Guided Insights

Make Better Decisions with Less Pain, Virtually

People across the organization are counting on your team to meet an absurd deadline that you reluctantly agreed to. It’s become apparent over the last day or two that you made a promise that you simply cannot keep. You’ve called an all-hands meeting with your virtual  team to make a critical decision: Do you let …

Make Better Decisions with Less Pain, Virtually Read More »

Virtual Meeting Makeover – From Pretty Good to Simply Great with a Few Simple Changes

When people engage me to help “fix” their virtual meetings, they’re usually in pretty dire straits. Not so with Rick Friedrich, Director of Sales in the Americas and General Manager North America for Jiffy Products, who invited me to help him make his virtual team meetings even better. To do this, I sat in on …

Virtual Meeting Makeover – From Pretty Good to Simply Great with a Few Simple Changes Read More »

Tackling Tough Issues Remotely, When Your Boss is the Problem

We hear a lot about how virtual leaders can deal effectively with workplace conflicts and performance problems. (In fact, many people have written books on the topic, including me!) But we don’t hear nearly as much about how to confront tough issues from the remote worker’s point of view. And that’s precisely what Sue Shellenbarger, …

Tackling Tough Issues Remotely, When Your Boss is the Problem Read More »

The Impossibility of Designing a “Perfect” Virtual Meeting in a Multicultural World

When I run my “Leading Engaging Virtual Meetings” workshops, I can’t always tell when certain concepts resonate with participants. That’s because most of the time I deliver my workshops virtually. Last week, however, I delivered my workshop in person to more than 100 savvy marketing consultants and analysts from more than 25 countries around the …

The Impossibility of Designing a “Perfect” Virtual Meeting in a Multicultural World Read More »

Great Gift Ideas Everyone on your Team Will Appreciate Now, and Later

For many of us, the month of December evokes the spirit of giving more than any other time of the year. Not to say we’re not generous of spirit all year round, but it’s typically during the holiday season that we are most likely to affirm appreciation for team members. Finding the right gifts for …

Great Gift Ideas Everyone on your Team Will Appreciate Now, and Later Read More »

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 …

How Timeshifting Truly Transformed a Top-Performing Virtual Team Read More »

Managing Performance from Afar Made Easier: 10 Tips for a Happier Outcome

It can be awkward to give someone tough feedback when they’re miles away. And that’s the least of it. Without visual cues, the delivery of even the most well-meaning and thoughtful performance feedback can have the opposite effect. It can damage relationships, erode trust, sap motivation, and in reality, it can actually weaken performance, instead …

Managing Performance from Afar Made Easier: 10 Tips for a Happier Outcome Read More »

It’s What People Aren’t Saying That Leaders Most Need to Hear

We’ve seen many leaders win promotions simply because they excel at managing upwards. You know the type: They grab the plum projects for themselves, doling out the routine work to others. Since they want to demonstrate their effectiveness to their managers, they pressure team members to achieve performance targets at any cost. They spend little …

It’s What People Aren’t Saying That Leaders Most Need to Hear Read More »

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 …

Turn 9 Common Virtual Meeting Misconceptions Inside Out Read More »

Flip Your (Virtual) Meetings – Learning from Our Best Teachers

To stave off boredom and stimulate learning that lasts longer than a class period, my kids’ teachers are experimenting with “flipped classrooms.” Rather than lecturing at kids with a bunch of PowerPoints during the precious classroom time, the teachers assign the content in advance, usually by having the kids view content online, whether in the …

Flip Your (Virtual) Meetings – Learning from Our Best Teachers Read More »

Making Virtual Meetings Come Alive: It’s Everyone’s Job!

Some topics are just way too important to relegate to a virtual meeting. You can’t have critical conversations if you’re not eye-to-eye. If you need to make real progress, you’ve got to sit down together, roll up your sleeves and just get it done. If any of these statements ring true, then this edition of Communiqué …

Making Virtual Meetings Come Alive: It’s Everyone’s Job! Read More »

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 …

Breaking the Wall of Silence in a Virtual World Read More »

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 …

8 Ways to Stop Interruptions from Derailing Your Next Virtual Meeting Read More »

Don’t Leave Remote Participants Hanging: 8 Tips for a Meeting of Equals

Let’s face it: It’s almost impossible to make remote callers feel like they’re on equal footing with people who are gathered in the conference room for the big meeting. But with some thoughtful planning, you can come pretty close. I felt compelled to write this  Communiqué after a dismal experience I had recently as a remote …

Don’t Leave Remote Participants Hanging: 8 Tips for a Meeting of Equals Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

Stop Playing Favorites for a Stronger (Virtual) Team Read More »

10 Tips for Overcoming Facilitation Fears

If you’d rather walk through fire than facilitate a virtual meeting, you’re not alone! (Come to think of it, leading virtual meetings can actually feel a bit like walking through fire!) Whether you’re a project leader, group manager, subject manager expert, or individual contributor, sooner or later, you’ll lead a meeting where some or all participants are …

10 Tips for Overcoming Facilitation Fears Read More »

The Real Costs of Persistent Multitasking: 9 Tips to Minimize Damage

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who can’t concentrate when people around me tap away on their tablets as though no one else at the meeting notices. Do these people even realize how distracting and disrespectful their behavior can be? Or do they just not notice or care? Or maybe I just don’t …

The Real Costs of Persistent Multitasking: 9 Tips to Minimize Damage Read More »

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 …

8 Steps for Facilitating Constructive Conflict, Virtually Read More »

Taking the Pain Out of Consensus-Building in Virtual Meetings

“I assume that everyone is good with this proposal, since I don’t hear anyone opposed, right? Okay, next topic!”  Ah, but if this project manager could only see the body language of the people sitting around that virtual table, she would know that many people are most definitely not good with that proposal! In fact, …

Taking the Pain Out of Consensus-Building in Virtual Meetings Read More »

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 …

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

To Keep People Focused, Insist That They Multitask

Are you put off when people tune out during your virtual meetings? I know I am! After all, my clients hire me to run virtual meetings that keep people focused and on track. (And I teach this effective virtual meeting stuff, too!) So when people drift away during my meetings, I realize I need to …

To Keep People Focused, Insist That They Multitask Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

Planning and Running Engaging Virtual Meetings Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

Leading remote teams: Influencing without authority Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

Eight essential ground rules for great remote meetings Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

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

SUBSCRIBE TO COMMUNIQUÉ – FREE EZINE

Sign Up Today to Get Free Tips for Creating a Level Playing Field Across Your Virtual, Hybrid Team