Course Outcomes

This communication and team-building course for virtual teams will:

  • Surface communication issues and provide a forum for reaching solutions.
  • Offer strategies for prioritizing and communicating information.
  • Explain behavioral styles.
  • Provide solid guidance for running virtual meetings.

Course Overview

He works in one time zone, and she is in another. When she’s getting ready to start the day, he’s thinking about going home. Her emails seem curt, and his are too informal. Over the telephone, conversations seem to take a long time with little to show for the effort. Everyone on the team, if you can call it that, is frustrated with the lack of communication.

To put it plainly, communicating within a traditional team can be a challenge.  What’s more, when working virtually, the obstacles grow larger. This course addresses the roadblocks many teams encounter and provides solutions for working better together, whether sitting at a desk in South Dakota or an office in South Korea.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the challenges specific to working with virtual teams.
  • Articulate a common purpose.
  • Prioritize issues and opportunities.
  • Explain four basic communication styles and how to adapt to each.
  • Demonstrate listening skills.
  • Facilitate a virtual meeting.
  • Address conflict.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Who Are We?: Assessing Your Current Team

This program begins with a discussion about the differences between traditional and virtual teams and the challenges specific to each. Following that conversation, participants will complete a team-effectiveness profile to identify the group’s views on team commitment, capacity, and culture; its physical and cultural roadblocks; and its stage in the team-development process. Then using the outcomes from that assessment, we will tailor the agenda for the day and identify where we want to spend the bulk of our time.

Are We All on the Same Page?: Developing a Common Purpose

A common purpose can anchor a team and motivate its members. This program segment focuses on articulating a team vision or confirming an existing one, defining values, and agreeing on operation principles. From there, participants will discuss roles, responsibilities, and accountability.

What’s Important?: Prioritizing Issues and Opportunities

Knowing what is important is often half the battle in group communication and having a strong virtual team. During this portion of the course, the participants will consider the team’s current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Next, they will identify changes they need to make in the short and long term.

What Are You Saying?: Communicating Clearly

Interpersonal skills are important for any team, but even more so for people who don’t see each other on a regular basis. This part of the workshop explores communication and its role in virtual communication. We will consider what makes communication effective and what doesn’t, how to leverage listening, questioning, and other skills to improve the flow of information, and the extent to which culture plays into the communication process.

What’s Your Style?: Navigating Through The Communication Jungle

Sometimes communication falls apart because people fail to recognize differences in people styles. During this seminar segment, we will look at how preferences differ and strategies for adjusting communication to improve understanding.  

Who Is Running the Show?: Facilitating Discussions

The ability to run a virtual meeting effectively is a learned skill. This segment reviews techniques for leading conference calls and virtual meetings with ease. In this portion of the course, we will practice a virtual meeting and develop a list of best practices and guidelines for future use.

How Do We Solve This?: Handling Roadblocks

Despite their best efforts, occasionally virtual teams encounter tough problems. This program ends with an exercise around difficult people and tough team situations.

By the conclusion of this communication skills training course, participants should have a clear idea of what it takes to make their virtual team a cohesive and effective group.