Last week we explored the topic of Emotional Intelligence, of which relationship management is one important component.
Building relationships virtually is a key priority for virtual team members, perhaps to an even greater extent. In the in person realm, people are very close in proximity and spending time with peers and other co-workers is an every day occurrence. In the virtual space we need to be more intentional in building relationships. Business still occurs through relationships, whether you are virtual, work remote or work beside someone else.
What can we do to support the ongoing development of relationships? Here are two ideas for your virtual team.
#1 - Relationship Mapping (Individual)
When people start their role, help them map out the different contact people they may work with. With a map in hand (global for global teams, regional for smaller remote teams) walk people through who some of their main contacts will be. In a face-to-face environment we may distinguish between internal and external stakeholders. In the virtual space we want to do that as well, although building relationships with people you are in contact with internally and externally may feel somewhat the same due to lack of proximity. Virtual team leaders will want to help team members map out key relationships they will want to foster.
#2 - Relationship Mapping (Team)
On a team level you can map out key relationships (internally and externally). Have discussion around what you notice about what is important about these relationships. Also flag issues which need attention. Having a visual map can be useful to contextualize your work, as well as provide an overview for the team, and key conversations you are having.
Enjoy your mapping!
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