Insights for Working Virtually

This blog is for anyone who communicates in-person or virtually in the business world.
Featured

Attended a Bad Virtual Meeting? Not So Fast! You Have a Responsibility as a Participant

Attended a Bad Virtual Meeting? Not So Fast! You Have a Responsibility as a Participant

We Know There Are Bad Virtual Meetings
If I were to ask you to raise your hand if you have ever attended a bad virtual meeting, I'm certain that it would be a majority. If you've read my articles, you know that I harp on the importance of leaders taking responsibility to run an engaging virtual meeting that accomplishes the intended results. I still believe that the leader carries this responsibility to lead differently in the virtual workspace. What I also believe is that the participants of the meeting bear a responsibility as well. The next time you gripe about a bad meeting, I want you to ask yourself what you did to help make it better. Did you apply some self-leadership to help right the ship or did you let it sink while increasing your multi-tasking as you stayed on mute? It's that old adage, “If you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” As our workplace becomes increasingly more virtual, it will be up to all team members to contribute in making the virtual workplace experience valuable and productive. If participants of meetings fail to take responsibility for their experience, remote and virtual teams may begin to disappear along with the flexible lifestyle that they provide team members. The bottom line is that bad virtual meetings threaten the existence of virtual teams.

...
Rate this blog entry:
Recent comment in this post
Guest — Prasanta Shee
By diligently following above mentioned points, one can successfully conduct virtual meetings using tools like webex, R-HUB web co... Read More
Friday, 15 September 2017 06:37
Continue reading
588 Hits
1 Comment
Featured

Working Remotely is NOT the Issue. Teaching Leaders to Manage It Is - 3 Fixes

Working Remotely is NOT the Issue. Teaching Leaders to Manage It Is - 3 Fixes

The Virtual Path Is More Difficult
Anyone knows that walking a greenway is very different than hiking a mountain trail. It takes a more intentional focus to walk the trail because the footing is not as sure and the walk is more strenuous. I look at leading virtual teams in the same way. With remote jobs increasing 52% over the past year (as noted by Flexjobs 2017), leaders continue to manage these remote workers as if they were managing a co-located team. This is where the problem lies because managing virtual teams is a more strenuous activity and the global footing is definitely not as sure.

...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
621 Hits
0 Comments
Featured

3 Fatal Virtual Presenter Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

3 Fatal Virtual Presenter Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Okay, not life threatening ... but fatal to any chance you have of influencing your listeners. You know that person that's dreadful to listen to on a virtual call? The person that makes you want to mentally check out when they speak? You don't want people thinking of you or your teammates that way. I've personally coached more than 5,000 presenters globally. During that time, I've seen many unintentional, but common mistakes most presenters make. Some mistakes are certainly expected and won't do much damage. What I term as "fatal" mistakes endanger your message, hinder the audience's ability to engage with you and could damage your reputation. Yes, your reputation as a speaker, collaborator or leader is at stake.

Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
905 Hits
0 Comments

Open Offices Don't Work! Impact to Virtual Teams

Open Offices Don't Work! Impact to Virtual Teams

Recent analysis shows that over 70% of all offices have an open plan – no doors, no cubicles, and relatively few conference rooms. Open offices have been around since the 1950’s. The intent of this office configuration has been to increase opportunities for collaboration and casual exchange of ideas. In many cases that has been true. We've known since the days of "tiger teams" that putting a project team together in one place can efficiently produce innovative results. It is also great for the boss with a command and control mindset monitoring workflow. But how does this apply to a 21st century workplace?

...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
1128 Hits
0 Comments

Demographics Can Devastate Your Virtual Meetings

Demographics Can Devastate Your Virtual Meetings

Now that I’ve got your attention, I want to clarify. We need to be crystal clear about the impact words have on a listener’s ability to understand what we are saying. When I say “devastate”, I can’t assume that everyone reading this is going to respond in the same way. Label this what you will, but word choice and how you say something will impact your ability to influence someone to take action - the action you want them to take.

Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
1017 Hits
0 Comments

Managing a Virtual Team is Harder! 5 Tips to make it Easier

Managing a Virtual Team is Harder! 5 Tips to make it Easier

There is an interesting trend happening in the workplace. Leaders are pulling workers back from home offices and remote locations in favor of more easily managed, collocated teams. It most notably happened three years ago when Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously said, "To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices."

...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
1151 Hits
0 Comments

Did You Hear Me? Listening in the Virtual World

Did You Hear Me? Listening in the Virtual World

In a recent program I was conducting with a senior engineering team, one of the participants had a big “aha” moment. She realized that when trying to influence other organizations, it was more about listening than talking. Since the engineering group is a virtual team, we realized that the skill of “listening” may require a different focus in virtual than what we take for granted in person.

...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
1005 Hits
0 Comments

Does Your Virtual Team Have Dotted Line Responsibilities?

Does Your Virtual Team Have Dotted Line Responsibilities?

It's a double whammy. A team working virtually is difficult enough to manage. There are workers in different geographic locations whom you rarely see but collectively hold your corporate life in their hands. Now, many leaders are faced with the added complexity of having members of their teams work with dotted line responsibilities to other leaders in the organization (Matrixed Teams). This can be confusing for team members, ultimately creating questions of loyalty for the worker, contradictions in assignment priorities, and utilization issues. No matter what anyone tells you, no matter what fancy equations they use, a person can only be utilized 100%. Expecting to get more than 100% from one person is a set-up for failure.

...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
971 Hits
0 Comments

5 Important Questions to Evaluate Yourself as a Virtual Leader

5 Important Questions to Evaluate Yourself as a Virtual Leader

If you are reading this, you intimately know the daily challenges you face leading a virtual team. In my experience, it is difficult enough managing a team that you lock eyes on every day. With virtual team management, you not only need foundational management skills, but you have to artfully customize those skills to bridge the distance between you and the team and team members with each other.

...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
1074 Hits
0 Comments

What is Virtual Training Anyway? 5 Questions to Ask

What is Virtual Training Anyway? 5 Questions to Ask

I was talking with a client about virtual training options and designing virtual training workshops. We were discussing how to take the existing in-person new hire orientation and lower costs by making it a virtual program. As I continued to expand on the various choices ­– blended asynchronous, synchronous, mobile options – I could see his eyes glaze over. He finally stopped and asked, “Is all of that Web-training?” His simple question made me realize that I assumed there is a common language around virtual training. There is not.

...
Rate this blog entry:
Continue reading
4276 Hits
0 Comments