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Managing Virtual Teams through Effective Communication | discoveryourpowerteam.com
 

Virtual Team Communication – Email and Texting may be Impeding Your Team’s Success!

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:

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According to the study, when communicating feelings and attitudes, Mehrabian found that:

  • 7% of meaning is derived from the words that are spoken
  • 38% of meaning is paralinguistic (tone of voice)
  • 55% of meaning is derived from the  facial expression

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Avoid the use of Text Messaging and Email when:

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1. Integrating a new team member into your business, start with a face-to-face meeting.  In this virtual age, this is not always possible, so an alternative is to use one of the numerous online video conferencing/video chat tools such as Skype or ooVoo.  If this is also not an option, then use an audio conference line or the good old telephone!  Being able to not only hear but also see the other person will significantly help with rapport and trust building!

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2. Briefing your team on the introduction of a new product, program or event – your voice, facial expressions and body language convey your enthusiasm to your team and enthusiasm is addictive!  Using video or audio conferencing in this instance can really energize the team.  It also enables you to see and hear your team’s reaction to this new product, program or event, so you can then respond accordingly. If time is truly against you, and you cannot take the time to brief your team, another option is for you to record a video or audio and send it to them.

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3. Clarifying misunderstandings or dispelling confusion- Email or text messaging may be appropriate if there is a small detail to iron out or clarify.  But, if you see that there are  multiple items that need sorting out, using the telephone, telephone conferencing or video conferencing will help you deal with the issue quickly and efficiently.  By seeing and/or hearing your team members, you will be able to quickly assess if the message has been understood or not, and futher clarify as required.

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4. Providing constructive feedback – yes most of us hate to do this; however it is part of your role as the leader of your business!  In my opinion, text messaging and email should be avoided, when you are providing constructive feedback to one of your team members. 

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Some call it negative feedback, however, if constructive feedback is delivered and received effectively, it can really help both parties and the relationship grow and improve. Hence my preference is to call it constructive feedback – stay tuned for a future blog post on this topic!

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So, if you are wanting to provide your team member with comments on how they are performing and whether they are meeting your expectations, do not use email.  Set up a time to talk one-on-one, either over the phone or via video conferencing.  This will increase the chances of your message being effectively received and understood, and it will contribute to continuing to grow your relationship with your team member.

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It’s Your Turn!

What about today’s post did you find helpful?  What tools do you find effective when communicating with your virtual team members?  I’d love to hear from you, simply click on Your comments are important to me! and let me know!

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Later this week, we will talk about the importance of two-way communication in Building Successful, Long-Lasting Relationships with your virtual team.

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Are you finding these posts helpful?  Are you trying to grow your business and have all of these stumbling blocks getting in your way?  Then you have to pick up a copy of my F.R.EE ebook, “The Top 5 Mistakes Solopreneurs Make that Sabotage Business Growth“!  I’ll be taking it down soon, so you’ll want to pick up your copy today, simply enter your name and email address in the boxes below and click the “Ebook Please!” button.

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To your empowerment and success,

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Sherley Grace
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  1. 1 Cindy Morus

    I personally don’t like to use texting, social media, IM in addition to email because it’s almost impossible to keep it all in one place or find anything later when it’s scattered around like that.

  2. 2 Sherley Grace

    Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for your comment! In this day and age where we have information coming at us from all angles, keeping it organized and staying on top of it all can be quite a challenge. I agree with you that you can definitley increase your efficiency by streamlining the tools you use, especially when it comes to communication. That being said, a short skype chat (when your team member is online) can be handy when all you need is a quick clarification. Enjoy your weekend!

  3. 3 Savvy Subcontracting

    As a subcontractor on many different teams. I’d like to bring up communication for motivation. I can’t stress how effective it can be to have support from other team members or the leader.

  1. 1 Business Owners with Virtual Team: 5 Tips for Effective 2-Way Communication | discoveryourpowerteam.com
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