Guided Insights

How Timeshifting Truly Transformed a Top-Performing Virtual Team

I had never met a soul who has flat-out nailed the art and science of leading really great virtual teams. Until now. Meet my friend Don Wynes, Director of Implementation Operations at ADP, who has been leading a team of seven high-performing innovation coaches for about a year, with members scattered across four time zones in …

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Turn 9 Common Virtual Meeting Misconceptions Inside Out

When people evaluate the quality of their typical virtual meetings on a scale of 1-10, the average response we get tends to hover somewhere between 3 and 4. (And that’s progress, compared to a few years ago!) After all this time, why do virtual meetings still have such a bad rap? Are they really that …

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7 Ways to Keep Stakeholders Close in a Virtual World

Maybe it’s a complete system replacement, a complicated reporting structure or a new business process. Whatever the change your organization is rolling out, dozens  (if not thousands) of lives may be upended. You know that to make sure everything goes smoothly, you must reach out to those most affected by the change. Trouble is, most …

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Breaking the Wall of Silence in a Virtual World

If you have ever led a virtual meeting, this scenario is familiar: You pose a brilliant provocative question, hoping to trigger a flurry of insightful responses. And instead, you hear….Nothing. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. (Apart from crickets, that is.) So what’s your next step? Do you ask the same question again, louder? Beg people to stop …

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8 Ways to Stop Interruptions from Derailing Your Next Virtual Meeting

Virtual meeting etiquette is universal, right? Pretty much everyone knows that it’s rude to interrupt, disrespectful to openly multitask when someone’s speaking, and inconsiderate to allow background noise to disrupt the conversation. Or do they???? In this edition of Communiqué, I explore practical steps that virtual meeting leaders can take to anticipate and effectively handle interruptions …

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10 Tips for Uber-Efficient Meetings – Making Every Minute Count

No question: We waste a lot of time in meetings when we could be getting more important work done. But sometimes there’s just no substitute for real-time conversations. Emails, instant messages and shared portals can only take you so far, especially when you’re pressured to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. How we …

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Stop Playing Favorites for a Stronger (Virtual) Team

Most sports coaches say that one of the hardest parts of their job is to coax the best from each player. But when some players are bigger, stronger or faster than their teammates, leveling the playing field becomes a lot tougher. When the pressure is on, it’s tempting to put your best players on the …

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8 Steps for Facilitating Constructive Conflict, Virtually

Your team is under pressure to make a decision that will make or break your big project. You are shocked when all of your colleagues agree to what you believe will be a disastrous decision. When you regain your powers of speech, everyone is waiting for you to weigh in. (Thankfully, no one can read …

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10 Tips for Picking the Best Tech Tools for Your Next Virtual Meeting

With so many ways to connect virtually, you’d think we’d all be experts by now. In fact, the opposite may be true: Because we have so many choices, finding the best combination of virtual collaboration tools has actually become tougher. And even when we are convinced we’ve chosen wisely, participants inevitably show up unprepared or unable to make …

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From Jaded to Jazzed: Quick Tips for Sustaining Happy, Healthy Virtual Teams

Have you ever been part of a team where you’re inspired and energized by your work, really enjoy the people, feel like you’re making some great contributions, and have meaningful opportunities to learn and grow? If you’re lucky, maybe it’s been once or twice. If you work virtually, attaining this kind of “team nirvana” is …

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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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Leading Effective Virtual Teams: Overcoming Time and Distance to Achieve Exceptional Results

Written as a series of bulleted tips drawn from my own client experiences, my book gives readers hundreds of practical tips to help strengthen the performance of virtual teams. Learn how to: Build trust and cultivate relationships, virtually, across your team Design and facilitate virtual meetings that are focused and engaging Influence without authority Motivate …

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Eight essential ground rules for great remote meetings

  Ground rules are a lot easier to enforce when you can make eye contact or use body language to keep people in line. But when you can’t see people and can’t hear what people are doing on the other end of the line, it’s much harder to keep people focused and on track. This …

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Networking in a virtual world an essential skill for success

-By Nancy Settle-Murphy, Guided Insights and Patti Anklam, Hutchinson Associates Finding the right connections to help you do your job, or to grow into the next one, requires a significant investment of time and effort even when you know all of the right players. But when you’re part of virtual organization, effective networking can be …

