Type Dynamics


Working in a Virtual
Environment
A practical document including exercises to help
you lead and motivate a ...
Contents
INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW ..............................................................................................
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE .......................................................................................
A Virtual Team can be thought of as,
a collection of individuals who are geographically and/or organizationally or
otherwi...
INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW
We all function in organisations - privately held companies, publicly traded firms, public

agencies...
RECOGNIZED CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE VIRTUAL TEAMS



The Mind Shift
Effective virtual teams cannot be guaranteed by pr...
• Balanced goals. Goal setting for task, process, and behaviours creates clarity without

restricting options and actions,...
• Training. There is explicit training in communication practices and what constitutes timely and

acceptable responses.

...
Managing Virtual Teams


First: Don’t make assumptions!
There can be an assumption that managing a virtual team is simply ...
Agreed timelines for responding to requests from other team members.


The levels of localisation needed by each team memb...
Encourage the team to bear in mind each other's individual qualities and needs so that

telephone conferences and meetings...
5. Put in place measures for evaluating project progress


In order to increase individual accountability and a sense of d...
3 KEYS TO A SUCCSSFUL VIRTUAL WORKING ENVIRONMENT



             TRUST




           COMMUNICATION




           MOTIVA...
TRUST
It is vital for managers and teams to trust one another, which can be more difficult from a

distance. From studies ...
360 Degree Trust
Once trust is damaged it can be an uphill battle to retrieve it, so a little time invested at the

outset...
Results from a study conducted by IBM on the subject of Trust


     Remote workers feel alienated and mistrusted
        ...
Building and Maintaining Trust in Teams
As we’ve already seen, in order for a team to work effectively they must trust and...
Virtual Working Challenges



It’s not easy to move from a set of work skills that we've spent most of our lives developin...
Commonly Recognized Virtual Team Challenges
                         ……and suggestions to overcome them


Challenge: You c...
Challenge: You can't take time off.
This problem is the reverse of the one above. Most people suffer from both, alternatel...
Challenge: You feel guilty if not always available



Suggestion:


        Be Productive: Prove how much work is being co...
Personal Responsibility


                                                           Discipline and honesty are huge

    ...
Advantages of working in a virtual team



There are many recognized advantages to working virtually and some of the more ...
Communication




                                             COMMUNICATION DEFINITION

                                 ...
THE NEW VIRTUAL LEADER



As a leader in a virtual working environment you need to be extra proactive in your

communicati...
AND JUST A REMINDER

Key skills required of a virtual leader are the ability to communicate effectively so …..




     Co...
COMMUNICATION

                                   PRACTICAL EXERCISES



           Q: What location are you using for you...
TEAM COMMUNICATION
Develop Clear Communication Strategies within Your Team


When bringing people together from different ...
Tips to ease communication problems for team members:



      Allow the team members to get to know you and each other by...
MOTIVATION
Motivation is a

complex area. It's

different for each

person. Motivational

receptiveness and

potential in ...
Values Exercise
Values are who we are – they are what motivates us and what we aspire to. Most people are so

caught up in...
Day-to-Day Motivation
To stay motivated on a day-to-day basis the best way to do this is to organise your life on a

weekl...
Make motivation easy ….. Break it Down
To stay on top of motivation it’s widely suggested you break it down as follows:-

...
Creating Effective Routines
We are all different and have routines that will evolve over time that suits us best. Finding ...
TEAM MOTIVATION



Amongst others, it is vital to respect your employees, to communicate with them, to champion

them, off...
How to Influence the Motivation of your Team



Know and share the 'primary aim' of your company


Your team may be more m...
How to Influence the Motivation of your Team



Know how your team feels about the company


Do they feel safe, loyal, val...
SUMMARY

Getting it right – Characteristics of Effective Virtual Teams



A characteristic among high-performance virtual ...
Characteristics of Effective Virtual Teams
         …THE WAY FORWARD




      TRUST

      FREQUENT COMMUNICATION

      ...
Irish people embrace home working
10-Dec-2007
by Emmet Ryan

     http://www.enn.ie

     A new survey by BT Ireland claim...
References


Books:

Davis, D.D. (2004). The Tao of Leadership in Virtual Teams. Organizational Dynamics,



Websites Acce...
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Transcript of "A Guide To Virtual Working Junxx2010"

