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5 ways to collaborate virtually like a high performance team

Posted by Eureka Editor

Last updated on May 24, 2017

There is a difference between working together and collaboration.

Just because a team is virtual does not mean it cannot deliver high performance results like a team that is co-located.

The key is to understand that there is a difference between working together and collaboration, according to renowned author and Harvard Business Review blogger Keith Ferrazzi.

"Collaborative activity is the 'secret sauce' that enables teams to come up with innovative new products or creative, buzz-worthy marketing campaigns," he writes.

Here are three ways that may help you create a high-performing team: 

1. Is your team the right size?

Some virtual projects get complex over time, and so too does the communication as more people come on board. Conference calls tend to become confusing and web conferencing turns into an uphill battle.

In addition to this, research by Richard Karlgaard, author of The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success, suggests smaller teams tend to be more innovative.

Mr Ferrazzi suggests managing this by creating an adaptable and "fluid structure", which is made up of three levels. The strategic decision-makers should be at the core of the team, followed by operational level members who take care of the ongoing work on the project, and finally the outer layer is made up of those who come in temporarily to offer expertise, such as contractors and part-timers.

2. Social media is a friendly place

Use social platforms to your advantage - these are a great way to help team members realise that they are not too different from each other. In fact, the use of social media may even make the team more productive. Intranet forums can be used to discuss issues and workarounds.

3. Invest in training employees to collaborate

Mr Ferrazzi quotes the example of PwC up-skilling their staff on specialised areas that would help with better collaboration. These aspects included communication skills, emotional intelligence, teamwork and networking. 

Fine tuning these skills is likely to result in a better web conferencing experience.

Topics: Web Conferencing, Teleconferencing

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