Helping Build Understanding in Your Remote Team
A vital part of your role in leading a virtual, or remote team is helping everyone to understand one another’s cultures, expectations, and norms of behavior.
Watching this video is worth 1 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
🎬 Creating Trust in Remote Teams
🎬 Crafting Connection and Building Culture in Your Remote Team
🎬 Fostering Responsibility within Your Remote Team
🎬 Maintaining Productivity in Your Remote Team
🎬 Getting Sufficient Challenge in Your Remote Team
🎬 Developing the People in Your Remote Team
🎬 Taking Care of the Wellbeing of People in Your Remote Team
Start by personally getting to know all your team-members as individuals.
Understanding Cultural Norms of Virtual Team Members
Build team coherence by getting everyone together – ideally in the same place at the same time. It can have a huge and positive effect on relationships and task performance. Use it as an opportunity for sharing cultural norms.
Encourage respectful curiosity about people’s lives and cultures. But make it acceptable for people to decline to answer.
Personal disclosure (subject to cultural norms) is a powerful way to build relationships and develop a sense of intimacy (and therefore, trust).
Above all, as team leader, you must role-model cultural sensitivity.
Diversity is a Gift
When harnessed properly, greater diversity leads to:
1 Faster evaluation of issues
2 Better problem solving
3 More robust decisions
So, explore and make use of the diversity you have.
When to Communicate with Remote Team Colleagues
The general rule is ‘more communication is better’. As with co-located project teams, avoid unnecessary meetings or communications that will:
• distract people from their work
• increase workload
• add to stress
Virtual teams can struggle with work-life balance. As some team members are getting started on today’s work, others may be at home with their families.
Set boundaries on when it is okay – and not okay – to communicate across time zones. If you think you will need ‘out-of-hours’ communication, set rules carefully, and allow local teams to establish a rota amongst themselves.
Conflict is Often a Consequence of Poor Understanding
Diversity and separation into sub-groups can lead to tribal behaviors and conflict. The two primary things you can do to counter this are:
1. Foster a sense that the one big team is the primary allegiance team members have
2. Create as many opportunities for people to get to know one another. This not only builds understanding: we tend to like better the people we know better!
1. Make a fair assessment of how well you and your colleagues know and understand one another. (1 MC CPD Point)
2. Develop a plan to increase understanding. What routines can you add to your virtual team? (3 MC CPD Points)
3. Put your plan into action, and evaluate it after 2-4 weeks (3 MC CPD Points)
4. Cycle back to step 2.
5. Look at the part of this playlist about cross-cultural teams, starting with
🎬 Introduction to Cross-Cultural Teams
– 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 1 MC CPD point
– 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
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