Strategies and skills are required to allow the members of your virtual team to collaborate in a successful way. These are ways you can adopt to enhance your web video conferencing and virtual meetings.
- It is a big advantage to have dispersed teams – More people are working today in dispersed teams. These are teams whose members are not located in the same venue and this happens not by circumstance but by choice. They may not be located in the same country. In locations that are widespread, people have to collaborate in order to develop information and their products at a rapid pace and in a cost-effective way.
- Understand the psychological needs of any virtual team – There are some basic needs your team members would have when they collaborate – these needs are control, inclusion and openness. These needs have to be met necessarily for your group work to focus on a result that is collaborative.
- Create a smart team display – Introductions are essential at the start of any meeting. In a virtual space, when the introductions are being completed, the presenter or the meeting leader will be better off if he or she creates a graphic display that depicts the physical layout of that group. If three locations are involved, then three circles have to be drawn. This is helpful in organizing the geography of the virtual meeting. It will affect relationship building negatively if you launch right into the task in a meeting without such an introduction or display. It is always nice to break the ice by asking every member in that virtual room to introduce him or herself and share something to add the necessary social element into the proceedings. Names of the participants could be used as a form of common courtesy to create rapport and establish trust in teleconferences.
- Poll the members of your virtual team group – This will take care of all inclusion and control needs. There are moments when you come across critical junctures in meetings where an agreement has to be reached and you can circle round the virtual room and address people by name and take their poll.
- Utilize remote facilitators – This will help your virtual collaboration when you work with several different groups involving remote participants who gather around a common designated speakerphone.
- Create proper ground rules for your teleconferences – These rules will remain as the mainstay when you have to manage group interaction on an effective basis. You have to tailor these rules so that they meet the needs of your virtual groups. Some of the ground rules would be no multi-tasking or no sidebar conversations. Participants have to identify themselves when they speak. At some points, speaker phones may have to be muted to minimize the extraneous noise that is fed to other locations.
- Create a common visual focus – The three common modes of intake are auditory, visual and kinetic. Most virtual rooms opt for visual focus. Mechanisms can be provided to visually document the flow of concepts and ideas and to keep people focused during a discussion.
- Test internet connections before conducting a meeting – In order to avoid embarrassment of technical glitches or delays, it is better to test internet connectivity of all the sites before a meeting. Holistic Communications have helped several companies learn to successfully facilitate virtual meetings.
Business owners need to adopt virtual meeting Cloud solutions as a smart and cost-effective way of achieving several business objectives through conferences and training webinars. Effective communication should never be compromised for those bottom-line savings.