  1. 1. Type Dynamics Working in a Virtual Environment A practical document including exercises to help you lead and motivate a virtual team. Complied by Carole Smith Updated 2010
  2. 2. Contents INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW ............................................................................................................................... 4 RECOGNIZED CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE VIRTUAL TEAMS ............................................................................... 5 THE MIND SHIFT ....................................................................................................................................................................... 5 THE NEW VIRTUAL TEAM ............................................................................................................................................................ 5 VIRTUAL WORKING PRACTICAL EXERCISE........................................................................................................................... 7 MANAGING VIRTUAL TEAMS .............................................................................................................................. 8 First: Don’t make assumptions! .................................................................................................................................... 8 CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR VIRTUAL TEAMS ............................................................................................................ 8 2. CREATE A TEAM CULTURE ........................................................................................................................................................ 9 3. RECOGNISE TEAM DIVERSITY .................................................................................................................................................... 9 3 KEYS TO A SUCCSSFUL VIRTUAL WORKING ENVIRONMENT...............................................................................12 TRUST 13 What is trust? ............................................................................................................................................................... 13 360 DEGREE TRUST ................................................................................................................................................................. 14 Results from a study conducted by IBM on the subject of Trust ............................................................................... 15 BUILDING AND MAINTAINING TRUST IN TEAMS ............................................................................................................................ 16 Guidelines for Building Trust around Team Skills ....................................................................................................... 16 VIRTUAL WORKING CHALLENGES ................................................................................................................................................ 17 COMMONLY RECOGNIZED VIRTUAL TEAM CHALLENGES ................................................................................................................. 18 Challenge: You can't concentrate on work. ................................................................................................................ 18 Challenge: You can't take time off. ............................................................................................................................. 19 Challenge: You get lonely. ............................................................................................................................................ 19 Challenge: You feel guilty if not always available ...................................................................................................... 20 PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY ........................................................................................................................................................ 21 ADVANTAGES OF WORKING IN A VIRTUAL TEAM ............................................................................................................................. 22 COMMUNICATION .................................................................................................................................................................... 23 THE NEW VIRTUAL LEADER ................................................................................................................................................ 24 AND JUST A REMINDER ................................................................................................................................................ 25 Key skills required of a virtual leader are the ability to communicate effectively so ….. ......................................... 25 1 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  3. 3. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE ........................................................................................................................ 25 TEAM COMMUNICATION .................................................................................................................................................. 27 Develop Clear Communication Strategies within Your Team .................................................................................... 27 TIPS TO EASE COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS FOR TEAM MEMBERS: .................................................................................................... 28 CONNECTIONS AND TRUST ARE BUILT THROUGH RELATIONSHIPS........................................................................................... 28 Alderfer’s Theory .......................................................................................................................................................... 29 VALUES EXERCISE ..................................................................................................................................................................... 30 Step 1 – Identify the value that motivate you ............................................................................................................ 30 Step 2 – Start Prioritizing ............................................................................................................................................. 30 Step 3 – Define your values .......................................................................................................................................... 