Three Characteristics of Resilience in Virtual Teams

Resilience in Virtual Teams


Successful teams – including virtual teams – all tend to display the same key characteristic: resilience. A resilient team is one that adapts to the challenges of an ever-changing business environment, overcoming setbacks and finding ways to thrive.

Virtual teams stand apart from traditional co-located ones in that geographic distance between virtual colleagues can intensify the impact of setbacks and lengthen the amount of time it takes to recover. Further, this distance can also make it easier for virtual team leads to missing crucial signs that your team lacks resilience. By the time it becomes obvious, the damage to team productivity and morale may be severe. With the right strategies in place, however, virtual teams can work together effectively and thrive when challenges arise.

So for virtual teams, what does resilience look like?


Resilient Virtual Teams Are:

  • Safe Research shows that teams with good, trusting relationships report a higher number of errors than those with less trusting, low-quality relationships. Resilient virtual teams operate in a way that empowers each member to take risks, present new ideas, and identify lessons learned without fear of judgment. By placing the focus on workflow, objective facts and the building of trusted relationships rather than personal culpability, you create a safe environment for everyone to identify, discuss and resolve setbacks and return to productivity in a connected, rational and efficient manner.
  • Informed Virtual managers should establish mechanisms to ensure that company updates,  are shared on a regular basis. Where teams have a mix of co-located and virtual members, make sure that everyone receives information at the same time. All too often, virtual employees are looped in as an afterthought, reinforcing feelings of isolation and resentment and creating us vs. them mentality that undermines trust and resilience
  • Proactive Resilient teams do not sit idly by when they identify an issue – they address and resolve them immediately. This is especially important in the virtual environment where a lack of face-to-face communication can make colleagues feel isolated and disconnected, heightening the impact of perceived problems. Virtual managers who make a point of identifying and resolving issues in cooperation with their team build trust and goodwill, two essential components of resilience.

Contact us to learn more about building resilience in your virtual team, setting your organization up for long-term, sustainable success!

You can read the updated version of the article here at Three Characteristics of Resilience in Virtual Teams


By : Virtual Teambuilders /February 07, 2019 /Uncategorized /0 Comment Read More

The Science of the Perfect Virtual Meeting

perfect virtual meeting - The Science of the Perfect Virtual Meeting

American workers spend a lot of time in meetings – an average of 6 hours per week by some estimates, with the total number of weekly meetings across the country as high as 55 million. At the same time, nearly half of all meetings are rated as “poor” by employees, meaning they walk away feeling as though their time has been wasted and little was accomplished. (Verizon)

At their worst, bad meetings make employees feel de-valued, demoralized, and isolated. This is a major concern for virtual teams, which typically spend even more time in meetings to replace the convenience of physically dropping by each other’s desk.

So virtual team managers, take note! Below are the three scientifically proven steps to hosting meetings that leave your team feeling valued, energized, and productive:

Step 1: The Science of Perfect Preparation

Over half of respondents in the Verizon survey recognize that good preparation makes for a good meeting, and it often starts with an important question: Do we even need a meeting? Issues to consider:

Issue Impact
Is there a decision to make or a problem to be solved? Make sure each meeting is worth having! Meetings that are just about sharing information can be perceived as wasteful, pulling team members away from more important tasks. – especially when an email would suffice.
Who needs to attend? Ensure that all attendees will be in a position to learn crucial information or contribute to the discussion. Those who will not do so should not be invited. This leads to a greater sense of psychological satisfaction and higher engagement.
How much time does the meeting truly need? Make the meeting as short as possible while still accomplishing the desired goals. The more time your team has to do their work, the higher their morale.
Why are we here? Share a meeting agenda and objective beforehand, providing everyone the opportunity to prepare and enter the meeting ready to work.

Step 2: The Science of Perfect Execution

Once your team has gathered, it’s time to make sure the meeting is positive, focused and on time. Especially in the virtual environment where interpersonal cues such as eye contact and body language are not available, it’s critical to ensure:

Issue  Impact
 Stay on topic Stick to the agenda! Gently bring conversation back to the topic at hand when you get sidetracked. If a related point is truly important, you can make a note to focus on and address it later.
 Positive language Model positive and collaborative language patterns to foster an open, productive dialogue. Complaining and using words like “can’t” or “impossible” will suck the energy out of any meeting – particularly virtual ones where tone and word choice are the primary communication tools.
 Know who’s attending Distribute a visual map of attendees, providing a tangible reminder of who is in the meeting and where they are so nobody feels left out or forgotten.
 Value your attendees Make sure everyone gets to participate in a way that suits their personality. For instance, a colleague who is not comfortable speaking up can share his or her thoughts over email beforehand, or in chat during the meeting, allowing them to participate while remaining in their comfort zone.


Step 3: The Science of Perfect Follow-up
Actions taken after a meeting can make or break how that meeting is regarded and valued by your team. With a few simple follow-up strategies, you put your team in the best position to regard the meeting as a success:

 Issue  Impact
 Meeting minutes Distribute minutes to all attendees soon after the meeting, identifying key takeaways and action items. This reminds everyone of what was accomplished and provides momentum for their work going forward.
 Seek feedback Every so often, ask your team what they think about your virtual meetings. What works? What could be improved? This helps them feel involved and engaged, with team workflow, even when working in isolation.


Want to learn more?

Virtual Team Builders offers one-on-one mentoring for virtual managers and leads to support you in honing your virtual leadership skills to drive measurable, sustainable outcomes for your team. We also offer courses on How to Optimize Your Virtual Meetings for your entire team – contact us to get started!


By : Virtual Teambuilders /February 05, 2019 /Uncategorized /0 Comment Read More
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    Virtual Team Builders is a training and consulting company that caters to corporations and teams who depend on effective virtual collaboration to succeed. Our training is targeted towards the unique challenges faced by teams operating in a virtual environment; challenges that are present whether members work 90 feet apart or 3000 miles apart.