Guided Insights

Get New Team Members Up To Speed Quickly

You’ve been asked to contribute your subject matter expertise as part of a team collaborating on high- stakes project. While most team members work with the client face-to-face, you and a few others work three time zones away. You’re uncomfortably aware that your work is on the critical path. Just as you’re about to turn …

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Worth a Thousand Words: Connecting Virtual Teams Through Imagery and Metaphor

Using images and metaphors can work wonders to break the ice, create a shared sense of purpose and cultivate an environment of real collaboration. But when a team is confined to connecting only through virtual means, the use of visuals as a springboard for meaningful discussion is typically limited. Not because it has to be …

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Open Communication, Mutual Respect Keys to Intergenerational Harmony

With multiple generations working side by side for several years now, much has been written about the key differences that affect the ability of multigenerational teams to collaborate successfully. Some organizations have taken this advice to heart and work to consciously reflect these differences when it comes to selecting and cultivating teams. Others have dismissed …

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Building Relationships, One Conversation at a Time

Can you build a trusting relationship when you’ve never had an actual conversation? (And no, IM, email, text, Twitter and blog “conversations” don’t count!) While it may be possible, it’s pretty unlikely. Most business conversations tend to focus on tasks and priorities, whether to review the progress of a current project, delegate actions or make …

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Seven Attributes of an Exceptional Virtual Collaborator

Just because someone works virtually doesn’t mean that person really has what it takes to collaborate successfully. In fact, many who work remotely are poorly suited to make the connections they really need to thrive. In this edition of Communiqué, we look at characteristics that make for a successful virtual collaborator, and those that may …

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Overcoming Time and Distance to Stay Connected, Engaged and Energized

In a world where what was blindly fast is now excruciatingly slow, what was private is now all-too-public, and where meaningful discussions have given way to a stream of 280-character exchanges, a feeling of disconnection has become rampant across the workplace. Despite the proliferation of devices that tether us to others at any time, from …

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Successful Virtual Collaboration Takes a Lot More Than Just the Right Tools

Your organization has finally gotten wise to the fact that employees need more than just email, a smart phone and a group website to work with their colleagues across the world, or even just down the hall. IT has just unveiled an array of exciting new collaboration tools with great fanfare, complete with training and …

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How to Tilt the Work-Life Balance in your Favor in a 24×7 World

Is achieving “work-life balance” really possible in an always-on, constantly connected world? When telecommuting and flextime were introduced, the thinking was that busy professionals could adjust their working hours to accommodate other important aspects of their lives. (“It’s great – I can coach my kids’ soccer games and then hop onto my late-night con calls.”) …

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You’d Be a Great (Virtual) Communicator If Only You Could Just Be Quiet

Quick: What’s the #1 skill successful virtual leaders must have, which is usually hardest for them to cultivate? If you said “listening,” you’d be right. Why it’s so important is pretty obvious. Virtual leaders must learn to listen for and interpret an enormous amount of information, within seconds, without benefit of body language or eye …

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From Bland and Boring to Captivating and Compelling

  Even the most experienced team leaders can make us weep with boredom. They torture us with their monotone narrations of 10-Mb slide decks. They regale us with irrelevant minutiae, while sidestepping the really important stuff. Their meetings are more like monologues, with everyone else listening from the sidelines. And for the most part, they …

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9 Ways to Get (and Stay) Virtually Connected on a New Job

So, you’re starting a new job. Or maybe you’ve just joined a team that’s taking on a new long-term project. You’re eager to hit the ground running. Naturally, you want to make a great first impression on your new manager by demonstrating your skills, knowledge, and dazzling personality. You also want to get a quick …

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Tapping the Quiet Power of Introverts in a Virtual World

Think about it: There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas. And yet, according to Susan Cain, author of the groundbreaking book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, our society is overwhelmingly biased toward extroverts. This bias is glaringly obvious in our workplace, where …

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How a Simple Storyboard Helps Command Attention and Get Results (Virtually)

Picture this: You’ve put hours of work into finalizing your recommendations for next week’s executive team meeting where the fate of your project (and perhaps your job!) will be determined. You have no more than 60 minutes to present and discuss some radical ideas about how to reallocate project resources. You’re convinced that you’ve developed …

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Nine Hidden Assumptions That Can Kill (Virtual) Collaboration

Manager: “Look, I know I said you could work from wherever you wanted, as long as you got the job done. And yes, I appreciate that you’ve arranged your entire schedule accordingly. Of course, you’re doing a great job! (Well, at least I think you are.) It’s just that the leadership around here believes that …

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Brainstorming across borders: How to stimulate creative thinking from afar

Q: A marketing manager tell us: We’re under tremendous pressure to churn out hundreds of deliverables each month. But at the same time we’re asked to come up with some really “out-of-the-box” thinking. Productive brainstorming sessions take time, something we have precious little of. And even if we had the time, our team is far-flung, …

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Nine Hidden Assumptions That Can Kill (Virtual) Collaboration

Manager: “Look, I know I said you could work from wherever you wanted, as long as you got the job done. And yes, I appreciate that you’ve arranged your entire schedule accordingly. Of course, you’re doing a great job! (Well, at least I think you are.) It’s just that the leadership around here believes that …

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Speaking the Truth Not Always Easy in a Virtual World

If I ask you if these pants make me look fat, your face seems to say that I look like a whale, despite your verbal assurance that I look just fine. I really can’t tell if you are trying to spare my feelings or avoid my wrath, or whether I really do look pretty svelte. …

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