Managing a Virtual Team

Managing Virtual Teams


 

When and how often do team members need to meet face-to-face (FTF)?

Maznevski et al found that FTF interaction is instrumental during the “forming” stages of team building, especially if team members do not know one another. However, it may also be advantegeous for team members to have completed some  initial virtual meetings before  meeting in person (team members can  then focus on task-related expertise before any potential biases are introduced, and the FTF meeting can  be used to establish team work practices).

Maznevski and Chudoba also  found that teams which have repeated  FTF meetings at predictable times/ intervals often outperform those who choose to meet as “needed”. Regular, predictible meetings promote effective time management, and enables individuals to reserve any complex/delicate issues for  in-person interactions.

What is the best technology solution for virtual teams?

Telephones and email  provide simple, reliable, and accessible communication.

How can managers coordinate work among dispersed members?

A study by Cramton  found that dispersed team members often lack a common, shared understanding. Hinds and Mortensen’s study on virtual teams also found that when people are distributed they tend to engage in relatively little of the spontaneous and informal “water-cooler” communication that promotes shared understanding and is often the vehicle for adaptation.

Managers of virtual teams must shift their teams’ work practices towards more structured coordination. Clear team-level work processes, output requirements, and group norms reduce the complexity of virtual team coordination from coordinating efforts across multiple sites to aligning one’s efforts with a single, consistent set of expectations. Second, managers must also work to support and facilitate dynamic adjustment when it’s required by promoting and encouraging informal interaction.

DavittCorporatePartners – Organisational Psychologists

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Develop Leadership in Your Organisation

Win the War for Talent

Realise Individual Potential

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Building Effective Cross-Cultural Teams

Tips for Building Successful Cross Cultural Teams

Increase awareness of the challenges faced by team members from other cultures                                                                 

Individuals working as part of a multicultural team need to become aware, and understand the challenges which are often faced by team members from the non-dominant culture. This ranges from – appreciating the psychological challenges people can face to learning to interpret behavior from outside ones own cultural perspective.

Make explicit team norms                                                                                                                                                            

It is important for multicultural teams to explicitly discuss standards and expectations for effective communication within the team. Team members need to recognize that other  individuals on the team might be at risk for challenges in meeting these standards, based on their cultural upbringing, professional experience, and personality.

Work hard to create a psychologically safe and inclusive team environment                                                                                         

It is important to create anatmosphere within the team that is “psychologically safe.” Individuals who are from the non-dominant culture can feel intense pressure and scrutiny in multicultural team settings. It is critical that all individuals work hard to create an inclusive and supportive atmosphere for all team members of the team. Without such an atmosphere, teams can lose members who may have a great deal to add, but who struggle with the language and cultural norms.

Dedicate time and resources to skill building                                                                                                                                                            

Many multinational teams in today’s business environment have a culture that is essentially Western, and a language that is English. This creates problems for individuals who may lack the skills to be fully-participative members. Find a way to build and enhance your team members’ language and cultural skills.

To learn more about our Leadership Development services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

Discover how DavittCorporatePartners can help you to:

Develop Leadership in Your Organisation

Win the War for Talent

Realise Individual Potential

Align Behaviour with Corporate Values

Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness


 

Mental toughness has been defined as the ability to perform at consistently high levels through times of personal and professional pressure (Jones et al.,2002)

Mentally tough individuals have ‘a high sense of self belief and an unshakable faith that they can control their own destiny, these individuals can remain relatively unaffected by competition and adversity’ (Clough et al., 2002)

 

Mental Toughness in the Workplace

Mental toughness is now considered by many as a key aspect of performance in the workplace for  building resiliance in individuals and teams, and enabling effective coaching and development. The growing interest in this concept of mental toughness as resulted from the assumptions that the characteristics underlying mental toughness are associate with increased performance and success.

Research has found that mental toughness (like emotional intelligence) is a characteristic that can be developed.  Clough et al.,  have proposed a 4C model of mental toughness to examine this concept in individuals.  The 4 Cs are:

  • Control  – the tendency to feel you are influential, and can control ones life.
  • Commitment – a tendency to involve oneself in an encounter, carry out tasks successfully despite problems, or obstacles.  
  • Challenge – the belief that life is changeable, it refers to the extent individuals see problems as opportunities rather than a threat.  
  • Confidence – a high sense of self- belief and unshakable faith concerning ones ability to achieve success.

 

To learn more about our Organisational Development services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

Discover how DavittCorporatePartners can help you to:

Develop Leadership in Your Organisation

Win the War for Talent

Realise Individual Potential

Align Behaviour with Corporate Values