Leading Virtual Teams - Keys to Success in the Virtual World
What you'll learn
- Build a culture of trust and collaboration on your virtual team.
- Master communication skills for leading distrbuted teams.
- Plan, organize, and run virtual meetings that spark engagement, interaction, and productivity
- There are no prerequisites for this course beyond a computer with internet connection and a desire to learn to lead a distributed team effectively.
- Note: This is NOT a technical course on how specific virtual team platforms work, so no particular video application is required, but I will show you how to make effective use of tools that most such platforms tend to offer.
Are you leading a virtual team? Are you struggling with how to build a strong, positive team culture, break through barriers to communication, or trying to lead meetings when your teammates live and work in different states, time zones, or even continents?
This course is designed to help you reach across those distances, and will show you how to bring your virtual team closer, build trust quickly, communicate effectively, lead those virtual meetings efficiently, and get things done.
More and more, leading virtual teams is the new reality, but the challenges of leading in this environment are great. When we can’t see our teammates in person, we risk losing the ability to communicate effectively with them. When we can only collaborate through technology, we lose the nuance of non-verbal communications, the sense of connection that comes with personal interaction, and the synergy that comes from working closely with team members who know and trust each other.
If we are not careful, our teammates can feel disconnected, isolated, and increasingly disengaged. As that happens, trust is slow to build if it builds at all, and the ability of the team to function dies. Instead of a team, you have a list of disinterested individuals, a pile of work to be done, and no way to be sure that it’s going to happen.
If you want to be effective as a leader in this environment, you have to master a new set of skills. You need tools that can help you reach across the span of distance and time, and through the limitations of technology to bring your virtual teammates closer together. You need techniques that help your virtual team collaborate positively and productively despite all those obstacles. This course is designed to help you do just that.
Specifically, this course will show you how to:
· Build a virtual team culture that is positive and productive
· Establish trust within your virtual team despite the challenges of time and distance
· Welcome new virtual teammates with techniques that accelerate their learning and integration into your team culture
· Lead your virtual team effectively across cultural lines
· Establish informal communications networks that strengthen your virtual team’s cohesion and creativity
· Choose the right communication tools to fit every situation.
· Use email more effectively without flooding your inbox
· Use the telephone in ways that increase personal connection
· Connect with your virtual team even if you tend to be introverted
· Take advantage of non-verbal communications to maximize your leadership presence
· Plan virtual meetings that are effective and productive
· Use a detailed 43-point checklist to ensure your virtual meetings go well
· Develop meeting agendas that spark engagement
· Use lighting and camera techniques to enhance your image as a leader
· Employ tools and techniques that make your virtual meetings more interesting and engaging for everyone
· Strengthen team bonding with dozens of virtual exercises and icebreakers
· Shake up your meetings with unusual approaches to keep your virtual team out of a rut
Along with the video content there are many helpful resources that come as part of the course.
· An audio version of the course so you can listen and learn while on the go
· More than 20 downloadable resources and guides including:
o Checklists so you don’t forget something important
o Guide sheets to prompt your thinking, planning, and organizing
o Templates for building agendas and communicating with the team
What makes me the expert?
I’ve been in and leading virtual teams since the early 1990s, and I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly along the way.
I’ve been the victim of phone conferences that I dreaded, interactions that left me distrustful of my teammates and leaders, and marathon virtual meetings that were an absolute waste of time.
But I’ve also experienced the best – fast-paced, engaging interactions that I looked forward to, collaborative sessions that were extremely productive, and bosses who knew how to reach out, communicate, and connect despite being hundreds of miles away.
After over 20 years of doing this in environments as diverse as prairie states spread across the Midwest U.S., to sprawling deserts in the Middle East, I have taken the best of those experiences and put them in this course for you so that you and your teammates don’t have to learn the hard way, as I did.
What this course is NOT:
This course is NOT a technical how-to course. It will not tell you specifically how to activate breakout rooms during a Zoom video meeting, or how to build and launch a poll while in Microsoft Teams. The technology changes too quickly, there are too many possible platforms, and the developers of those platforms can do a better job of explaining how their tools work – you should go to them for their expertise.
What I WILL do is talk about features and tools that the most common platforms have, and how to use those tools to best advantage to make your virtual team better at what you do.
See you inside!
Watch the Introductory Video and the free preview videos to get a taste of all that this course provides, and then I’ll see you inside. I’m looking forward to sharing everything I’ve learned with you about leading virtual teams so that you can lead your own virtual team more effectively than ever.
Who this course is for:
- This course is for anyone who wants to improve their ability to lead virtual teams that are geographically dispersed.
- Whether you’ve lead dozens of virtual teams, or are about to lead your very first, the tools in this course will equip you to do it better.
Ken Downer is a 26 year veteran of the United States Army, recently retiring as a Colonel of Infantry. He has led Soldiers and civilians in groups ranging from three to three hundred at every level and in a wide variety of environments. Whether it’s leading paratroopers in the jungle, college students in the class room, a multi-national team on a desert outpost, or a staff of experts in a cubicle farm, he’s got the T-shirt.
Ken’s mission now is to take what he has learned and share it with others who can benefit from those experiences and make the learning curve a little less steep.
He believes that the potential for strong, positive leadership lies within us all.