Thursday, October 18, 2007

GHC: Working with a Virtual Team in a Global Company

This is a birds of feather session that started out a bit strangely - with no introductions or structure, per se. I guess I was expecting something more like a panel, but with less structure - not the hanging out the panelists were apparently expecting. They wanted to avoid too much duplication with their earlier session, which I was unable to attend as I was working at the Sun recruiting booth.

In general, they are recommending using tools and technology to make working with remote team members more productive. Some obvious things, like sharing information in advance so everyone can be on the same page, speaking slowly on the phone & pausing to give the international folks time to speak up (as there is often a delay on the line).

Everyone had great ideas to share - biggest seemed to be being organized, following through, and learning to communicate with out visual cues. One of the speakers noted that with our global community, we can't count on the visual cues we've all learned growing up anyways - even when we are face to face.

One of the women, who is a manager, said that when she holds meetings with her global team, she has all people call in - even if some folks are local. She wants a "level playing field", though with most conference call management companies charging by per line dialing in, I imagine it is tricky decision to make.

Valerie Fenwick

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