Lesson notes, exercises, downloads, and recommended reading are below the video. On mobile, the video will rescale when you play it.

Getting Sufficient Challenge in Your Remote Team

One challenge in managing virtual teams is… Challenge. That is, that we fail to adequately challenge one-another’s thinking, because the distance and cultural differences in a remote team make it even more uncomfortable or difficult than usual.

Ideas and decisions that go unchallenged can lead to disaster.

Watching this video is worth 2 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)

This video is part of course module number 4.3.5
Program 4: Managing & Leading Groups
Course 3: Teams
Section 5: Managing Remote Teams

Other videos in this section include:
🎬 Introduction to Managing Remote Teams
🔗 https://youtu.be/YsO_GuEjlBo
🎬 Creating Trust in Remote Teams
🔗 https://youtu.be/DBPFFZFePAk
🎬 Helping Build Understanding in Your Remote Team
🔗 https://youtu.be/ESF_5m45DKk
🎬 Crafting Connection and Building Culture in Your Remote Team
🔗 https://youtu.be/6b4PiNGmJw4
🎬 Fostering Responsibility within Your Remote Team
🔗 https://youtu.be/FpjOKvbZl58
🎬 Maintaining Productivity in Your Remote Team
🔗 https://youtu.be/Na30W6Dti9g
🎬 Developing the People in Your Remote Team
🔗 https://youtu.be/oTpkqxeXcdE
🎬 Taking Care of the Wellbeing of People in Your Remote Team
🔗 https://youtu.be/6psjuxxtYps

Challenging another person’s thinking is counter to some cultural norms… This can be especially so when there is a difference in seniority, power, or technical expertise. So, you’ll need to find some mechanisms to overcome this, for the good of effective problem-solving and robust decision-making.

Techniques to Encourage Challenge within a Virtual Team
1. Leader-role
Avoid the team leader or decision-maker stating their position up front. Encourage team members to debate options, without giving away where they are minded to go. Two benefits:
1. You are more likely to form an objective opinion. If you state your position early, you may find it hard to change your mind, despite the quality of the reasoning you hear.
2. You can hear genuine challenge and debate among peers. Team members won’t succumb to the temptation to play to your favor, because they won’t know what play to make.

2. Make it Routine
Make challenge and debate part of your regular cycle of meetings, so people get comfortable with challenge.

3. Systematize Challenge
Adopt formal roles and processes to make systematic challenge easy.

4. Red Team
Set up a ‘red team’ to review recommendations of any sub-team that proposes an option with significant consequences if it fails. Make it their task to identify and test every assumption and element of reasoning. That way, you can assess the rigor of the original work. Knowing there will be a red team review will also put any work-team on its mettle.

1. How robustly does your remote team challenge each other’s thinking? (1 MC CPD Point)
2. Start to employ one or two of the techniques in this video, over the next few weeks. (3 MC CPD Points)
3. After 4 weeks, review what you have observed. (2 MC CPD Points)
4. Perhaps cycle back to step 2

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)

– The Five Dysfunctions of a Team https://geni.us/wbIE
– The Wisdom of Teams https://geni.us/7i1AL
– The Belbin Guide to Succeeding at Work https://geni.us/Kzc4GV4
– Dream Teams: Working Together Without Falling Apart https://geni.us/oAgEOdA
– Pulling Together: 10 Rules for High-Performance Teamwork https://geni.us/zUVV3G
– HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Teams https://geni.us/0DLsNe4

Managers need a basic set of kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
You can record your Management Courses CPD points on our free, downloadable CPD record log.
Download it at: https://gum.co/MC-CPD

Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 2 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 8 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon

#RemoteTeams #ManagementCourses #Challenge


Team Development Models [Compilation] – 5 ways to understand your team
Supporting Your Team through Common Challenges [Compilation]
Team Leadership Briefing [Compilation]
Team Development Process [Compilation]
Managing & Leading Remote Teams [Compilation]
Patrick Lencioni: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Margerison McCann: The Team Management Wheel
Meredith Belbin: The Belbin Team Roles Profile
Katzenbach and Smith: The Wisdom of Teams
Taking Care of the Wellbeing of People in Your Remote Team
Developing People in Your Remote Team
Maintaining Productivity in Your Remote Team
Fostering Responsibility within Your Remote Team
Crafting Connection and Building Culture in Your Remote Team
Helping Build Understanding in Your Remote Team
Creating Trust in Remote Teams
Introduction to Managing Remote Teams
Tips for Cross-Cultural Working: 10 + 1 Bonus
Dimensions of Cross-Cultural Differences: 10 of the Biggest
Developing Cross-Cultural Awareness: The Stages
Introduction to Cross-Cultural Teams
How to Support Your Team for Learning: 7 Things
Supporting Your Team through Conflict: 3+1 Roles to Play
How to Support Your Team through Change – 6 Steps
Supporting Your Team through Team Stress: 4 Steps
Supporting Your Team Under Pressure: Return to High-Performance
Team Leadership: Handling Team Problems
Daniel Goleman’s 6 Leadership Styles for Team Leaders
Team Leadership Continuum [Tannenbaum & Schmidt]
Four Quadrants of Team Leadership
LEAD Your Team: 4 Team Leadership Priorities
Team Leadership: John Adair’s Action Centered Leadership
Servant Leadership: Leading Your Team in the Tuckman Performing Stage
Team Leadership and the Tuckman Group Development Stages
Teamwork: Your Team Working Problems Solved
Teamwork: Problem Solving with Your Team
Teamwork: Team Celebrations
Teamwork: Leading Effective Team Reviews
Teamwork: Elements of Effective Team Meetings
Teamwork: Your Team’s Skills and Expertise
Teamwork: Facilitating Effective Team Working
Teamwork: Protecting Your Team
Teamwork: Providing for Your Team
Teamwork: Essentials of Working as a Team
Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases for Team Development

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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