January 29, 2015
It’s a no-brainer that technology plays a major role in improving the way your virtual team communicates. However, having the right team collaboration tools is not enough. You also have to build on your personal collaboration skills.
Here are some examples of skills you can work on to improve the virtual team experience for yourself and your colleagues:
Be A Good Listener
During meetings, it gets tempting to multitask. At the very least, it gets easy to let your thoughts wander. This is not as harmless as it appears- it’s a direct jab at team effectiveness. Try to establish a “no multitasking” policy during calls. Also, avoid unnecessary meetings, and try to keep all meetings as short as possible. This will encourage participants to be more active, knowing that their time and their input is being respected. And it will also encourage you to be a better listener.
Always Set Goals
The creation of a series of short-term goals greatly benefit long-term collaboration. It also helps teams collaborate best and remain active when they have a series of missions to fulfill. Sure, there may be only be just one or two major goals in the pipeline, but those goals are made up of several components.
Each of your team members have to trust one another for seamless collaboration. Simple interactions help warm things up for everyone. It helps to periodically make small-talk about weekend plans, the weather, and to crack a few jokes to lighten up the mood and make everyone feel closer to one another. Make personal connections. They make a difference.
Technology has a way of taking the warmth out of correspondence. Make up for it by expressing appreciation and enthusiasm whenever possible. Say things like, “thanks for keeping me posted,” and “that was a great help, you rock!”