30 DAY-TO-DAY MOTIVATION ....................................................................................................................................................... 31 MAKE MOTIVATION EASY ….. BREAK IT DOWN............................................................................................................................. 32 CREATING EFFECTIVE ROUTINES ................................................................................................................................................. 33 TEAM MOTIVATION ........................................................................................................................................................... 34 HOW TO INFLUENCE THE MOTIVATION OF YOUR TEAM .................................................................................................................. 35 HOW TO INFLUENCE THE MOTIVATION OF YOUR TEAM .................................................................................................................. 36 Getting it right – Characteristics of Effective Virtual Teams ..................................................................................... 37 CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE VIRTUAL TEAMS .......................................................................................................................... 38 …THE WAY FORWARD .................................................................................................................................................. 38 Irish people embrace home working 10-Dec-2007 by Emmet Ryan ......................................................................... 39 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................................................................ 40 2 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  4. 4. A Virtual Team can be thought of as, a collection of individuals who are geographically and/or organizationally or otherwise dispersed and who collaborate via communication and information technologies in order to accomplish a specific goal 3 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  5. 5. INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW We all function in organisations - privately held companies, publicly traded firms, public agencies, or academia - that are changing drastically around us. Growing complexity in the business environment makes "business as usual" ineffective. Globalisation extends the need for communication and coordination across different time zones and locations. Change has become the norm, an unpredictable basic reality. Corporations are evolving into virtual enterprises using integrated computer and communications technologies. These collaborative networks are not defined by concrete walls or physical space, but make it possible to draw upon vital resources as needed, regardless of where they are physically located. In order for organizations to achieve sustainability in these changing times, they must be prepared to adapt. Therefore, many large multinationals are seeing the benefits of employing people in the home workplace. With global virtual teams (VTs) some of the proven benefits include- Having your best individuals working on the task, no matter where they are Greater connection to a broader scope of customers and suppliers Greater “cultural intelligence” that enables a more empathetic response to local markets Lower costs, Flexibility and a faster time to market. 4 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  6. 6. RECOGNIZED CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE VIRTUAL TEAMS The Mind Shift Effective virtual teams cannot be guaranteed by precisely blending a number of ingredients to a specific recipe. How one thinks, defines what one sees, expects, and creates are all factors in getting it right. How we think organisationally about the workplace, work relationships, and collaboration may be the single largest indicator of organisational success in a virtual world. The New Virtual Team From research and studies of how virtual teams work, we know there are a number of additional characteristics that are common to the most effective virtual teams. To summarise they are outlined as follows: • Trust. Effort is deliberately put into building trust between team members with that trust based on a shared understanding of common values, needs, goals, and preferences. Each member becomes trusted to act as an agent for other members and for the team. • Frequent communication. Team members regularly keep in touch both on informal, social levels as well as a task, process and behaviour level and the communication is cooperative and open. Face-to-face contact is facilitated regularly. 5 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  7. 7. • Balanced goals. Goal setting for task, process, and behaviours creates clarity without restricting options and actions, helping to create team cohesion, generate ideas, engender trust, commitment, and collaboration leading to high quality decision-making. • Role flexibility and empowerment. As the work of the team evolves leadership on issues such as process, subject matter, team development or technology choices moves effortlessly around between team members. • Vision. A commonly held sense of purpose and a shared vision is created and maintained. • Clarity. The task is clearly understood and explicitly agreed by all team members. • Technical expertise. The team members possess sufficient experience, competence, knowledge, and connection to information and resources to successfully address the task they are faced with. • Avoiding assumptions. The remote team should be encouraged to always ask questions and not to make assumptions, at least not in the very early stages of the project. The team leader should try not to ask “yes or no” questions; instead, questions should be phrased so that they solicit a response that demonstrates a complete understanding of the task at hand. 6 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  8. 8. • Training. There is explicit training in communication practices and what constitutes timely and acceptable responses. • Continuous performance monitoring. Once agreements are made and become part of the working process, they are continuously monitored and reviewed by the team as part of a continuous learning process. VIRTUAL WORKING PRACTICAL EXERCISE Q: What in your opinion is a successful Virtual Working environment? 