Presenting at PMINL – Leading virtual teams

After my last presentation in November, the PMINL Chapter reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in presenting another session on leading virtual teams. This is a topic that I am finding a lot of people are really interested in and it was great to see such active participation from the group.

During the session, we discussed how much training we had in managing virtual teams or working virtually in the past 9 months and the overall answer was minimal which was not surprising as it aligns with the other feedback that I’ve received in the past few months. One of the main aims for me during this session was to provide tips and options for the group that they could already implement directly after the workshop (e.g. looking at their meetings, how they manage meetings as well as looking at building a strong personal connection with your teams).

Q&A:

There was a really lively Q&A by the group. Here is a summary of the some of the questions:

  • How do you achieve virtual celebrations?
    • I would look at what works best for your teams, your organisations and budget
  • How can you onboard in a new position when you’re only virtual?
    • There has to be a lot of responsibility for onboarding with the company that are doing the onboarding. I have written a blog on this topic for how to do this successfully. From an individual perspective, I would try to make sure that you can set clear expectations and have an open communication if you are needing something/or if something is not working.
  • How do you manage working with teams in different timezones? I have teams in the US and Japan and it makes my days very long
    • I have had similar in another project! I split my days with different timezones and made it clear in my calendar which timezone I was working. An example being:
      • Week 1: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday: Japan. Thursday/Friday: US East Coast
      • Week 2: Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday: US East Coast. Thursday/Friday: Japan.
    • Being very clear and strict with yourself can ensure that you’re not working extremely long days.
  • What can I do to help build a good team virtually?
    • I would strongly recommend looking at how you can build the human connection within your teams. This could be by doing virtual teambuilding exercises, spending time during your week to speak to your team and ensuring that you’re looking at the people behind the jobs that they are doing.

Conclusion:

I really feel passionately about supporting others on their journey to become better leaders and looking at the changes that they can make to build strong teams during these uncertain times. If you’d like more information or support, please feel free to reach out to me.

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