How can you hold teams together when members are physically separated? How can you create virtual teams that are more engaged and more productive than when they worked together? In our recent Webinar, Communication in a Time of Social Distancing: Strengthening Virtual Teams, we shared 8 research-based strategies:
- Start with a meaningful question central to your team’s work: “How can we create more inclusive community engagement?” or “What virtual solutions can we offer our clients?”
- Honor the power of silence before sharing ideas: Two minutes of silence before you ask team members to speak allows them to collect their thoughts and brings quieter people into the discussion. (Tweet It!)
- Create a queue of names to guide orderly discussion. This eliminates awkward silences and ensures that everyone participates.
- Create a virtual group memory: Have an assigned recorder use Zoom White Board or screen share Microsoft Word to list all ideas as they are contributed.
- Use P-R-E-S to energize discussions: Aim for 45 seconds to make a Point; give a Reason; share an Example; offer a Summary. Remember: The power of a personal example is immense.
- Invite low-frequency contributors into the conversation: When you use our suggestions there will be fewer silent members, but it’s important to let everyone know their voice matters.
- Harvest group agreements: Ask, “What have we agreed to already?” rather than squandering time on small areas of disagreement. Remember: What you look for is what you find.
- End with a final process check: Each participant gets 20 seconds to say, “This is what I’m feeling and thinking as a result of our meeting.”
The Glasers, Communication Capsule