#WFH: Virtual Teams? Ask a Few Questions
1. Do you have a clear definition of what your role is and what you are responsible for?
2. Is this true for everyone on the virtual team?
3. Are you providing timely feedback to your team members? Do you have feedback time boundaries?
4. Are you getting feedback in a timely manner from everyone you interact with? Do they respect your personal boundaries?
5. Are you evaluating and reevaluating the roles of the team members as you go along?
6. Have we mutually agreed upon what success looks like? How it will be measured?
7. Are you practicing FROG? Are the other people on the team?
8. Do we trust each other? Do you feel comfortable being honest?
9. Does our communication technology work? Are we keeping it simple and using it well?
10.What do our touchpoints look like? How often and what type of communication do we have with others? Do they have with us? Do they have with each other?
11. Are we including only those people who are appropriate in the meetings? Do we have an agenda? Is it meaningful? Do we follow it? Do we have enough meetings? Do we have
too many meetings? Are things being accomplished because of our meetings? How do we know? Do we have mechanisms to take action? Do we follow through with action items? How
do we measure it?
12. Are we reaching out with recognition and praise regularly? Do we celebrate victories? Even small ones? Do we have ways to recognize each other’s contributions to success?
13. Are you clear on the team’s purpose, mission, and objectives? The company’s? Is everyone else? How are they being measured?
14. Are we all aware of cultural traditions and boundaries and time boundaries, and are respectful of each other?
15. Is all this written down or documented in some way? Is it available for new team members?
16. Are you proactively building those relationships based on trust? Is there enough interactivity to really share and respect the position of the others? Does everyone feel empowered to succeed?
These are just a few questions we might want to ask when agreeing upon mutual success. The exercises at the end of the chapter will help you build your own list. What is important is that we ask the questions, develop the approaches and stay open to asking new questions and finding new answers. Once trust is lost in the virtual workplace it is difficult to reestablish. Touchpoints is all about being proactive and building points of mutual compassion and trust. Touchpoints are a proactive process that establishes the necessary communication to be successful and measures the results. When we take responsibility for ourselves and set the ground rules for others and their interactions we can create success.
Often some type of social networking site or dashboard works well. Thee are many applications that do a great job of this and are easily available. They are, however, only as good as the people that use them. Don’t get overly distracted by the technology. Instead put some thought into how and who is going to use it. How this will impact everyone on the team?
The classic example of misuse of this is the ap-plications that give the option of receiving an up-date every time anything is changed or revised. Even with a team of 5 members, let alone 25 or 125, getting emails constantly gets really old really fast. Maybe a better policy is that each team member checks the site within a 24-hour period during the expected working day. If it is that important send a direct message or call only those stakeholders that need to be at the table. The volume of communication is not what is important. We want to focus on quality not quantity. We want to have a sense of how we are touching others, how the impact of our communication is impacting their lives. It is very important that we are aware of people’s right to privacy and respect it.
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