Guided Insights

Planning and Running Engaging Virtual Meetings

Purpose: Accelerate time to results through productive conversations, whether face-to-face, virtual or a combination Intended results: Virtual meetings achieve or exceed intended outcomes Objectives and expectations are clear at the outset Participants come prepared and ready to contribute Important issues are acknowledged and addressed Vital output is captured and available for immediate use People are …

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Essential Skills for Leading High-Performance Virtual Teams and Exceptional Virtual Meetings

Purpose: Learn and practice skills, tips and tools to master the virtual workplace Intended results: Team leaders can influence without authority, motivate and galvanize a virtual team for top performance Blend asynchronous and synchronous communication tools to get the most out of any virtual team Design and facilitate virtual  meetings that are well-run, focused, and …

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Leading remote teams: Influencing without authority

Q: A middle-manager for a large global corporation tells us: I’ve been asked to lead a highly-visible project that requires extraordinary cooperation from team members across all functions and many regions. Trouble is, I don’t know any of them well, and I have no direct authority over their work. To be honest, I question how …

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Hello, Goodbye: Maintaining momentum when team members come and go

  Let’s face it: No project lasts forever, and no team will live on indefinitely without some change in membership. As more organizations pull together ad hoc teams to get important work done, membership is likely to ebb and flow as certain skills and experience are most needed, even when the life of the team …

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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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Real-time conversations crucial for networking in a virtual world

By Nancy Settle-Murphy, Guided Insights and Patti Anklam, Hutchinson Associates This issue of Communiqué focuses on planning and facilitating conversations most likely to help you cultivate mutually-rewarding relationships. We also discuss ways to follow up to keep both parties engaged and interested in moving forward together. In this issue, we refer primarily to voice-to-voice conversations, …

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Ten must-know email tips for teams to make an impact and get results

By Nancy Settle-Murphy, Guided Insights and Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts, Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts & Associates Are you having trouble keeping up with the fusillade of emails your team members churn out each day? Are you wondering why team members don’t respond to your messages or if they even read them? Email is the cornerstone of communications for most …

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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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Get and Give What You Bargained for With Clear Agreements That Make Sense

Setting false deadlines has become as chronic as breaking them, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Managers might get away with this practice once or twice, but when team members finally catch on, chances are they won’t fall for it again. And worse, they’re more likely to ignore authentic deadlines when …

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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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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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Mentoring From Afar – Go the Distance To Grow Top Talent

Your organization is lucky to have retained some extraordinary talent despite the best efforts of your top competitors to lure them away. Among these key employees are a few dozen freshly minted MBAs and several mid-level managers who have been hand- picked to take on senior positions once the current crop of baby boomer executives …

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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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Drive Out Distractions and Reclaim Your Time

As I write this month’s Communiqué, I’m completely focused on my topic. I can get this written in about an hour, if no one interrupts me. An email flashes on my screen. What if it’s really important? Twenty-five minutes later (okay, so I read a few emails and replied to three of them); I’m ready …

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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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Coalescing a New Team – Creating Ties That Bind

Maybe you’ve inherited new team members from another group within your company as a result of recent reorganization. Or perhaps your company has merged with another, giving you a whole new group to manage. Whatever the reason, you need to pull a new team together, including people who have been working together all along and …

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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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Improve Performance in Troubled Times through Distance Learning

Face it: Even the healthiest companies must make dramatic reductions in staff and overall spending to remain viable in what may be the worst economy most of us will see in our lifetimes. As staff is cut, more is asked of those who remain. Most times, these additional responsibilities call for new skills. Yet with …

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Cultivating Trust from Afar in Tough Times

Today’s astonishing economic situation affects virtually every working individual around the globe. As organizations are forced to make drastic cuts and other difficult changes to remain viable, the need for competent, credible, trustworthy leaders has never been greater. At the same time, the very nature of our global economic collapse has bred deep distrust for …

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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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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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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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Magic Numbers for Successful Teamwork

People often ask me: What’s the ideal number of people to have on any given team to produce the best results? My answer: It depends. Several factors go into coming up with that magic number, such as: Clarity of goals and objectives, time available to get it right, ability of participants to work face-to-face versus …

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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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