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Leading Virtual Teams | discoveryourpowerteam.com

Archive for the Leading Virtual Teams

giving thanksHappy Thanksgiving to my friends, colleagues, clients in the USA! In addition to the traditional Thanksgiving celebrations south of the border, many stores and homes are already dawning their Christmas attire and the holiday tunes are playing on the radio.

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In fact, today we awoke to a winter wonderland. Needless to say I love this time of year. It definitely is a time to be thankful!
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The Forgotten – Past Clients
As small business owners, we often invest loads of time, energy, and attention in getting new clients.  Unfortunately, we often forget about the clients we already have. Those who have done business with us in the past.  This year, why not take a moment to reach out to your past and current clients and let them know they are thought of and appreciated.

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A Simple “Thank You” or “Thinking of You” Goes a Long Way!

Continue reading ‘Giving Thanks: Thank Your Clients and Team Members Too!’

Virtual team member or virtual worker, which do you want working with you in your business? 

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Often I hear comments like, “my virtual assistant is just not taking ownership of her work” or “my online business manager doesn’t seem to truly care, truly understand what I’m all about” or “my graphic designer just up and left, when she got another contract”.  Have you ever experienced this in your business?

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Hiring someone to help you is not just about the task!

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In my opinion outsourcing or hiring someone on contract to do work for you is so much more than just about the task at hand. If you want to build strong long-lasting relationships with your virtual team, you must foster or create a team environment.

. Continue reading ‘Virtual Team Success – Create Team Environment’

virtual team effective communicationEffective communication – in this day and age you would think that we are all expert communicators.  Right?  Wrong! 

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While we have come a long way from using tin cans and a string to communicate, the hundreds of communication tools available in the marketplace may ease the communication process; however,  they do not make us better communicators! 

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Let’s start by looking at the definition of “communication”. What is “communication”, exactly?

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Wikipedia defines “communication” as “a process whereby information is enclosed in a package and is channeled and imparted by a sender to a receiver via some medium. The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback.”

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Just in case you missed it, let me repeat that last sentence, “The receiver then decodes the message and gives the sender a feedback.”  How many of you wait for the receiver to receive your message, decode it and confirm their understanding of your message, before affirming that you have indeed communicated and presuming that they have indeed understood? 

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Many of us think that by simply sending an email, we have communicated.  Or, by saying something to someone, we have communicated.  The biggest reason for communication break downs in teams (and even in couples, I might add) is that a messages is “sent” and the sender does not stop to see if the message has indeed been received and understood by its recipient. 

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True, Effective Communication = Interaction

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According to Nobel Prize winning playwright, George Bernard Shaw, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Communicaton is not a matter of simply having one sender and one receiver.  True, effective communication involves an interaction. 

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Should I Fire my VA?

. Continue reading ‘Business Owners with Virtual Teams: 5 Tips for Effective 2-Way Communication’

Virtual Team communication email may not be best communication tool!Successful leadership of virtual teams includes clear and effective communication with your virtual team members. Too often, especially since the advent of email and chat tools such as google chat and Skype chat, we revert to texting as our primary and sometimes our ONLY  mode of communication with our team members. Practical? Perhaps. Efficient? It depends!.
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While, at the outset, email and chat tools may seem like a time saver for you, the business owner, I urge you to seriously look at how effective these tools truly are for you, your team and your business.  In certain circumstances, the use of email and texting may be impeding your team’s success!

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These tools definitely can be efficient if used in the right situations; however they can also lead to confusion and misunderstandings if used for ALL communication between you and your virtual team (virtual assistant, graphic designer, bookkeeper, online business manager, web master, etc.)

 

Mehrabian Communication Study: 7%-38%-55%

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Albert Mehrabian, Ph.D. conducted a series of experiments several years ago on the relative importance of verbal (words) and nonverbal (tone of voice and body language) on the impact of your message.  While his focus was on communications pertaining to feelings and attitudes (i.e.: like and dislike) versus normal, everyday communication; I still think it helps to remind us that there is more to communication than just words:

. Continue reading ‘Virtual Team Communication – Email and Texting may be Impeding Your Team’s Success!’

Virtual Team – what is it and why is it  important to your success as a business owner?  I am frequently asked this question, so while I often talk about how to hire and lead virtual teams; today I thought I’d take a step back to the basics and explore the definition of a virtual team.

