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Productivity Teamwork

5 Links to Improve Your Virtual Teamwork

Do you increasingly find yourself involved in teams, work groups, projects or task forces that require working with people you don’t see every day? Welcome to the growing world of virtual teaming. Here are five brief posts and to help you contribute your best to your virtual team.

1. Embrace the New Rules of Work

2. When Did My Team Become Virtual?

3. Do You Trust Me?

4. 8 Tips to Improve Any Virtual Team Meeting

5. Making Virtual Teams Work: Ten Basic Principles (from Harvard Business Review blog)

What tips would you add?

 

By Ken

Dr. Ken Cochrum (DMin, Bethel University) is Vice President of Global Digital Strategies at Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) in Orlando, Florida. An avid cyclist and aspiring guitarist, he also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He recently co-founded Indigitous.org, a movement passionate about connecting people to Jesus using digital strategies. He previously served as vice president of Cru’s student-led movements worldwide. He and his wife Ann spent 13 years in East Asia where they raised their two children. Ken blogs regularly at www.onleadingwell.com.

5 replies on “5 Links to Improve Your Virtual Teamwork”

On “Embrace the New Rules”, it is challenging to help people who want a very bounded work week to function at a high capacity on virtual and global teams. There needs to be an embracing of the freedom of a very fluid work week, yet a releasing of a concrete “finish” to the workday.

Thanks @Dorrie for your insight on fluidity. That’s my experience, too.

Hey, Ken, any thoughts on applying these in a cross-cultural setting? Differences in communication styles (e.g., direct vs. indirect) could be a real liability, but the differences in thought processes (e.g., linear vs. cyclical) could be a real asset in making the team effective. How do you minimize one and maximize the other?

@Alan – great question. My experience in cross-cultural virtual teams for the past 10 years is that the facilitator helps by keeping the agenda more focused (only 1, maybe 2 topics in a 60 minute call/meeting) the more cultures are in the meeting. If people are operating in a second language: a preheat agenda via email + live Google Docs or sometype of notetaking board that every member can see aids interaction. Even making summary notes in a Skype message window helps. Bottom line: all these principles work in XCultural settings. The team leader/facilitator must build the team by making these implicit differences more explicit and ascribing VALUE to different points-of-view.

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