Collaborating Effectively on a Virtual Team

Courses on Business Communications: General and Technical
  • Course:Collaborating Effectively on a Virtual Team
  • Course ID:VCOLLAB Duration:1-3 days Where: Your Office (7+ Persons)
  • Available as a private, customized course for your group at your offices or ours and in some cases as a WebLive(TM) class.

  • Download Course Description (PDF)

Course Outline

  • Openers
    • Discussion: What are the challenges of collaborating with a non-co-located/global/culturally diverse team?
  • Creating and Collaborating with a Virtual Team
    • Short lecture:  Composition of virtual team, skills to look for; membership on a virtual team, being a “team citizen” virtually; recognizing the seeming saliency of local requests and committing time to virtual team
    • Activity:  Building trust on a virtual team
    • Activity:  Setting group norms on a virtual team
  • Virtual Meeting Management
    • Short lecture:  Advantages/disadvantages of videoconferencing vs. teleconferencing and how to overcome disadvantages
    • Activity:  Participating effectively in virtual meetings
    • Discussion:  Using web-meetings, web-chats, RSS-feeds, wikis, whiteboards, other web-based collaboration tools for document dissemination and management, team maintenance, collaboration
  • Leading upward Virtually
    • Discussion:  Ensuring HQ remains connected to local projects; avoiding “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome
    • Short lecture:  Responding appropriately to HQ anxiety around overseeing non-visible work
  • Cultural Competency
    • Activity:  Cultural awareness, finding ourselves on culture scales; recognizing how culture influences how we collaborate, respond to conflicts, and assert ourselves
    • Discussion:  Tools for gaining competence in different cultures
    • Activity:  Adjusting (without changing ourselves) to direct vs. indirect communication and individualist vs. collectivist management
    • Discussion:  How to manage conflict while “saving face” for other person
  • Close Out
    • Discussion:  Next steps
    • Wrap-up and Q & A
Course Overview

Course in a Nutshell

This course is designed to help participants apply collaboration concepts and skills to working with virtual and/or global work teams. Geographically dispersed work teams offer some unique challenges: Tone is difficult to convey electronically, time zones limit audio communication opportunities, work oversight requires more reporting, and teambuilding is exceedingly difficult using technological – rather than in-person – collaboration tools. Language and cultural differences in multinational teams compound these challenges.
Participants of this course will learn how to communicate productively, plan and participate in effective e-meetings, create teams, build trust, use collaboration tools, prevent unproductive conflict, and adapt quickly across cultures and technologies.


Customize It!

You can focus on global collaboration – which would incorporate cultural intelligence – or on creating and managing the virtual team (and its meetings, decision-making, and information flow), or on both. If one or the other, we can complete the course in one day. If both, we would need two days. If participants haven’t taken the e-communicating course listed under prerequisites, we’d need the third day.
Also, make sure we are aware of your company’s current virtual collaboration tools (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Sharepoint, e-room, Dropbox, Version Manager, Adobe Connect, etc.), so we can work that information into the course. Please note, though, that this is not a tech-training program nor will the facilitator recommend specific web-software/apps.


Learn How To

  • Apply strategies critical to creating and leading a virtual team.
  • Identify potential barriers to a virtual/multinational team’s success and discover strategies to overcome these.
  • Recognize the criticality of group teambuilding and use practices for creating trusting relationships and setting group norms.
  • Acquire cultural intelligence and steps for competency in any country
  • Recognize and resolve causes of conflict within a multicultural team.
  • Determine how dispersed managers can work as a team, and how to lead upward when headquarters is located elsewhere.
  • Use online tools to collaborate.
Audience / Prerequisites

Aimed At

Those who work with others who are not co-located: peers, supervisors, or direct reports who work from home or are located in other cities, states, or countries.