The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

The Care & Feeding of Virtual Teams

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Wednesday, April 04, 2018
Featured Image

The good news about technology is that teams can be spread throughout the world, offering a rich background for global enterprises. The difficult news is that time zones and the absence of visual interaction can cause teams to stumble or even fail to start at all.

To create a vibrant, resilient virtual team, consider these steps:

1. If at all possible, have the teams meet face-to-face in a single location when the team is formed. Expensive, yes. But - looking into someone’s eyes, breaking bread, and finding commonalities can make huge strides communication and cohesion.

2. Restrict the size of virtual teams to the number of people who can be seen at one time in a medium like Zoom or Goggle Hangout.

3. Insist that video be used and not just audio. Here’s why. Too often, the absence of video lets an attendee multitask instead of paying attention, listening carefully, participating fully.Some members might balk at the request but it is important. Let them know why.

4. Isolation and loneliness are epidemic in our business world.To keep this from happening in a virtual team, devise small interactions that allow participants to begin to see the others as full human beings.Here are some examples:

  • Ask team members to introduce themselves with this statement “If I could have one last meal to eat, I would choose…”
  • Ask team members to introduce themselves by sharing a fact that no one except immediate family and/or friends know about them. I’ve literally heard team members reveal everything from swimming with sharks (not the corporate kind) to trekking with Mongolians across the steppes. This latter adventure came from a woman whom most regarded as shy and withdrawn!
  • Ask team members to explain who the most significant person in their life is and why (restrict all comments to 90 seconds). It can be done.
  • Ask team members to come up with a NAME for the virtual team and either a mascot or a slogan. You can assign this in pairs. Vote on the best name.
  • Take turns assigning a person to be the summarizer of the virtual meeting.
You are only limited in your imagination. But each request allows virtual team members to get to “know” the others. You can also share the “ask” assignments with different members of the team.

5. Determine short term goals and how the virtual team can celebrate each milestone.

6. If the team is to disassemble and a new team to be formed, create a closure exercise that ask members to state what was most valuable about being part of the virtual team and what could have made it even better.

Note that teams that meet face-to-face on a regular basis can also use these techniques. Insist that all digital devices like smart phones be put away whenever the team gathers. Now more than ever, it is the communication we hold with the people in front of us that determines relationships and outcomes.

 


 




Share This Post

Like this post? Please share it!


< Back to All Posts

Comments



Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

View all posts by Eileen


Subscribe to My Blog!


Like My Blog?

Please share it!

Recents Posts


Categories



Archive


Tags

resilient leaders Voting Branding Employee Attitude Climate Change Multi-tasking Networking Environtment Sexual Harassment Content Generation Postive Work Environment goals Labor Day Optimism Trust Arlington Cemetary Hurricane Irma Burnout Personal Responsibility Adaptability Survive Hurricane Harvey Gifts From The Mountain U.S.A.A. Honoring Veterans WASP Empathy Meetings Vegan Nursing Corporate Culture Happiness Guns Adam Grant Relationships Children LGBTQ Reshaping the Brain Speaking Aging Building Resilience Leaders Open Doors Book Leadership Skills Memorial Day Charity Intentions Persuasion civil discourse Career Advice New Year resolutions Office Celebrations Positive Brain Repatterning Seder Eve Twas The Night Before Christmas Emotional Intelligence Energy Diversity Road Trip Radical Resiliency Girls waiting e-mail Bill Treasurer Christmas Superbowl Loss Humor employees Feedback Stress Energizing Listening resiliency Vacation Education Learned Optimism Social Media Communication The Last Jedi Women Kindness Henry VIII Bullying Back To School Writing coaching Jewish Walk For Hunger St. Patrick's Day Fun Work Environment Idea work life balance John Blumberg Family gratitude Deloitte More Fun at Work Energizing Others Siblings love Book Reviews Sales Change holidays Sheryl Sandberg servant leadership cancer Motivating Others USAA Technology conscience customer service Mother's Day Dogs Politics Alzheimer's Tornadoes in Texas teams Engaged Workers Sustainability Spelling Bee resilience employee retention Joe Tye Boston Marathon Christmas Symphony Adventure preresilience Thanksgiving Talk Ain't Cheap Book Option B women in leadership creativity earthquakes Mark Scharenbroich angels stuck Humanity Patriots