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3 Ways to Build Empathy in Virtual Teams

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Empathy inspires positivity and productivity in all who embody it.

There are many benefits attached to fostering empathy in the virtual workplace.  For one, you will become more aware of how people think, feel, and react to situations.  As a leader, you will become more adept at analyzing the performance of your team members, and you will be more mindful of their needs.

Empathy will promote open communication and build stronger bonds of trust within your virtual team.  Likewise, empathetic virtual team members will become better at resolving conflict, will deliver more effective feedback, and will make better decisions.

With a little practice your virtual team can master empathy and harness success.

Two strategies to develop empathy

1. Practice reflection: It is important to remember that what irritates you about a colleague is likely to be a characteristic that you possess. Before you react and judge a team member, ask yourself, “Is this something I do?” If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you are better prepared to address your colleague with empathy.

2. Be compassionate: We all have our flaws, and you do not have to agree with someone to empathize with them. Be open to what others have to say and how they work. In the process, chances are, you will discover a great deal about what you bring to your virtual team.

By consciously practicing and developing empathy, your virtual team members will be prepared to bridge the geographic gap between them and work productively to accomplish your business goals.

What to get a sense of how your virtual team is performing? Take our 1-minute Virtual Team Success Survey and receive a FREE 30-minute consultation with an expert from Virtual Team Builders!

By : Oliver Villegas /October 26, 2018 /Blog, Building Empathy in a Virtual Environment /0 Comment Read More

Fostering Empathy in the Virtual Environment

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According to a recent study, teams with high levels of geographic, operational and cultural differences also reported lower levels of trust, innovation, satisfaction and performance than did teams with more closely located teammates.

 In other words, virtual teams – while enormously valuable in terms of flexibility and adaptability – do not operate the same way as co-located teams. And the missing ingredient that can take a virtual team from disconnected to high-performing is often empathy.

 Fostering real empathy in the virtual environment

The simple fact is that learning about others –hearing stories about their personal life, goals and experience – activates the parts of the brain that create closer ties with people and lead to a better team dynamic.

When we understand our team, we have a better idea of the challenges ahead of us. Empathy allows us as employees to feel safe, and it allows leaders to help employees improve and excel.

Empathy plays a major role in the workplace for every organization. As virtual leaders, our role is not simple. We have to balance getting the task done and building authentic and sustainable relationships.

Here are two strategies you can use today:

Two Tips for Empathy in Virtual Teams

 1. Listen: Too often, when conversing with colleagues we spend our time planning our response or waiting for an opportunity to interject, when we could simply be listening. This means we’re effectively multi-tasking splitting our attention.Be fully present with your colleague and refrain from checking your phone, answering emails, doing other work, or taking other calls. Give the person your speaking to your undivided attention.

2. Look into the words that you are hearing: If, for example, you find yourself in conversation with an angry colleague, refrain from absorbing their anger within yourself. Instead of responding to words delivered out of frustration, try to understand and respond to the underlying emotion.   You will begin to see that behind a colleague’s irritation may be misunderstanding, judgment, detachment, stress, or other feelings.  When you try to understand those feelings, rather than reacting to angry words, the person will begin to relax, open up, and trust.  In doing this, you and your colleague will begin communicate openly as you both work through the challenge together.

Would you like to learn more strategies that you can use to build a strong virtual team? Contact us to learn more about our one-on-one Virtual Mentoring services!

 

By : Oliver Villegas /October 22, 2018 /Blog, Building Empathy in a Virtual Environment, Uncategorized /0 Comment Read More
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