Influencing Virtual Teams | Hassan Osman

Summary of: Influencing Virtual Teams: 17 Tactics That Get Things Done with Your Remote Employees
By: Hassan Osman


Dive into the world of virtual team management with the insightful book ‘Influencing Virtual Teams’ authored by Hassan Osman. This summary will introduce you to the key highlights and various tactics that will help you achieve better results with your remote employees. Learn the significance of using the word ‘because’, the importance of establishing deadlines, and the value of being precise with your communication. Throughout the summary, you will be guided with actionable advice and strategies that you can apply when managing a remote workforce of varied ages.

Strengthening Virtual Communication

Learn how to effectively communicate with virtual teams by using “because,” setting deadlines, and designating specific individuals for each assignment.

Effective communication is an integral component of any team’s success, and with the rise of virtual teams, it has become crucial to adapt to new communication methods. One simple technique to strengthen virtual communication is to add the word “because” when making requests. Studies have shown that adding “because” to a request increases compliance rates significantly. It’s not necessarily the reason behind the request that matters but the use of the word “because” itself.

Another essential method to promote accountability is to establish deadlines. People tend to procrastinate when a task lacks urgency, but setting a deadline creates a sense of urgency and fosters a culture of accountability. Deadlines need to be clear and specific, indicating the date, day, and time to complete a task. Even when a deadline may not be necessary, it’s crucial to make it an unbreakable habit.

Designating specific individuals for each assignment is another strategy for strengthening virtual communication. It’s crucial to avoid assuming that someone will step up and take responsibility if you assign a task to a group. It’s better to ask for volunteers, but if no one does, then select someone based on their skills and expertise. This method also empowers employees to take ownership of the project, leading to higher engagement levels.

In conclusion, virtual teams require a different style of communication to achieve optimal results. Using “because” when making a request, setting deadlines, and designating specific individuals for each assignment can help create better communication and higher engagement levels.

Managing Autistic Workers and Remote Teams

The founder of Specialisterne, a successful Danish software manufacturer that employs people with autism, emphasizes the importance of being precise and direct when managing autistic workers and remote teams. Clear communication is key, as individuals with autism struggle to interpret nonverbal cues. Delegating tasks through written assignments is effective, as it underscores your authority as the leader and secures commitment from team members. For remote teams, it is essential to be 100% certain of what you want your team to do and leave nothing open to interpretation. Encourage the use of precise language and written communication, such as a single-slide PowerPoint presentation with bullet points. Verbal requests should never be relied upon, even if employees seem certain to carry them out.

Building Trust and Likeability in Remote Teams

Establishing trust and building likeability are crucial for success in remote operations. This requires a combination of effective collaboration, reliability, and personal connection.

Remote work is becoming increasingly popular, and building trust and likeability are critical for success in a virtual team. Trust is the foundation of any remote operation and entails reliability and likeability, which should exist among team members. Without trust, performance and morale suffer. Nonetheless, building trust can be challenging because of different personalities, cultures, and expectations about work and communication styles.

Enhancing reliability starts with assessing your team members’ technical and collaborative proficiency. It is essential to set clear expectations and communicate assignments accordingly, ensuring that they are not open to interpretation or assumptions. You must keep tabs on each project’s progress to avoid misunderstandings.

It would help if you also set a good example by demonstrating reliability and showing your team members that you trust them to get the job done. However, even the most effective strategies are unlikely to affect underperformers. You can try talking to these employees, but letting them go may be the best course of action.

Getting to know team members on a personal level is one of the fastest ways to increase likeability. Although this is difficult in a remote setting, you can use informal conversations to learn about them. It would help if you were cautious and not too nosy or ask sensitive questions that violate company policies. Encouraging social interactions will help you create a virtual water cooler to increase team likeability and cohesion. Facilitate video conferencing and schedule special meetings specifically for team-building exercises. Always show optimism. Teams with a positive attitude are demonstrably more capable of dealing with work stress.

In summary, establishing trust and building likeability are crucial for success in remote operations. This requires effective collaboration, reliability, and personal connection. It takes time and effort, but the payoff is rewarding, as remote teams with a positive attitude and high level of trust tend to outperform and stay engaged.

Effective Communication Techniques

The book provides practical tips on how to communicate effectively with employees in a virtual environment. To ensure compliance, it recommends asking team members to repeat the task and due date back to you and to follow up with an email summarizing the assignment. The book also suggests leaving clear and concise voicemails, including your contact information, and using bullet points to highlight the call to action in emails. Effective communication is critical in getting things done and maintaining reliability in a virtual workplace.

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