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Why is My Team Failing? (By Christine Loch)


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The prevalence of virtual-based teams have increased significantly within recent decades as a result of expanding corporate globalization. This rapid growth has exacerbated communication issues within the global virtual team setting. Issues related to poor work-life balance due to variance in work time zones, poor dissemination of team decisions and discussions, and insufficient use of collaborative tools, are common issues within the global diverse virtual team. Challenges exist even in virtual teams that are based in a single region, as differences in functional backgrounds and departmental cultures create challenges which are difficult to address within their virtual setting. Although interdependent constructs appear to be straight-forward and clear, the challenges teams face in accomplishing a shared goal is complex. Research in the area of team dynamics has provided support and guidance on improving interpersonal relationships, communications, and planning; thereby, enhancing team efficiencies. This presentation will review emotional intelligence (EI) and how it relates to the current team efficacy research. The related attributes and challenges at the individual, team, leadership, and organizational level will be reviewed with a focus on enabling the virtual-based team to succeed.

With over 16 years of experience as a virtual team member, Christine Loch brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the science of team dynamics. She is currently completing her PhD in organizational leadership at Northeastern University, Boston MA, with a research focus on team dynamics in the virtual-setting. As a past presenter at the national Drug Information Association Conference, and several times a presenter at the national Oncology Nursing Society Congress, Christine brings an engaging presence on this captivating topic, which will leave the audience with at least one new pearl of wisdom to try out on their own virtual-based teams at home.

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Why is My Team Failing? (By Christine Loch)