7 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  9. 9. Managing Virtual Teams First: Don’t make assumptions! There can be an assumption that managing a virtual team is simply the same as managing a face-to-face team, only now it’s purely by phone and email. Under this type of thinking, virtual team management is often regarded as project management with the application of technologies to share information, communicate, make decisions, and monitor actions. Technology is seen as the answer to making virtual teams work effectively. However, research suggests that this is far from being the case and that new tools or capabilities in and of themselves do not solve problems. The problems are solved by the appropriate application of tools to well-understood and well-managed work practices. Moreover, it would seem that it is the well-understood and well-managed work practices that are key to effective virtual team working. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS FOR VIRTUAL TEAMS Establish common team values, standards, and behaviours. It's important the team forms its own work ethic and agrees upon common values so that they can continue to trust one another throughout the project. Unlike working next to someone in a shared physical location, team members will not have an understanding of each other’s working environments or other day-to-day pressures, and so risk judging others by their own standards. Work out in advance: How team members will acknowledge communications sent by one another. 8 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  10. 10. Agreed timelines for responding to requests from other team members. The levels of localisation needed by each team member so that standards do not become over prescriptive or limiting. 2. Create a team culture Even if the team can't physically meet outside of the office after work, it's important that they still undergo some level of personal bonding. Take time before starting the formalities of meetings to encourage people to chat on a personal level and share information about their day-to-day lives with one another. Reward the team for hitting targets to foster a sense of pride and belonging. If possible, get the team to meet in person before the start of the project, or issue photographs and biographies of all team members to one another, so that they don't feel like strangers and have a basic sense of familiarity. 3. Recognise team diversity The team has been put together because of the diverse skills and experience of each and every team member. Although it is important that the team develops its own culture of common working practices and holds itself mutually accountable in the pursuit of their shared goals, it is also important that each individual continues to be appreciated for their unique skills. 9 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  11. 11. Encourage the team to bear in mind each other's individual qualities and needs so that telephone conferences and meetings do not end up being scheduled in such a way that forces the same members of the team to work outside of their normal hours. Even if a team member offers to put themselves out, it should be acknowledged that they are conforming to the rest of the team's needs at their own expense and this should not be taken for granted. This is particularly important when the majority of the team are based in the Europe, with just one or two virtual colleagues based further afield. 4. Create a stakeholder map for each team member to include- Who each member of the team reports to What commitments they are obligated to fulfil Identify the individual in a position of authority, you can depend on to support the team's work (Note: Know your detractors too!) It is important that, where possible, this information come from the team member themselves and that any intervention to pull rank within their own organisation is done with their blessing, or as a last resort, so that trust is not carelessly damaged. The aim is to understand the confines that each member of the team has to operate under. How limited is their resource and access to information and people? Can anything be done to help them remove obstacles that may be having a negative effect on their involvement in the project? 10 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  12. 12. 5. Put in place measures for evaluating project progress In order to increase individual accountability and a sense of duty to the other team members it is important that a way of tracking the team's output against target is produced and milestones put in place. Quantify targets with their impact on the business to demonstrate their importance. The sooner any project slippage can be detected the sooner it can be put right and faith in the project restored. Targets must also be used as a means of motivation as well as control. Reward the team for work delivered on time, or in advance of time, and don't shy away from praising individuals before the team to help create a sense of achievement and motivate others to meet their deliverables also. 11 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  13. 13. 3 KEYS TO A SUCCSSFUL VIRTUAL WORKING ENVIRONMENT TRUST COMMUNICATION MOTIVATION 12 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  14. 14. TRUST It is vital for managers and teams to trust one another, which can be more difficult from a distance. From studies and research, we know remote workers can be more productive and have greater job satisfaction than those working in a main office. Nevertheless, managing virtual workers is a challenge and demands communication, trust, and the appropriate tools to succeed NO TRUST, NO TEAM What is trust? The following statements (www.knowab.co.uk/wbwtrust.html Gundry, 2000) build an argument about how leaders and members of virtual teams, and other virtual workers, think about the trust they're given and the trust they put in others. Teams depend on collaboration, because collaboration entails sharing information, knowledge and views with other people. If we don't trust other people, then we won't readily collaborate with them. It's because of collaboration that trust is so important within teams. Communication builds trust. Through communicating with people, we calibrate them, we get a better sense of them, and we understand their priorities. People who can meet face to face have the opportunity for wide bandwidth communication and have the ability to calibrate each other faster. This is why it is advisable people meet face to face at the beginning of any major, prolonged, virtual activity. People will have a hard time trusting each other unless they have met. 13 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  15. 