Leave the chit-chat at home? No way says Karen Frenkel, a science and tech writer for CIO Insight. The truth is that highly successful teams engage regularly on a personal level. According to a recent Unify report, the relative proximity of team members may not affect their productive output, but effective communication certainly will. Two-way dialogue, where team members can engage about out-of-work subject matter, is the best scenario for long distance project development. Here are ten reasons why:
1. Staying Connected: enhances the overall quality of team interaction by encouraging the exchange of open dialogue that is not business oriented.
2. Encourage Collaboration: The avoidance of monologues (where one person drones on and everyone else listens) at team meetings improves overall success rates.
3. Promote Team Unity: Even if the team is conducting their affairs via remote communication, a good PM can help them feel unified around their goals.
4. Encourage Team Leaders to Lead: In a virtual environment, leadership and teamwork take slightly different forms, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be achieved.
5. Show Personal Interest: A quick call, or an inquiry into how an employee’s day is going, can spur a more positive and productive state.
6. Conduct Conference Calls: Keep these calls short to avoid members feeling isolated, and address each person on a first name basis.
7. Engage Office-Based and Remote Workers: Give individuals who are anchored at the office a way to engage and collaborate with the long distance staff.
8. Avoid Postponing Discussions: Dialogue outside of planned meetings is also an indicator of success. Only 27 percent of time collaborating is spent in meetings by accomplished teams.
9. Call Anxious Emailers: Individual members who seem troubled through the tone of their email should be contacted directly by phone to reduce stress and improve connectedness.
10. Differentiate between Discussing and Briefing: Drawn out formal discussions should be reclassified as briefings. These briefings can be delivered as power points, recordings, or in writing.
View the full slide show at: http://www.cioinsight.com/it-management/workplace/slideshows/10-ways-to-lead-a-virtual-team.html/