The first tip I wanted to explore is the importance of knowing your people. I always found in the virtual teams I led over the years that the connection I had with each team member was critical Given that our touchpoints are often not as frequent ,it's really critical to know the strengths, preferences and nuances of each team member. Are they someone who is a big picture thinker? Do they want to receive quick emails regularly or would they prefer a bi-weekly five minute phone call?
As virtual team leaders it is even more important for us to empower our team members. We are not there beside them, and may only see each other once a year. Supporting our team members in knowing and utilizing their strengths can also be an important activity. Today as a coach working with teams - virtual and in-person- helping them explore their strengths is a key part of the work that I do. It provides tremendous insights for all team members in knowing who is who on the team, the support you may be seeking as a team leader, and the support they want and value.
As with any team environment, it is important for team members to get to know each other as well, not just you. How are you encouraging a "get to know you" - virtually or in person even if it's only once a year. The perceived connection people feel with their peers is also important in the virtual team domain.
Questions to consider:
What are the unique needs of each team member?
What do they need from you? What do you need from them? What do they need from each other?
What activities (in person or virtual) will facilitate getting to know each other, connection and understanding the business of the team?
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