Area A: Activities/Resources to help the team to get to know each other
What’s outside your window? – As I wrote in Effective Virtual Conversations, we often only see people in their screen but aren’t able to see what’s beyond the screen. Have people share what’s outside their window or call in from a different location so you can learn more about their context.
Earmark 3-5 minutes to a fun opener/icebreaker in your next team meeting so people can get to know each other better.
Area B: Tools to help with focus
Minimizing the impact of digital distraction is a key issue for teams today. See what I had to say about reducing digital distractions a short while ago here at the Teams365 blog.
Several different tools which help team members focus in the virtual space include the:
- Urgent/Important Matrix
- Strategic Issues Mapping (link to past Teams365 posts)
- SWOT: The trusty strategic planning tool (link to past Teams365 post )
Area C: Helping teams connect
Helping teams connect with who is who and who is working on what is of critical importance to a remote team. IT’s an area we often don’t think about on the surface, sometimes given the diversity of roles and locations. IT can be very useful in the medium and long term to facilitate regular conversations with the team around who is doing what, and to also earmark time for the team to regularly connect and get to know each other. Discussion in this area might include:
- Undertaking inventory of projects people are working on so that lessons learned can be shared.
- Identifying key strengths and experience bases which exist in the team – there may even be a “go to” team resource person around different areas – i.e. technology questions, resource around different themes/focus areas you work on etc.
- Short team openers and closers such as BINGO. (with team members asked to find someone who – insert different categories like – has visited 3 different continents, speaks multiple languages, is a twin etc.)
For more on this topic check out the 20 Focus Areas for Virtual and Remote Team Development ebook which is available at the Potentials Realized site and provides you with facilitated instructions of 20 different activities you can facilitate with your team. Pick up a copy here.
If you have a copy of the Effective Virtual Conversations book, check out chapter 7 on Tools and Resources.
Have a great Wednesday,
Leadership | Teamwork | Business Success
Author of multiple books including Effective Virtual Conversations (2017), PlanDoTrack (2019) and From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching (2013)
Follow along with the #90DaysPlanDoTrack series over at Instagram @CoachingBizBuilder
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For those looking for tips, tools and ideas about remote work and support for your remote teams, be sure to check out these tags and resources.