to fit your lifestyle not a life dictated by your business.