Quick Ways to Improve Virtual Team Communication
One of the biggest challenges for a virtual team is communicating and getting their agenda and plans in order. If it’s a high pressure situation, it can be hard to figure out where to start. I have worked with a team where the member who was most responsible for getting the project done was not happy and constantly arguing with him/her about what needs to be done next. The project manager tried to enforce certain things, but it was obvious that the tone and the suggestions were being shot down. This team needed ways to improve virtual team communication so they could get back on track.
There are many ways to improve virtual team communication, but it all comes down to one thing – communication. When the team doesn’t communicate, it’s obvious that nothing will ever get done. A virtual team needs to have someone to communicate with on a regular basis and that’s when the real work starts.
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of trying to micromanage every aspect of the team, but this can lead to a chaotic environment. Let’s say you are the coordinator of an online forum. When something gets started, someone needs to monitor the threads to see how things are going and then make changes if needed. However, the team members are not communicating with each other and things just happen on their own. This is not the way to improve virtual team communication.
How can you accomplish this? You need to keep the lines of communication open. If someone is requesting information or assistance, be sure to provide it. Then, when you notice that the other members of the team are not communicating, step up to the plate and offer suggestions. Let them know that you want to help them as well and find out what they are working on.
One problem areas that tend to plague many team building exercises are those that occur outside of normal business hours. For this reason, the Internet can be an excellent tool to use in communicating with your team. Blogs and websites can allow everyone to contribute and interact at all times. Even if your team does not have web access, a quick chat on the telephone can help clear up any questions.
Finally, you need to know how to prioritize tasks. Communication plays such a big role in any team activity. If one person has more responsibility than another, that person needs to get the proper recognition. If there are several people who should be working on a task, then assigning blame should be done according to whose skills will best achieve the desired results. There are many ways to improve virtual team communication if you simply keep these tips in mind. click here for more info on virtual teams.