Today I wanted to explore three different ways you might support your team in identifying their own virtual team culture.
As a reminder, team culture usually points to three things - who we are, how do we do things and what is important to us.
Here’s a quick listing of different activities you might consider incorporating:
Who we are:
Virtual teams which excel know each other. They have strong relationships across the team, which allows them to call on others, and “have each others’ backs”. To strengthen your connection, consider these activities:
Have the team create a list of words/adjectives which describe who you are. Shape these into a word cloud which can be visible to the team.
Discuss the question “Who are we when we are at our best?”. Again, use the words to create a graphic about who you are.
At your next team meeting, have each person share one thing others may not know about them.
At your next team meeting, have each person share something that is unique to their location (this works especially well if you have a global team).
In your next meeting, share your screen which includes a variety of photos or icons. Have each person select the photo or icon which represents what they bring to the team.
How we do things:
Each team will have its own unique practices and ways of doing things. This will vary from team to team. Spending time discussing how you do things, and what the expectations are, creates clarity and builds trust, boosting both performance and results.
To explore this topic further consider:
Discussing “how we do things” (communicate, make decisions, work across differences, address conflict) can be a series of different discussions and activities. It might include a Rules of the Road which everyone has signed off on.
What makes you unique and distinct in terms of how you do things?
Another tool is to look at the IS/IS NOT table. This can include it is, it is not…
What is important to us:
Clarity around priorities and goals for the entire team helps with alignment, prioritization and decision making. Spending time on a regular basis discussing what is important to us may also involve:
A list visible to the entire team (ie. Think Intranet or other post on)
- Top 5 Goals for the month
- Top 5 Priorities for the week
- Top 5 Priorities for the quarter
- Enshrining your Team Agreements or Ways of Working into something that is visible. Some teams have enshrined this into a plaque, a screen saver or other.
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), PlanDoTrack (2018) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
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