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Group talking

This is taken from an MITSloan Management Review Article which can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RVvMoEQO_4BO80o-AR3twB737wAUCy9O

TIP 1: MATCH THE TECHNOLOGY TO THE TASK

A team’s communication tasks likewise vary in complexity, depending on the need to reconcile different viewpoints, give and receive feedback, or avoid the potential for misunderstanding. The purpose of the communication should determine the delivery mechanism.

So carefully consider your goals. Use leaner, text-based media such as email, chat, and bulletin boards when pushing information in one direction — for instance, when circulating routine information and plans, sharing ideas, and collecting simple data. Web conferencing and videoconferencing are richer, more interactive tools better suited to complex tasks such as problem-solving and negotiation, which require squaring different ideas and perspectives. 

TIP 2: MAKE INTENTIONS CLEAR

Intentions get lost in translation for several reasons:

  • People tend to be less guarded and more negative in writing. When we cannot see the response of the person receiving the message, it’s easier to say things we would not say in person. 
  • Negativity goes both ways.  People on the receiving end of written communication tend to interpret it more negatively than intended by the sender. Emotions are expressed and received mostly through nonverbal cues, which are largely missing from text-based communication.
  • People read with different lenses. In written messages, we often assume that others will focus on the things we think are important, and we overestimate the extent to which we have made our priorities clear. Unfortunately, it’s easy for critical information to get overlooked. To prevent these biases from causing problems on your team, ensure that you are crystal clear about your intentions. 

To prevent these biases from causing problems on your team, ensure that you are crystal clear about your intentions. 

TIP 3: STAY IN SYNC

When team members don’t interact face to face, the risk of losing touch and getting out of step is greater. This can happen for a number of reasons. 

First, when teams are not colocated, it’s more difficult to tell when messages have been received and read, unless receipt is specifically acknowledged.

Second, communication failures can lead to uneven distribution of information among team members. Individuals might be excluded from an important team email by mistake, 
Third, the lack of frequent in-person contact can create an out-of-sight, out-of-mind effect in which team members become distracted by local demands and emergencies and forget to keep their distant teammates informed. 

TIP 4: BE RESPONSIVE & SUPPORTIVE

Trust between teammates in the same workspace is influenced to a large extent by familiarity and liking; however, in dispersed teams, people must signal their trustworthiness by how they work with others on a task. To help develop trust on a virtual team, encourage everyone to respond promptly to requests from their teammates, take the time to provide substantive feedback, proactively suggest solutions to problems the team is facing, and maintain a positive and supportive tone in communications. 

TIP 5: BE OPEN AND INCLUSIVE

Virtual tools reduce the social cues that help team members bond, which can diminish motivation to share ideas and information. People may also hold back when they can’t directly observe teammates’ reactions to their contributions.

To reap the benefits of your virtual team’s diversity, focus on communicating as openly and inclusively as possible. Involve the whole team in important communications and decisions. Actively solicit perspectives and viewpoints from all team members.

LINK TO THE FULL ARTICLE

LINK TO THE FULL ARTICLE:

This link contains the following two documents

  1. 5  Ways to improve communication in virtual teams
  2. Leading Remotely

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RVvMoEQO_4BO80o-AR3twB737wAUCy9O?usp=sharing

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