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Galvanize global virtual teams with clear operating principles

-By Nancy Settle-Murphy, Guided Insights and Robert Whipple, LeaderGrow, Inc. The best way to get a new team out of starting gate is to pull everyone into one room for a few days to carve out goals, hammer out differences, develop team norms, and agree on deliverables, schedules and roles. Investing in this process allows …

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Recognize and address early signs of virtual team dysfunction to avoid irrecoverable problems later

If you’re part of a virtual team, you develop a sixth sense for knowing when dysfunction has crept in. The signs are clear, even though you can’t see vital body language or hear side conversations. People start making excuses for missing the weekly con calls. Or maybe they don’t even bother to RSVP. When people …

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Mobilize Global Virtual Teams by Avoiding 8 Common Landmines

Imagine you’re heading a new global team responsible for a major company initiative. The 25 team members represent 10 countries and five continents. You need to get this team moving quickly, and you must rely on a combination of asynchronous and synchronous communication methods. Even the most seasoned international business professionals may fall into some …

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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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Cutting to the Chase: 8 Essential Steps for Faster, More Engaging Meetings

“Most meetings are poorly-planned, badly-managed and attendance is often mandatory. If you’re forced to sit though a meeting that’s running way too long and the agenda is nothing of concern to you, then using a mobile device will allow you to salvage at least a little of your productive capacity. But the real answer is …

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Six Management Practices That Don’t Cut It in a Virtual World

Do you think that just because you’re a successful manager of traditional teams that you’ll automatically be a hotshot manager in the virtual world? Maybe not. In fact, it’s often those managers who assume their leadership skills are eminently transportable to a virtual team are those who struggle the most. Why? They haven’t taken the …

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Accelerate On-the-Job Learning With (Virtual) Peer Roundtables

If you’re like many of our clients and colleagues, you work some distance away from your key colleagues. This may mean that you rarely get the chance to brainstorm ideas, share lessons learned, or explore difficult issues with your peers. With technology as an enabler, virtual roundtables can be an effective way to exchange ideas …

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Proven in Practice – Top Tips Essential to Virtual Project Team Performance

I’m always gratified when readers write to say that the latest Communiqué really hit the mark. One reader, a colleague and former client of mine, has sent me so many such mails over the last 10 years that I arranged to meet with him – virtually – to learn which tips he found the most …

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Guidelines for Great Global Team Meetings

Thanks to advances in technology, project team members scattered around multiple time zones work together as a matter of routine. However, without a keen understanding of important cultural differences that are most likely to affect collaboration, many virtual global project teams struggle to achieve their goals, or sometimes simply fall apart. In this edition of …

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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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Holding Back: A Counter-Intuitive Approach for Virtual Leaders

When they first join a new team, members tend to be energized, motivated, and eager to learn the ropes. Many take pride in finding the information and resources they need to tackle their new assignments and may need just a bit of guidance to keep moving in the right direction. After all, absorbing and applying …

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Moving to the Virtual Classroom: 8 Steps to Keep Learners Engaged

As our workforce becomes more scattered, organizations are being forced to rethink how they deliver training. While the array of solutions may vary, one trait these organizations have in common: They are scaling back or altogether eliminating classroom training in favor of distance learning. Most don’t have the experience or tools to make this move …

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Dealing with Disruptive Participants, Virtually

We’ve all suffered when the bad behavior of just one person can derail a whole meeting. Maybe it’s been the know-it-all who steamrolls over anyone who tries to speak. Or the person who folds her arms and rolls her eyes without a word. It could be the guy who has nothing good to say about …

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Designing a Distraction-Proof Virtual Meeting

We try to pay more attention during virtual meetings. We really do! But then something diverts our attention (it doesn’t take much!) and we find ourselves tuning out, despite our best intentions. It could be that a teammate just IM’d us with an urgent SOS for help. Or that our workload is too crushing to …

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Building Trust Within Virtual Teams – Small Steps Add Up

When we ask clients to name the toughest challenge associated with leading virtual teams, there is one answer that always pops to the top of the list: Building trust. Or in some cases, it’s re-building trust. Building trust is hard for any team, but it is especially hard for virtual teams, whose members have few …

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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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