Dec 15 2016
Leading your virtual team to success

Guest blog by Susan Croft.

Does this situation sound familiar?

You are connecting via conference call to your team of whom one is in India, another in France, and a third in Ireland. You are in your office in London waiting for everyone to connect.

Your colleague in India sounds as if she is calling from the deep end of a swimming pool; your Irish team member is trying to quell a barking dog, and you can hear a child screaming in the background of your French colleague’s home office. There is also a strange sort of buzzing coming from your own hands-free phone.

How on earth are you going to conduct a useful meeting within a limited time period with so much annoying interference?

This is one of the many frustrations of virtual communications and leading or being part of a remote team.

How to lead a successful meeting

Here are some tips from the trenches:

  • Make sure you have a good communication system in place – Webinar or Go-to-Meeting are effective. People should make sure they have fixed-wire fiber optic broadband if possible.
  • Lay the ground rules for every meeting – one being that all participants should find a quiet place for the meeting and make sure all background noise is kept to the minimum. You should also require people to close down any running applications, switch off mobiles and ensure they are fully present throughout the duration of the meeting.
  • Give everyone a meeting role.
  • Make sure everyone has an opportunity to contribute and occasionally call upon a team member for comments on someone else’s opinion. This keeps everyone on their toes.

The Centre’s one-day Leading virtual and remote teams course will cover these tips and many more to help you navigate this largely uncharted area of business. As we move to more remote working and become more cross-cultural in our organisations, it is critical that mangers understand how to deal with these new challenges.

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