15. 360 Degree Trust Once trust is damaged it can be an uphill battle to retrieve it, so a little time invested at the outset will go a long way. However, before you invest time in trying to establish trust within your team you need to trust in your own ability to work comfortably within the virtual environment you are tasked to lead in. TRUST PRACTICAL EXERCISE Q: Do you feel trusted in your role? Q: Do you trust the individuals on your team to be fully accountable in their role/productivity? 14 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  16. 16. Results from a study conducted by IBM on the subject of Trust Remote workers feel alienated and mistrusted -Published Andy McCue 12 May 2005 www.silicon.com Almost half of remote workers feel alienated from office life, underappreciated and mistrusted, according to a study by IBM and the Economist Intelligence Unit. The study of 351 remote workers in 29 European countries revealed that 40 per cent felt disadvantaged because they could not tap into 'water cooler' conversations and informal office networking. Nearly 40 percent also felt their office colleagues believed they were not pulling their weight while working from home, even though 61 percent said they actually find it difficult to switch off from their work at home. There still appears to be widespread suspicion about remote and home working, with 68 percent of the respondents saying they did not believe their company advocated mobile and flexible working. Eric Lesser, associate partner at the IBM institute for business value, said companies need to better prepare both office-based and remote workers for working in an increasingly virtual environment. "Remote workers do feel at times isolated and companies need to take a proactive approach to make sure the workers feel involved. There is lots of opportunity to lose context this way and lose body language, especially when you rely on e-mail too much," he said. "People also really believe their colleagues don't trust them working remotely when actually many are over-compensating at home." Lesser said it is a trust rather than a technology issue but added that as bandwidth costs continue to drop it will enable wider use of more interactive and collaborative technologies such as video conferencing. 15 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  17. 17. Building and Maintaining Trust in Teams As we’ve already seen, in order for a team to work effectively they must trust and believe in one another and the project they’re working on. Trust usually comes through getting to know someone and their ability to do their work and assist you in doing yours. In the case of virtual team working however, although the leader might know exactly what everyone in the team has to offer, the other team members may have no prior experience of working with one another and often lack a proper understanding of each other's areas of expertise. It is therefore vital that the team leader invest time at the outset of the project putting into place ‘rules of engagement' for the team members that will prevent problems from arising unnecessarily. Guidelines for Building Trust around Team Skills Take the time to explain from the outset why each person has been brought into the team and, • Outline what their particular expertise is, and what relevant experience they have to offer the rest of the team. • In doing this you reassure everyone and establish a new form of trust based on skill. 16 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  18. 18. Virtual Working Challenges It’s not easy to move from a set of work skills that we've spent most of our lives developing. Since kindergarten, we've been commuting to a separate building at regular times of the day, working in groups and being supervised by a boss or teacher. You now have to develop a completely new set of skills and rules of business etiquette to be successful in this new situation. VIRTUAL WORKING CHALLENGES PRACTICAL EXERCISE Q: What do you find challenging about working from home? 17 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  19. 19. Commonly Recognized Virtual Team Challenges ……and suggestions to overcome them Challenge: You can't concentrate on work. It's hard to wake up in the morning and start to work without the structure of an office. It's especially difficult if you are working on something you dislike. You have to wake up, sit at your desk, and force yourself to begin using sheer willpower. It's easy to get distracted by errands you have to do, like washing dishes or cleaning out the closets. You have to develop a discipline to replace the stimulation you get from being in a workplace surrounded by other people working. Actually, you may be almost as distracted at a formal office but it's easier to delude yourself that you're really working if you're 'at work'. Suggestion: Create a routine around "work hours" and stick to it as much as possible. Build in frequent contacts with other people, clients, or colleagues, including phone calls and meetings. Accept that there is a natural flow around concentration. So switch activities when you're blocked as long as you can keep your deadlines. In other words, if you're having real problems concentrating on a specific project, this may be a good time to do your taxes (using the horror of one project to provide the energy for doing only something slightly less horrifying) or going out with a friend. If this is a constant problem, you may need to build in structures that are more formal. This can be done by setting up many short-term deadlines or taking on projects with at least one other person, (this seems to reduce blocks for some people). 18 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  20. 20. Challenge: You can't take time off. This problem is the reverse of the one above. Most people suffer from both, alternately. Work starts to take over your family and leisure time, and you can never get away from it. Suggestion: Very similar to the previous suggestions as in build structure into your life to ensure you're getting family time, leisure time, exercise, etc. Learn to estimate the time you're spending on projects so that they don't take over your life. And take advantage of the flexibility of home working to grab mini-holidays when you can. Challenge: You get lonely. Suggestion: You absolutely need to work in social time. Working in a home office can be isolating, but it doesn't need to be. Use some or all of the following strategies to overcome any feelings of isolation:- Instead of spending time commuting, schedule regular business lunches, walks, or go to the gym. Some people who work from home need more social contact than others; figure out how often you need to see your co-workers or team, and build it into your routine. Schedule one or two days a week in-office. 