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This book is called Leading Effective Virtual Teams. It reads a lot like a series magazine articles. Each chapter is filled with bullet-pointed lists containing top tips and guidelines.
It is very different from other books. However, it is very effective in what Nancy M. Settle Murphy wants to accomplish, which, as she puts it, is a “just in time” reference guide.
The book can be used as a tool to help you with your problems, or you can read it carefully and then apply the tips to your team.
The book covers a lot, and it is one of my most difficult books to review. Instead, I have chosen to highlight my favorite points and advice in accordance with the book’s style.
Listen to Elizabeth speak on a podcast about leading remote teams.
Tips for managing team performance remotely
This section is useful for managing team performance from far away. It is especially helpful if you are responsible for project management or direct line management of individuals who don’t work in the same area as you.
It can be difficult to build trust among virtual teams at the beginning of a project. This is why it is important to have a solid set of strategies to overcome this problem quickly.
Settle-Murphy suggests gathering performance feedback from the individual’s peers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
These are her suggestions.
You should be alert for subtle clues that your team member may feel they need help but are too embarrassed (or busy) to ask.
Prepare for each staff development session.
Make sure that team members feel accountable. This guide might help if they don’t feel accountable for their actions.
Avoid muting if you are surrounded with ambient noise. This encourages you to concentrate.
Settle-Murphy writes, “If you’re part a virtual team you can develop a sixth sense to know when dysfunction has crept into.”
Pay attention to lack of interest, failures to attend meetings, lacks of interaction, failures to meet deadlines and failures to accept that anything is wrong.
Next: Tips for effective virtual meetings
Good guidelines and easy-to-use tips
There are many tips in this book. It’s a collection of tips, but it’s not the same as what you’ve heard hundreds of times before.
However, it does feel like there is some repetition. The ambient noise tip is a good example.
You’d be well on your way to a high-performing virtual team if you implemented half this stuff.
Why is that important? Settle-Murphy explains:
No matter what the goal, whether it’s to make informed decisions, find innovative solutions to vexing issues, or create a shared strategy, virtual meetings can achieve the best results in the shortest time when the right people are gathered for a focused conversation.
It is easy to understand because there are many tables and bullet points. The book is well-organized so that you can quickly flip to the chapter that addresses the challenge you are facing.
This is a great reference for virtual teams, even if they are not international. You’ll find many ideas here to make your virtual meetings more successful.
Buy Leading Effective Virtual Teams.