The Challenges Of Managing A Virtual Team

  • Communication – get this right from the start or you are doomed to failure. Set up protocols, rules and procedures to manage this properly.
  • Trust – an essential for people working at distance. Be open, honest and deliver on your promised. Always! There is only ONE chance of getting this right so get it right at the start!
  • Technology – make this work for you and not against you. Make sure that your platforms and systems are reliable and are unlikely to let you down.
  • Language and cultural differences – be patient and work through this. Make sure that you FULLY understand the cultural aspects of working with new people at real distance. Errors in cultural awareness are sloppy because, put simply, you have not prepared sufficiently well.
  • Leadership – open, democratic and inspirational. Done regardless of distance!
  • Team dynamics – encourage debate and challenge, be (carefully) provocative and deliver a spirit of engagement and true partnership working. You make this happen with Teams that are physically close to you so there is no good reason why this will not work over distance – it just needs more thought and preparation.
  • Conflict resolution – this will happen as it does with Teams that you are physically a part of and needs to be accepted as part of the process. What this will mean is that your diplomacy and smoothing skills will be put to the test over distance and resolution of difficulties probably will be harder due to time differences and the practicalities of making the technology work for you. Best never let conflict arise and if you can see it coming best deal with it before it becomes a problem!

Good Luck!

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