19 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  21. 21. Challenge: You feel guilty if not always available Suggestion: Be Productive: Prove how much work is being completed by executing projects in a professional and timely manner and tracking how much time is spent on each item. Submit a regular progress report. Establish Goals: Establish goals and deadlines so there is no question about the amount of work accomplished. Stay in Contact: IM or call. Keep everyone in the loop with regular project updates. And just as you would in the office update IM with a note to say you’re away from your desk and give a time when you’ll be back. Be Proactive: You need to recognise that much of our social life happens at work, and you have to replace it when you aren't getting it 'automatically'. 20 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  22. 22. Personal Responsibility Discipline and honesty are huge traits that have to be addressed when working from home. And procrastinating about your work may not be a problem so long as the work gets completed. When working from home, the important matter is not how you get the work done, so long as you get in done. So if doing the ironing clears your head and enables you to work better then go do it. You’re responsible for your results! 21 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  23. 23. Advantages of working in a virtual team There are many recognized advantages to working virtually and some of the more significant ones are listed below- Increasing the work-life balance – by removing fixed office hours and the need to travel, work is accomplished around the other things that life is supposed to be about. The ability to work smarter and more flexibly. People can still contribute even if they are on the other side of the world. Wider groups or networks can be involved – meaning a greater number of brains applied to the problem. Being more competitive and responsive to the market – Virtual working can mean 24/7 working – not just the eight hours at the office. Less time spent commuting 22 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  24. 24. Communication COMMUNICATION DEFINITION A FUNDAMENTAL COMPONENT OF SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR; THE TRANSMISSION OF INFORMATION (MESSAGES) BETWEEN A SENDER AND A RECEIVER USING ANY OF THE FIVE SENSES. Remote teams, where team members are geographically dispersed rather than located in one place, presents tremendous opportunities for flexibility, innovation, customer focus and cost reductions. For all of these reasons, remote working is increasingly popular. However, alongside the benefits of remote working are the challenges of managing and motivating a team who are not working together regularly in the same office. Creating successful Virtual Teams form part of the new management challenge and asks for a new management mindset. Good leadership demands good people, adept in motivational skills and the use of inspirational techniques, along with a need to be- Excellent communicators across a range of media including face-to-face, email, phone, conference calls, IM and others Positive and encouraging. Culturally sensitive and flexible. Task focused and relationship oriented. Comfortable and skilled at identifying and handling conflict. 23 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  25. 25. THE NEW VIRTUAL LEADER As a leader in a virtual working environment you need to be extra proactive in your communications to make sure everyone understands what is expected. It’s critical that VT leaders understand that how they communicate may be different to members of their team leading to confusion and misinterpretations. Therefore, the communication lines on a VT must be opened up especially wide. Additionally virtual team leaders need to be sensitive to other signals, because behaviour of team members is less visible. “It is difficult to interpret delays, unreturned calls, hesitancies. Mole hills become mountains, oversights look like insults” -O’Hara-Deveraux & Johansen WORKING FROM HOME PRACTICAL EXERCISE Q: What are you finding positive about working from home? 24 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  26. 26. AND JUST A REMINDER Key skills required of a virtual leader are the ability to communicate effectively so ….. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate FACE-to–FACE PHONE IM EMAILL 25 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  27. 27. COMMUNICATION PRACTICAL EXERCISES Q: What location are you using for your scheduled face-to-face meetings? Q: What location other than head office have you considered as practical alternatives? Q: What is your most effective way of communicating with your team whilst working from home? 26 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  28. 28. TEAM COMMUNICATION Develop Clear Communication Strategies within Your Team When bringing people together from different locations or organisations, it's important to bear in mind that they may be used to very different channels of communication. If one team member used to interacting with colleagues in his own organisation over email doesn't get a response from a virtual team colleague, it's all too easy for him to make assumptions about this unresponsiveness - 'they don't care about this project or the pressures I'm under' - when it may just be the case that their colleague doesn't have access to email for days at a time or has not alerted the team to unavailability due to site visits, illness or vacation leave. To avoid frustrations and delays, get all team members to share information about their access to and preferred use of various communication tools with one another. Produce a document summarising: Contact details for all team members Who has access to what communication tools and for how often Preferred means of contact for each person for the group as a whole Any issues that will make it difficult for any individual to adopt new communication methods - such as lack of access to email or different time zones Establish clear reporting channels and set conference calls and monthly meeting times in advance so that all team members are aware of their commitments and kept informed of the team's progress Become adaptable to new ways of communicating 27 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  29. 