Technology connects leaders and innovators around the globe, reduces travel time and enables rapid decision making through nearly instantaneous communication. With rapidly advancing technology and increasing globalization, virtual teams are here to stay.
While technology is advancing, however, there are challenges to working across physical and cultural divides. Our ability to communicate and connect can enhance or diminish the purpose and potential of virtual teaming. Because the non-verbal component is lost, communication and trust are typically not at the same level virtually as in face-to-face interactions. There are no lively water cooler debates and discussions that help form solid relationships. This can lead to a tendency toward quick agreement in virtual teams, thereby avoiding the conflict the superficial connection does not allow.
Certain rules of behavior that are taken for granted in person have to be given special care in virtual teams. For example, during an in-person meeting, some great ideas come about during the breaks or downtime. In the virtual world, there is no lingering after meetings to decompress, contemplate, and connect. This is the informal coming together that has to be formally planned in the virtual world.
Usually the first time these challenges are discovered is after the damage has been done. Consistent training and specifically team building in the early stages of group formation, can develop trust and foster more effective communication. This deeper level of trust and communication leads to cohesiveness, commitment to team goals, and better and faster decisions.
This book will provide readers with ways to build community, develop productive virtual teams, and create team spirit using tools that are readily accessible: Email; mobile devices and smart phones (iPhones, Android phones & Blackberry); web-based conferencing tools; and social media tools like, Facebook, Twitter, Skype.
You’ve caught the fever and absolutely MUST get the book, right? Here are several places online to order the book.