Presentation at STC's annual conference in Philadelphia, June 2-4, 2008. Presented by Judy Glick-Smith and Emma Hamer. Exploring conflict styles and the conflict spiral in the context of increased remote collaboration in teams.
Introduction (Judy, Emma) Show of hands ‘ who works in a dispersed / decentralized team’? ‘ who works in a multi- or cross disciplinary team’? ‘ who here has the ‘double whammy’ work experience? Another show of hands Who spends more than 25% of their time communicating with remote co-workers? On average, how often do you feel you need to clarify – or clear up – some sort of misunderstanding? See, here’s the thing. Human beings have evolved to communicate face-to-face. We read body language, subtle changes in expression, where the other person’s eyes move, any facial twitches, and so on. We read them without being aware of it, most of the time. We have simply developed the ‘well, you just know’ attitude around it. All this comes to a screeching halt when you’re not face-to-face. Sure, video conferencing helps a little bit, but if it’s a meeting, you’re usually watching the person doing the talking – not the other people there. And squinting at a screen is not conducive to catching the subtleties of facial expressions, now is it? So can we make it work? Can we make Work – work? Yes, we believe we can – no matter how far apart you are, or how different your native cultures are. You simply need to learn how to ‘read’ the other in a different way. That’s what we’re talking about today, and feel free to jump in at any time if you have an example or an experience that either bears us out, or challenges our ideas.
Making Work Work (Final)
Moving beyond the inherent conflict of new collaboration models