  1. 1. Why is My Team Failing Christine Loch Senior Medical Writer PRA Health Sciences Society for Technical Communication Conduit : STC-PMC Mid-Atlantic TechComm Conference Willow Grove, PA April 7, 2018
  2. 2. Agenda  The Anatomy of Conflict  A Cultural View of Conflict  Trust  Bringing Your Best Self to the Table  Your Turn: Applying the Theories
  3. 3. Anatomy of Conflict
  4. 4. TEAM MEETING Anatomy of Conflict: Baggage
  5. 5. SOCIAL NORMS FAMILY HISTORY Anatomy of Conflict
  6. 6. NORMS EXPECTATIONS CULTURE Anatomy of Conflict: Communications & Positionality
  7. 7. Anatomy of Conflict: Communications & Positionality
  8. 8. Anatomy of Conflict
  9. 9.  “…a process whereby one party perceives that their interests are being opposed by another party…”(Iorio & Taylor, 2014).  Complicated by….  Positionality  Emotions Anatomy of Conflict (Iorio and Taylor, 2014; Wickramasinge and Nandula, 2015)
  10. 10. Anatomy of Conflict  Disruptive  Reducing overall team performance  Strained relationships  Enhanced creativity  Lead to innovative problem-solving,  More complete shared understandings across a team (Iorio and Taylor, 2014; Wickramasinge and Nandula, 2015)
  11. 11. Anatomy of Conflict: Structural Balance Theory (Wallace, Heath, and Singh, 2013; Wickramasinghe and Nandula, 2015; Huang, 2016; Meyer, Bond-Barnard, Steyn, and Jordann, 2016) GOOD BAD
  12. 12. The Anatomy of Conflict: Maladaptive Cycle Conflicting Views Discomfort Avoidance Communication Breakdown Misconceptions (Wickramasinghe and Nandula, 2015; Huang, 2016; Meyer, Bond-Barnard, Steyn, and Jordann, 2016)
  13. 13. High Other Concern Low Other Concern High Self-Concern Collaborate Compete Low Self-Concern Accommodate Avoid Compromise The Anatomy of Conflict: Dual Concern Theory (Martinez-Moreno, Zornoza, Orengo, Thompson, 2015)
  14. 14. The Anatomy of Conflict: Causes (Huang, 2016; Wickramasinghe and Nandula, 2015; Wallace, Heath, and Singh, 2013) personality Tasks Processes
  15. 15. (Lencioni, 2001) The Anatomy of Conflict
  16. 16. The Anatomy of Conflict: Beware of the False Resolution (Martinez-Moreno, et al., 2015; Huang, 2016)
  17. 17. A Cultural View of Conflict
  18. 18. (Huang, 2016) A Cultural View of Conflict Western Cultures • Competitive • Individual Focused Eastern Cultures • Avoid; Resolve Quickly • Team Focused
  19. 19. Russians may disagree just for lively discussion. Brazilians, Mexicans, and Saudi Arabians may avoid disagreements. The Danish, German, and Dutch may prefer conflict when approached in a calm and factual manner. (Meyer, 2015) A Cultural View of Conflict
  20. 20. (Meyer, 2015) A Cultural View of Conflict
  21. 21. Trust
  22. 22. Trust Clarity in Roles and Responsibilities Social Connections Common Goals TRUS T Distributed Leadership
  23. 23. Trust  Be Vulnerable  Seek clarity  Seek support  Be Supportive  Compliment  Praise  Ask open ended questions  Seek input from around the room/call  Share the Load  Shared decision making  Create Social Connections  Pre/post meeting chats TRUST
  24. 24. Bringing Your Best Self to the Table
  25. 25. • Emotional Intelligence • Active Listening • Shared Space • Transforming Power Bringing Your Best Self to The Table
  26. 26. (Bradberry, and Greaves, 2009) Bringing Your Best Self to The Table Can I identify and control my internal emotions? What emotions am I perceiving from others?
  27. 27. Emotional Intelligence is not a transformation to sainthood (Bradberry & Greaves,, 2009) It is….. - Reflect on your reactions - Seek to understand your reactions - Make appropriate changes Bringing Your Best Self to The Table
  28. 28. Bringing Your Best Self to The Table
  29. 29. 1. Affirm One Another 2. Give Each Person Space 3. Don’t Interrupt 4. Only Volunteer Yourself 5. “I” Statements 6. Respectfully Listen 7. Be Open (AVP, 2002) Active Listening Applying the Theories Assumptions
  30. 30. AUDIO Tonology Volume Pace Pressure When We Speak Terminology Clarity VISUAL Body Language Facial Expression Dress Where and When We Sit The Handshake Bringing Your Best Self to The Table
  31. 31. (AVP, 2002) My Idea My Idea My Idea My IdeaMy Idea My Idea My Idea My Idea Ignoring Bringing Your Best Self to The Table Shared Space Psychologically Safe
  32. 32. 1. Search for Common Ground 2. Reach for What is Good in Others 3. Listen Before Making Judgements 4. Seek Truth, Disregard Assumptions 5. Use Surprise and Humor 6. Follow Your Gut, Your Inner Sense of When and How to Act 7. Build Community Based on Respect and Truth (AVP, 2002) Transforming Power Bringing Your Best Self to The Table
  33. 33. Applying the Theories
  34. 34. Now, Let’s Talk
  35. 35. References AVP (2002). AVP manual basic course. St Paul, Minnasota: AVP USA. Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. San Diego, CA: Talent Smart. Huang, L. (2016). Interpersonal harmony and conflict for Chinese people: a yin-yang perspective. Frontier Psychology . 7: 1-14. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00847 Iorio, J., Taylor, J. E. (2014). Boundary object efficacy: the mediating role of boundary objects on task conflicts in global virtual project networks. International Journal of Project Management. 32:7-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2013.04.001 Lencioni, P. (2001). The five dysfunctions of a team. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass. Martinez-Moreno, E., Zornoza, A., Orengo, V., Thompson, L. F., (2015). The effects of team self-guided training on conflict management in virtual teams. Group Decision and Negotiation Journal. 24:905-923. doi: 10.1007/s10726-014-9421-7 Meyer, E. (2015) Getting to si, ja, oui, hai, and da. Harvard Business Review.74–80. Retrieved from Meyer, I.P., Bond-Barnard, T.J., Steyn, H., Jordaan, J. (2016) Exploring the use of computer-mediated video communication in engineering projects in south africa. South African Journal of Industrial Engineering. 27 (2):60-71. doi: 10.7166/27-2-1298. Wallace, S., Heath, D., Singh, R. (2013). Structural stability and virtual team conflict. 2013 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. doi: 10.1109/HICSS>2013.501 Wickramasinghe, V., Nandula, S. (2015). Diversity in team composition, relationship conflict and team leader support on globally distributed virtual software development team performance. Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal. 8(2/3); doi: 10.1108/SO-02-2015-0007