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  • Teambuilding: Top Picks

    The rarity of passion-driven teams

    Dan Bobinski

    Most teams in the workplace are nowhere near as effective as they could be. The reasons are many. But one reason overrides all the rest - a lack of passion.

    Five simple keys to building solid teams

    Dan Bobinski

    When I ask teams what they would like from their supervisors, the same simple things keep coming up. You might think they're obvious - but if they are, teams wouldn't continually be mentioning them!

    Putting the "we" into your team

    Wayne Turmel

    One of the hardest things about pulling a team together is getting the disparate pieces to think of themselves as a whole - to think of all of you as "we". This is more than soft and mushy sentiment, however - there's real science involved.

    Five must-haves for team members

    Mark Miller

    One of the most important decisions leaders make is, "Who's on our team? Because if you have the wrong people around the table, your ultimate success will always be in jeopardy.

    More on Teambuilding

    So you're a manager. Now what?

    Dan Bobinski

    As managers, we can either choose to value and develop our team members or we can look for ways to elevate our own stature. Do you know which category you fall into?

    Workplace excellence can be contagious

    Serguei Netessine

    Team performance can often be more, or less, than the sum of the parts. So it’s significant that research has demonstrated that collective outcomes soar when top performers mingle with less adept colleagues.

    Emotional capital and remote teams

    Wayne Turmel

    Why do some teams seem to form great working relationships and use technology seamlessly to make work a pleasure and create great relationships? The secret is something called “emotional capital.”

    The price of poor listening

    Dan Bobinski

    Hearing and understanding someone else's point of view is a learned skill that requires effort. But it's one we all need to make. Because poor listening leads to misunderstandings, errors, bad decisions, loss of team cohesion and costly mistakes.

    Techniques for working with ADD team members

    Wayne Turmel

    Working with people with Attention Deficit Disorder can sometimes be tricky. But there are specific steps you can take to make meetings less painful and the day-to-day job of supervising less of a chore.

    Managing the pyramids project

    Wayne Turmel

    Peter Drucker once said, “The greatest management job of all time was building the pyramids.” But then, the Egyptians didn't have to deal with conference calls, a barrage of email or managing remote teams.

    Snip those email threads!

    Wayne Turmel

    There’s one complaint everyone has about communicating with their teammates: long email threads. You know, the ones that start as a simple request for information and grow like a virus. But with a little discipline, you can put a stop to this madness.

    When you're not 'their boss'

    Wayne Turmel

    Many of us today are tasked with getting work done when we don't have direct reporting responsibility over the people on the team. This can lead to confusion, frustration and miscommunication. But it doesn’t have to.

    Reducing tensions in partly-virtual teams

    Wayne Turmel

    Hybrid teams - some people working in the office, some at home or elsewhere - are increasingly common. But they pose unique challenges, so a wise leader needs to be aware of the dynamics that can make them work.

    A field guide to underappreciated workplace geniuses

    Wayne Turmel

    There are some employees out there who are downright geniuses in a strange kind of way - and whose extraordinary abilities are mirrored only by complete inability to work and play with others. Here's a quick field study of some of these types.

    Examining your assumptions

    Wayne Turmel

    Assumptions aren’t bad things. They are the model under which we do our work, particularly in remote teams. But assumptions need testing now and again, because without some kind of feedback along the way, things can go can go very wrong.

    Zen and the art of remote teams

    Wayne Turmel

    Without visual cues and context, it’s all too easy to make assumptions about your team's effectiveness. But being mindful of your behavior and communication style can yield both short- and long-term dividends and help you to see what’s really going on.

    Five ways you're hurting your remote working relationships

    Wayne Turmel

    Very few people intentionally try to undermine their working relationships with other team members. But most of us manage to do things inadvertently that can have a disproportionately negative impact on teamwork and productivity.

    Focusing despite technology

    Wayne Turmel

    In a remote team, technology is the way you communicate. So it should be a conduit to better information flow, not a bottleneck that constricts it. And that means limiting the distractions technology can create.

    The power of constructive disagreement

    Tim Lambert

    Disagreement and challenge are healthy activities. But we have become so used to adversarial conversations through our political and legal systems that we have forgotten how to have real dialogue. What we need is a better way to disagree.

    Do you know what's in your technology toolkit?

    Wayne Turmel

    Does your team have the collaboration technology it needs to communicate effectively? If your answer is "no", you might want to take a step back and reconsider. The chances are that you actually have everything you need at your disposal, but don't even know it.

