For the last several years I”ve worked in a team that is spread all across the world. The following ramblings are the items I”ve picked up from working in a virtual team as well as from books that I”ve read on the subject. One thing is key, leadership is leadership. It doesn’t matter if you are there local or remote. Enjoy.
Trust is an important aspect in all levels of leadership. The degree in which trust is used across virtual teams is usually much deeper than what level is used with a local team. Trust is the key to getting performance from a team that is distributed geographically. Trust must be gained:
Building Relationships and Trust
Since virtual teams have limited interaction and limited knowledge of each other in their isolation, the virtual team must establish ways to help team members learn about each other quickly and frequently.
Virtual Team Alignment
People who work across distance tend to lose focus after any single meeting. Therefore, it is critical that the virtual team create:
Virtual Team Equality
Be extremely fair in treating all team members, near and far, equally. Even appearances or suggestions of favoritism break trust.
Miscommunication and unequal access to information are trust-breakers.
Keep communications flowing to counteract the out of sight out of mind phenomenon on distributed teams.
Again these are items I”ve picked up over the years and through books. Please feel to share you thoughts if you have anything good to add to the conversation.