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Extraordinary Teamwork When Teammates are Remote

- July 19, 2012 - 1 Comment

I enjoy being part of a team. It’s great for generating ideas, getting support for my ideas, feeling like I am not alone and knowing I can get help if I get stuck. And then there’s the celebrating when we pull off a big project and get to share in the glory and excitement.

But these days, at least half my team members are somewhere else.

While I can walk down the hall to talk to some of my co-workers, I find I am on email or WebEx for others. Keeping everyone on track is my main goal. In this article on the Seven Habits of Extraordinary Teams, they confirm communication is an important ingredient:

Depending upon the goals and time frame, teams should meet at least once a week, and more often if necessary. More importantly, team communications must be tooled (or retooled if necessary) so that each team member understands what’s going on–and, perhaps more importantly, what is expected of him or her before the next meeting.

But it also cites the complimentary requirement that goes with good communication, sharing resources.

For a team to be successful, members must be willing to share whatever resources they control that are required for the team to achieve its goal.  These include physical resources (money, materials, office space, computers, etc.) as well as mental or emotional resources (like ideas, suggestions, encouragement, or enthusiasm). When team members hoard, teams are weakened–often to the point of total failure.

As the team leader, I often find I am working to make both things happen.

It’s not easy, but it has become easier thanks to the new feature in WebEx Meetings: Meeting Spaces. This is available to everyone, even in the free basic account, and it allows everyone on the team to post files and notes to a Meeting Space so all the information is in one place.

I encourage everyone on my project team to keep the Meeting Space current and I can host repeat meetings from the same space. So the same team is notified easily. I can also record the meetings which post to this same space, so if someone misses a meeting, they can quickly catch up by listening to the recording.

These new features are really helping me work more effectively with my entire team regardless of where they are. Now I just have to figure out how to use it for those end-of-project celebrations!

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  1. I enjoyed reading this and learning more on organizing my team.