    Fixing the boat in the water

    Wayne Turmel

    There’s no shortage of advice out there on how to put together an effective remote team. But what about fixing one that has gone off the rails? How do you improve the performance or relationships on an existing team that’s already in trouble?

    Avoiding the back-to-work blues

    Wayne Turmel

    For most of us, the first Monday in January after New Year’s Day is the first “real” day back at work. So it’s worth taking a moment to consider what to say to your team as you all re-enter the ‘workosphere’ and to take stock of the dynamics you’ll encounter this week.

    Five end-of-year questions for remote managers

    Wayne Turmel

    At some point in the year we all need to stop, reflect on what’s happened and what looms ahead. And given that another year is looming, in that spirit of reflection, here are five questions all team leaders should ask themselves

    Building social capital in remote teams

    Wayne Turmel

    Social capital is vital to every team. But in remote teams, the incidental and tacit communication that helps form social bonds just isn’t there. So you have to go about building it on purpose rather than expecting it to grow organically.

    Trust, risk and remote teams

    Wayne Turmel

    Working in remote teams isn’t intrinsically more difficult than working together, but it is different. And one of those differences is the role risk plays in building or damaging team trust when working in isolation from others.

    Real rules need to be explicit

    Wayne Turmel

    Like baseball, every workplace has “unwritten rules” about how things work. That’s great, until something goes wrong. Since teamwork is a fragile dynamic at the best of times, it’s a good idea to determine the behaviors you expect from each other and make them explicit.

    The prisoner's dilemma

    James M. Kerr

    Why do people working within the same organization - even the same unit - often seem to be operating in conflict with one another? Understanding the prisoner's dilemma can give us some clues.

    Nobody's paying attention: don't panic

    Wayne Turmel

    If you feel that no one is paying attention on your conference calls, don’t worry about it. You’re not alone. Calls need to be managed to maintain focus and involvement. So plan them , don’t expect them to just magically happen.

    More Good Stuff

    Nobody's paying attention: don't panic

    Wayne Turmel

    If you feel that no one is paying attention on your conference calls, don’t worry about it. You’re not alone. Calls need to be managed to maintain focus and involvement. So plan them , don’t expect them to just magically happen.

    Get ready for the unexpected

    Graham Scrivener

    Change, especially when it is unexpected, commonly triggers anxiety, distraction and loss of motivation. But rather than simply ignoring the negative effects of change, surely it makes sense to help individuals to deal better with the uncomfortable and unpredictable.

    Reviewing remote managers

    Wayne Turmel

    With performance review season looming, how should remote team leaders be evaluated? While the differences between managing remotely and co-locating are few, they are significant, and your terms of reference need to reflect that reality.

    Every team needs communication rules

    Wayne Turmel

    It doesn't matter what you call it, the fact is that every team needs is a set of communication guidelines to help them work together more effectively. So what does one of these communication agreements look like - and how do you go about creating one?

    Cultural misunderstandings and the elephant in the room

    David Livermore

    One of the biggest causes of misunderstandings and conflict in multicultural teams is the difference between direct and indirect communication styles. So how can those who like to get straight to the point work harmoniously with others who expect issues to be addressed more subtly?

    Improving your remote coaching sessions

    Wayne Turmel

    We all know how important it is for managers to coach team members. But with remote teams, coaching conversations can be particularly tough to get right. Here’s how to get round the lack of non-verbal cues to make your remote coaching sessions more effective.

    Too much one-on-one can damage team dynamics

    Wayne Turmel

    Good managers understand the importance of “one-on-ones”. But what if we are spending so much time on individual communication that we inadvertently create a problem for the team as a whole?

    Cultivating social capital

    Suzanne Edinger

    Social capital is the currency of teamwork, lubricating the flow of knowledge around organizations. As people work together over time, you might assume this is something that develops naturally, but that’s not always true. So social capital needs to be nurtured if it is to grow.

    Leading remotely is still leading

    Wayne Turmel

    Virtual teams may be shaking up organizational dynamics, but the fundamentals of how to lead a team are the same whether its members are all based in the same building as you or scattered across four continents.

    The dream team of the future

    Karsten Jonsen

    Organizations are wedded to teamwork. It is just the way things are done. So managers rarely stop and question whether the way that teams operate is as effective as it might be. But are our conventional ideas about teamwork all a bit 'last century'?

    Do you love your team?

    Wayne Turmel

    Don't take this the wrong way, but how do you feel about the members of your team? Do you like them? All of them? Now, let's take it further. Do you love them?

    How different is leading remotely?

    Wayne Turmel

    There's no doubt that leading a remote team is different to working with people in the same office. But for a competent team leader, the differences aren't as great as you might think.

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