29. Tips to ease communication problems for team members: Allow the team members to get to know you and each other by arranging occasional face-to-face meetings. Allow team members to get an idea of where the overall project is going. This way each member knows how he or she fit into the project. Create a code of conduct. This avoids delays and will make sure requests are answered in a timely fashion. Do not allow team members to disappear. Have a calendar for each team member so that everyone's schedule is available to view. Develop trust among the team. Store charts, diagrams, etc. on the internet so that the whole team can see them. Create a 'face book’, which includes information about background, interests, and helps team members get to know each other better. Individuals choose the information to share. Connections and trust are built through relationships 28 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  30. 30. MOTIVATION Motivation is a complex area. It's different for each person. Motivational receptiveness and potential in everyone changes from day to day, from situation to situation. Get the alignment and values right, and motivational methods work better. Motivational methods of any sort will not work if people and organisation are not aligned. People are motivated towards something they can relate to and something they can believe in. Alderfer’s Theory An individual, whose job fails to offer opportunities for growth or self-development, may seek to compensate for this by placing a greater emphasis on relationships or indeed on the money that the workplace may provide. 29 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  31. 31. Values Exercise Values are who we are – they are what motivates us and what we aspire to. Most people are so caught up in the busy whirl of their life that they don’t realize how little time and attention they give to the things that are truly important to them. And yet the things that are really important to you don’t actually require you to ‘get motivated’ – they feel natural and effortless. An individual, committed to and applying values releases fresh energies, which always attract success, achievement, and well-being. Likewise, when companies adopt values, individuals working at the organization become energised, as do its customers, its products and services, and everyone and everything else associated with that organisation The purpose of this exercise is simply to remind or educate you of the values that are most important to you around your work. Once you know your values, you are better positioned to align your goals and aspirations. Step 1 – Identify the value that motivate you Draw up a list and don’t worry about the names you attach to your values. Common values are independence, flexibility, security, respect, a sense of growth, a feeling of contribution. If you find you’re identifying benefits such as money, consider what actual benefits you derive from these tangible things e.g., money may give you security or indeed a better lifestyle Step 2 – Start Prioritizing Now that you have your list completed start prioritizing until you know for certain what your top three values are. Step 3 – Define your values Now that you have your top three you can start to define precisely what your values mean to you in the way you live your life and within the work context. 30 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  32. 32. Day-to-Day Motivation To stay motivated on a day-to-day basis the best way to do this is to organise your life on a weekly basis. You can still adapt and prioritise on a daily basis but the fundamental thrust is organising the week on both a productivity and personal level. PERSONAL MOTIVATION PRACTICAL EXERCISE Q: List the ways you are staying motivated when working from home 31 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  33. 33. Make motivation easy ….. Break it Down To stay on top of motivation it’s widely suggested you break it down as follows:- 1. Productivity Make a list of things to do at the end of each work day for the following day Before you leave your workspace, set yourself up to make a smooth transition into work for the next morning. Start your day by reviewing your list. Tackle a few quick and easy things to get the motor running. Break large projects into small steps. 2. Personal Discuss your goals, problems, and frustrations with colleagues or your partner. Don't isolate yourself when you're working from home. Review your accomplishments regularly. And remember when you're working at home it's up to you to savour how far you've come and how much you've done! 32 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  34. 34. Creating Effective Routines We are all different and have routines that will evolve over time that suits us best. Finding ways to maintain or increase productivity when you're working from home involves experimenting with different activities and schedules until you're successful. Ask amongst your colleagues what works for them. Try it out, tweak it, or throw it aside for something else that works better for you. Keep in mind when developing your routine that you include time for lunch and coffee breaks and when you have fixed on a routine that works for you stick to it. HOME WORKING ROUTINE PRACTICAL EXERCISE Q: Have you established an effective routine when working from home? If so, list them below When you're working from home, remember routine is key! 33 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  35. 35. TEAM MOTIVATION Amongst others, it is vital to respect your employees, to communicate with them, to champion them, offer opportunities for growth and development, in short, to make them part of the organisation. TEAM MOTIVATION PRACTICAL EXERCISE Q: What programme(s) have you put in place to keep your team motivated? “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.” - Attributed to Anais Nin, French-born American writer, 1903-1977. 34 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  36. 