Harvard Business Review

Leading Virtual Teams (HBR 20-Minute Manager Series)

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d_chas quoted2 years ago
These seem to be your main points: . . . Is that right?”
d_chas quoted2 years ago
You seem worried about . . .”
“If I understand, your idea is . . . Did I get the essence of it? If not, please tell me more.”
“It sounds like your main concern is . . .”
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Prepare as you would for any other feedback conversation: Focus on behaviors, practice your language ahead of time, probe for root causes, and close the conversation by agreeing on an improvement plan. Document what happened in a follow-up e-mail or private chat
d_chas quoted2 years ago
A harried employee will read “Are you on track for Friday’s deadline?” as aggressive and maybe even mistrustful, but “Looking forward to seeing the product demo on Friday! Anything you need from me?” communicates enthusiasm and a team mind-set
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Instead of watching how people work, you’re seeing what they produce—the number of sales they’ve made, the code they’ve written, the video they’ve produced
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Build on existing relationships or affinities. You don’t need to create perfect harmony across the whole team. Instead, encourage team members to find allies who can help them navigate what’s unfamiliar and to develop new networks
d_chas quoted2 years ago
As team leader, you have an outsized influence on your group’s dynamic: You send more messages to more people, about more topics, than does anyone else on the team. If you have any bad habits, they will be felt and possibly adopted by more people
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Hold regular meetings, ideally on the same day and at the same time each week, starting and finishing on time. Make the meeting agendas routine where possible, and share them ahead of time.
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Let them know that recognizing collaboration in others makes them look good, too. Develop norms for how members communicate that they “see” each other’s work, and give feedback wherever possible.
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Encourage people to acknowledge each other’s work. Praise people for calling out each other’s successes
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Recognize and praise collaborative behavior when you see it. If several people worked together to solve a problem, send an e-mail to the entire team expressing your appreciation and explaining how the work has helped the team overall
d_chas quoted2 years ago
As part of your plan to get the right people on the team, ask members to coach one another in their areas of expertise (refer back to your completed team surveys)
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Share highlights and lowlights. At the beginning or end of a meeting, ask each team member to talk about one highlight and one lowlight from their workweek
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Hold video tours. Ask new hires to show each other around their workspaces. This practice allows colleagues to form mental images of one another when they’re communicating later by e-mail, phone, or text message
d_chas quoted2 years ago
But virtual teams lack these casual encounters, so you must make a concerted effort to build rapport and trust
d_chas quoted2 years ago
The earlier you start these conversations, the more flexibility you’ll have to tie your people’s success and well-being to the work you share
d_chas quoted2 years ago
advantage of any synergies across work streams?
• If the person is assigned to multiple teams, can you work with their other supervisors to harmonize your directives
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Can you redefine the team member’s role to better fit any professional goals or personal commitments?
• Can you redistribute tasks to better match the person’s availability?
• Can you pair the member with collaborators who will balance out any weaknesses?
• Can you rearrange the schedule to avoid panic periods or to take advantage
d_chas quoted2 years ago
Even if you’re the only new person on the team, a launch is an opportunity for team members to reestablish their own bonds of friendship and perhaps learn something about each other
d_chas quoted2 years ago
form. You’ll also have the chance to assess team dynamics and start setting some behavioral guidelines
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