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Let’s start by looking at the definition of a team.  Kazenbach and Smith in Wisdom of Teams described a team as being, “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.”  While the concept of teams has been around pratically since the beginning of time, virtual teams are still fairly new.

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So, what is a virtual team? A virtual team is first and foremost a team (as per the above definition).  What makes them “virtual” is that the team members do not work physically together in the same location.  While they can work in the same city, most often, they are dispersed across different cities, countries, continents and time zones!  They interact primarily electronically using email and a variety of tools including teleconferencing. 

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As a business owner, you may hire a virtual assistant as an employee or on contract and have this individual work out of her home.  Given the technology available today, it it not unheard of to have your virtual assistant, bookkeeper, web designer, etc. located off site, in a different city or country.

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So, now that you know what a virtual team is, stop by later this week as I talk about why, as a business owner, virtual teams can be beneficial for you and your business!

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Right Time to Hire? Complementary Teleclass – Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. EDT – Reserve your seat today!

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If you are wondering if now is the right time to hire team members to help you in your business, you don’t want to miss my new complimentary Teleclass, Right Time to Hire”. It’s taking place Aug. 18 at 2 p.m. EDT, and you can access it from the comfort of you home or office.  Just make sure you sign up today.  space is limited, as I will be taking questions from attendees.  To register:  Reserve my seat at the Right Time to Hire Teleclass!

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To your empowerment and success,

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Virtual Team effectiveness can be increased astronomically when you provide your team members with clear expectations.  After all, you have to remember that while your team may be well intentioned, they are not mind readers. 

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If you have a virtual team or are planning to hire one, you definitely want to read on!

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A few months ago, I was having lunch with a fellow coach who is also a friend, and he was telling me that he was thinking of hiring a virtual assistant.  I was thrilled!  Why?  Well because my friend had been resisting getting help in his business for years.  He was one of those business owners who felt he could do it all himself.  Sound familiar?

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Way too often, I hear business owners say something along the lines of, “you know, Sherley, I CAN do this task or that task.”  Here is my perspective:  the real question is not whether or not you CAN do it all; it is whether or not you SHOULD do it!

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So yes, I was thrilled that my friend had finally decided to invest in a virtual assistant.  However, when I proceeded to ask him what exactly she would do for him and what he expected of her, he said and I kid you not, ”I don’t know exactly; won’t she know?”  Needless to say, it was a long lunch!

. Continue reading ‘Expectations – Key to Increasing Virtual Team Effectiveness’

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Virtual team members including virtual assistants, bookkeepers, web masters, social media managers, graphic designers, etc. need to have a crystal clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities, if they are to provide you, the business owner, with the best service possible! 

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Establishing and communicating a list of roles and responsibilities is one of the 5 Keys to Building Strong Long-Lasting Relationships with your team!

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When hiring a virtual service professional such as a virtual assistant or a bookkeeper, you need to share with them a list of responsibilities you want them to take on.  Where do you need help in your business?  What specifically do you want your team member to work on?  What is the list of tasks you want them to complete when working on your account?

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A little while ago, I had was writing the copy to announce my latest complimentary teleclass.  I wrote the text, recorded the video and provided both to my virtual assistant for her to create the page and upload it onto the web.  For this particular item, I asked her to:  Continue reading ‘Roles and Responsibilities – Make them clear for Virtual Team Success!’

 

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Small business owners, particularly those with online businesses, are looking to hire virtual team members to assist them.  Too often, however, I hear their horrible tales of woe about virtual relationships gone wrong!  So how do you build strong working relationships with your virtual team members?

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Several years ago, while working in the corporate world, I spear headed a project to introduce teleworking or telecommuting as some call it, in a culture where the general belief was “you can’t manage what you can’t see”.  Yes, I do love a challenge! 

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The leadership principles I taught back then to managers of new corporate virtual teams definitely apply to the realities of small business owners and their virutal teams today! 

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As a business owner, do you want an iron clad guarantee that your relationship with your new virtual service provider will be successful, even surpass your expectations?  Sure you do.  Does such a guarantee exist?  Well, let me ask you this…have you ever known any relationship to come with such a guarantee?  I haven’t. 

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Unfortunately, no relationship, not even one with a virtual service provider, can be guaranteed to succeed.  However, there are things you can do as a business owner to build strong long-lasting relationships with your new virtual team members! Continue reading ‘Virtual Teams – 5 Keys to Building Strong Long-Lasting Relationships’