36. How to Influence the Motivation of your Team Know and share the 'primary aim' of your company Your team may be more motivated if they understand the primary aim of your business. Ask questions to establish how clear they are about your company's principles, priorities, and mission. Understand what it is that really motivates your team As we’ve seen before it is often assumed that the same things motivate all people when in fact we are motivated by a whole range of factors. Ask questions of your team and find out what really motivates them including learning about their values. Are they motivated by financial rewards, status, praise and acknowledgment, competition, job security, public recognition, fear, perfectionism, results etc? Discover how/if recent changes in the company have affected motivation Has the recent changes had an effect on team motivation? Collect information from your team about their fears, thoughts, and concerns relating to the changes. Even if they are unfounded, treat them with respect and honesty. Determine the patterns of motivation in your company Who is most motivated and why? What lessons can you learn from patches of high and low motivation in your company? How can you increase the highs, reduce the lows, and for the majority, deliver effectiveness and efficiencies within your team. 35 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  37. 37. How to Influence the Motivation of your Team Know how your team feels about the company Do they feel safe, loyal, valued and taken care of? Alternatively, do they feel taken advantage of, dispensable and invisible? Ask them what would improve their loyalty and commitment. Do all possible to have the team feel involved in company development Are their opinions, suggestions listened to and heard? Are opinions taken seriously? Are there regular opportunities for them to give feedback? 36 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  38. 38. SUMMARY Getting it right – Characteristics of Effective Virtual Teams A characteristic among high-performance virtual teams is a strong element of shared leadership. Successful virtual teams require more than one strong leader because of the high levels of interdependence. Often there is a need for task leadership that requires expertise in specific activities and processes. Social leadership emerges in discussion or activities that involve interactions centred on feelings, status, and satisfaction. And yet again it has to be emphasised there is also the critical component underlying all successful virtual teams and that is trust. Trust that the appropriate members have been assigned to the team to get the work done, trust that you will have timely access to accurate information, trust that a clear reporting structure will exist, etc. “To successfully build a global virtual team, one must first overcome the challenges imposed by geographical, cultural, and time zone differences.” -Jia Osiel, Manager of Language Services, McDonald's Corporation 37 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  39. 39. Characteristics of Effective Virtual Teams …THE WAY FORWARD TRUST FREQUENT COMMUNICATION BALANCED GOALS ROLE FLEXIBILITY AND EMPOWERMENT VISION CLARITY TECHNICAL EXPERTISE AVOIDING ASSUMPTIONS TRAINING CONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE MONITORING 38 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  40. 40. Irish people embrace home working 10-Dec-2007 by Emmet Ryan http://www.enn.ie A new survey by BT Ireland claims that 30 percent of Irish people work from home, far higher than has been found by previous research. The figures compiled by BT Ireland are based on a sample of 300 people. They differ from previously released figures from the Central Statistics Office, which found that in 2006 around 40,000 people in Ireland worked from home. The survey, conducted for the RTE series About The House, found that 44 percent of Dubliners work from home either full-time, often or sometimes. The report claimed that 34 percent of people in Limerick work from home, while 32 percent of Corkonians are home workers. The survey, conducted for the RTE series About The House, found that 44 percent of Dubliners work from home either full-time, often or sometimes. The report claimed that 34 percent of people in Limerick work from home, while 32 percent of Corkonians are home workers. "We did the survey as part of our sponsorship of About The House. We decided to see what people think about working from home," Emer Kennedy, BT Ireland's director of Consumer Services, told ENN. Kennedy said employers need to change this attitude to see the benefits homeworking can present themselves and the environment. "You usually get a lot happier employees when they are permitted to work from home. It makes it easier to accommodate their lifestyle," she said. "It also contributes to having less people on the road." Environmental issues are a concern to Irish people according to the survey which found that 64 percent of Irish people consider themselves to be aware of environmental issues and their personal carbon footprint. Just over a fifth said they are taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint, while 72 percent of respondents said they believe it is important to make their homes as environmentally friendly as possible. "This latest research is very encouraging and demonstrates that Irish people are becoming increasingly environmentally aware and adapting their lifestyles to reflect this change in attitude," said Kennedy. 39 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008
  41. 41. References Books: Davis, D.D. (2004). The Tao of Leadership in Virtual Teams. Organizational Dynamics, Websites Accessed: http://218.22.0.27/lwk/Q055.HTML http://www.acm.org/crossroads/xrds4-1/organ.html http://www.aslangroup.net/TrustandVirtual.htm http://www.builderau.com.au/strategy/projectmanagement/soa/Communication-tips-for-a- virtual-dev-team/0,339028292,320275436,00.htm http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2007/tc20070212_457307.htm http://www.effectivemeetings.com/technology/virtualteam/mci10.asp http://www.enn.ie http://www.gurusoftware.com/GuruNet/Personal/Topics/Values.htm http://www.knowab.co.uk/wbwtrust.html http://www.microsoft.com/midsizebusiness/businessvalue/virtual-manager.mspx http://www.microsoft.com/uk/smallbusiness/growing/technology-in-business/working- together/virtual-working.mspx http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2003/10/14/20843/how-to.-work-virtually.html http://www.silicon.com/ http://www.seanet.com/~daveg/ltv.htm http://www.to-done.com/2005/08/how-to-be-productive-working-from-home http://www.web-conferencing-zone.com/conflict-virtual-team.htm http://www.workteams.unt.edu/literature/paper-ccantu.html 40 Carole Smith www.typedynamics.ie Tel + 353 85 778 5615 Jan 2008

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