Leading Virtual (Global) Teams

Management Special Topics Courses
  • Course:Leading Virtual (Global) Teams
  • Course ID:VLEAD 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 leading a non-co-located/global/culturally diverse team?
  • Creating and Leading a Virtual Team
    • Short lecture:  Composition of virtual team, skills to look for and build in team members; determining and establishing elements of effective virtual workgroup
    • Activity:  Building trust and establishing your credibility with a virtual team
    • Activity:  Setting group norms on a virtual team
    • Discussion:  Delegating work effectively
    • Discussion:  Keeping the team committed; recognizing the seeming saliency of local requests and facilitating relationships with local managers to free up team-member time
    • Activity:  Applying coaching skills, tools, and processes to a virtual team
  • Virtual Meeting Leadership
    • Short lecture:  Advantages/disadvantages of videoconferencing vs. teleconferencing and how to overcome disadvantages; what tools to use when criticizing, coaching, appreciating, delegating, etc.
    • Activity:  Leading productive 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, and oversight
  • 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
    • Activity:  Ensuring virtual team “leads up” to you, surfacing privately held critical information
  • 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, evaluate, critique, and coach 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 leadership concepts and skills to leading virtual and/or global work teams. Geographically dispersed work teams offer 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/management tools. Language and culture differences in multinational teams further compound these challenges. Participants will learn to empower others, build credibility and trust, communicate appropriately, and adapt quickly across cultures and technologies.


Customize It!

Customize this course at no additional expense by focusing on your particular challenges: Are team members spread worldwide and highly culturally diverse, or are most members US Nationals working in different offices? Choose whether to include or exclude cultural competency and global leadership materials based on your needs. Also, make sure that 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 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

Supervisors, managers, team-leads and senior managers leading teams where members are located in multiple cities, states, or countries.



Prior training or experience in team leadership and communications.