Do you dread virtual meetings? Make them better

Do you dread virtual meetings? Make them better

What YOU can do to make virtual meetings better for yourself

Many remote workers spend much of their time in virtual meetings and conference calls. Many of these calls are not well organised nor are they properly facilitated, but what is worst, you can still have experiences like the one shown in this video: Continue reading “Do you dread virtual meetings? Make them better”

Are your virtual presentations as good as your in-person ones?

comic-magic presentation final.png

Let’s face it: presentations are often not captivating.

In a face-to-face meeting people usually don’t just leave the room when they get bored by what they hear and see. But in a virtual meeting it is easy to disappear, check emails, surf or do something else. No one notices that participants have left. It is the responsible of the presenter or facilitator to keep the audience engaged and attentive.

Continue reading “Are your virtual presentations as good as your in-person ones?”

How to deal with intercultural issues in remote teams

How to deal with intercultural issues in remote teams

Intercultural communication has been a topic in teams and organisations for quite some time. Still, in recent years the situation has changed and now requires a different approach to dealing with cultural differences.

Until only a few years ago, most members of a team were sitting in one location. They had rarely more than one dominating culture. The responsibility to bridge the distance (and the cultural difference) was mainly with the team leader and other high level managers, who would travel around to world to keep in touch with their people and ensure that the work done in the different locations was coordinated and coherent. In some cases the managers were sent to a different country, where they had to learn how the culture differed from their own and adapt to the local practices.

This situation has changed quite considerably in most organisations. Today, most teams spread across many countries, if not continents. There might still be a large group of people in one location (typically in headquarters) but the team is predominantly distributed, and includes people from a number of different cultures. Furthermore, most if not all communication is virtual, and virtual distance (physical, but also operational and most importantly affinity distance) heavily influences the effectiveness of a team.
Continue reading “How to deal with intercultural issues in remote teams”

Kommunikation auf Distanz: Nur lauter oder anders?

Kommunikation auf Distanz: Nur lauter oder anders?

Im Rahmen eines Beratertreffens mit Kolleginnen und Kollegen neulich in Hamburg hatte ich die Gelegenheit, über verteilte Organisations- und Teamsituationen zu diskutieren.

Verteilt arbeitende und lebende Menschen arbeiten und kommunizieren hauptsächlich über technische „Tools“ und Plattformen zusammen. Entweder sie treffen sich in Telefon-, Video- und Webkonferenzen zeitgleich –synchron wie wir es nennen –  oder sie arbeiten zwischen diesen Meetings zeitversetzt – asynchron– zusammen. Sie erarbeiten Texte, Präsentationen gemeinsam auf Wiki-Plattformen, sie senden Kurznachrichten, sie quatschen über Chatsysteme. Die Technik verändert den Phänotyp des Miteinander-Redens erheblich. Das ist schnell einsichtig. Diese Kommunikationen sind so sehr unterschiedlich, dass Menschen die Andersartigkeit der virtuellen Kommunikation physisch spüren, oft auch erleiden. Befragt nach ihren Erlebnissen, schildern sie die virtuelle Kommunikation oft als weniger dicht, d.h. mit weniger Signalen verbunden und kompliziert, weil sie mit der Technologie nicht zurechtkommen oder die Technik nicht klappt. Insgesamt wird in der Regel die sog. Face-to-Face (F2F) Kommunikationsform als die „eigentliche“ und auch vernünftige und erstrebenswerte Kommunikationsform erachtet. Continue reading “Kommunikation auf Distanz: Nur lauter oder anders?”

Social Business: Das Team ist der Star(t)!

Social Business: Das Team ist der Star(t)!

Im Post “Social is out” habe ich den derzeitigen Implementierungsstand der Social Business Aktivitäten in Organisationen zusammengefasst. Es zeigt sich, dass es in Unternehmen und anderen Organisation inzwischen eine Reihe von Aktivitäten mit sicher unterschiedlichen Entwicklungsstand gibt. Die Praxis hat also definitiv begonnen. So das Fazit. In den Organisationen, die die Projekte erfolgreich umgesetzt haben, zeigen sich dabei einige Gemeinsamkeiten: Continue reading “Social Business: Das Team ist der Star(t)!”

Chatting in virtual teams is more than talking about football

Chatting in virtual teams is more than talking about football

Informal and private conversations at work are natural and essential

The biggest challenge in distributed teams is overcoming distance and creating a sense of closeness within the team. The problem is that in distributed teams this closeness does not evolve automatically as is the case in face-to-face work-environments. We all have conversations about private matters during work and we don’t need to reserve a dedicated time slot for this kind of exchange of information or dialogue. This can happen over lunch, in the hallway, on the way to the elevator, or as a warm-up in meetings before the “serious business” starts. Everyone agrees that talking about personal and private matters is part of the overall work setting. Architects know that a space to encourage informal conversations is a vital element of an “office”. Most offices, therefore, have coffee corners, water coolers, cafeterias and other spaces where people can meet and mingle. Continue reading “Chatting in virtual teams is more than talking about football”