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Welcome Spring!  March 2009
Virtual Teams: Challenges and Solutions
tulipsWelcome Springtime!

I love springtime! For me, this season has the feel of life, energy and renewal as temperatures rise, spring flowers bloom, and days become longer and warmer. Spring also signals fresh opportunities to try new things.
When I plant annuals in my flower beds, I am reminded how important it is to nurture, nourish and feed these new plants to ensure they have every opportunity to reach their maximum "beautifying" potential. For my perennials, I know that without appropriate attention, they may fall prey to bugs, fungus and other elements that may be harmful to their continued growth and participation in my meager attempt to beautify my summer yard (smile).
Virtual teams present unique challenges and offer unlimited reward potential. What challenges are you facing and what FRESH and UNIQUE strategies are you willing to employ that are different enough to move the needle on the normalcy of your team and organization? Do you need to positively shake things up with your virtual team? Do you need to redirect attention to what really matters so that you may create the conditions necessary to deliver on the goals for success you want and need? 
Welcome springtime . . . a refreshing opportunity for "do-overs". Let's explore how we may help the virtual team enjoy even greater success.
Dr. B
Inclusion in Virtual Teams 
virtual team image

Excerpt from article

The most significant hindrance to "growing" high performing virtual teams is an inability to build trust across location boundaries. I currently teach at 4 universities, two of which are entirely online. I like teaching online because the "veil of distance" prevents me from critiquing learners based on what I see or think I see as could happen in more traditional classroom settings. What I believe I see may not always be giving me an accurate accounting or the "whole truth". My "lying eyes" (natural limitations) could influence me to unfairly judge what I think I know and what I believe I see. In the virtual classroom, my only barometer to a learner's ability is the work they submit.  

A similar yet opposite phenomenon happens in virtual teams. When we DON'T see someone, often we mistakenly fill in the blanks without enough information and end up drawing erroneous conclusions. So how are we to overcome this limiting defect and find success in the virtual team with others we may have never met or seldom get to see?

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.

Try the Inclusion Assessment™
In my January newsletter, I promised to provide you an opportunity to review and critique my Inclusion Assessment™. 
In today's challenging work environment, nothing seems to be more important than developing a level of trust and confidence in team members in a way that encourages high value behaviors that lead to high performance results. This may be an even greater need with virtual teams. The opportunity to revolutionize teams (including virtual teams) from the inside out requires the transformative power of inclusion.
This Inclusion Assessment™ was designed to evaluate team inclusiveness and was created from extensive research, years of empirical observations and work in and with teams of varying types across multiple industries. Clearly the benefits of an inclusive work environment are relevant:
  • Improved decision-making and problem solving
  • Improved team behaviors and performance
  • Better able to deal with conflict
  • More effective ways to communicate
  • Better able to deal with complexity and change 
Click on the link to begin taking the assessment via the Survey Monkey website: Inclusion Assessment.  (This option has multiple steps)
If you prefer a paper version or want to distribute the assessment to others, please click on the following link to download document for creating a hard copy: Hardcopy of the Inclusion Assessment
Training and Development during economic challenging times can be done! 
Inclusion cloud

Do you . . .  

  • Need 21st century training solutions today?
  • Want to enhance interpersonal communication
  • Want to manage conflict in teams? 
  • Expect generations to productively work together? 
  • Need to understand how change and complexity is helpful to your bottom line? 
  • Need to increase overall team performance?

If you think you cannot afford training & development in this economy . . . think again. Call or email me for ways to customize a training and development strategy that will meet your team or organization's development needs. For more information, click here.

Contact information:
Office: 937-866-7511
A Freebie!
Need to get a conversation started on how to work more inclusively? Try this free FOI Word Association Thought Starter and then have an open and honest discussion about what you hope to accomplish together and remember to have FUN!

Dr. Linda Burrs
Step Up To Success!

My only goal is to help you reach yours!