Category Archive

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Avoiding the back-to-work blues

Wayne Turmel | 05 January 2015

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.

Balancing act

Jon Penn | 22 December 2014

Members of a team that Maggie managed until recently have been complaining to her about their new boss and asking her to come back as their director. Should she share this feedback with the new director?

Five end-of-year questions for remote managers

Wayne Turmel | 19 December 2014

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 | 02 December 2014

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 | 26 November 2014

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 | 01 October 2014

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 | 26 September 2014

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 | 05 September 2014

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 | 04 September 2014

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 | 28 August 2014

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 | 21 August 2014

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 | 15 August 2014

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 | 13 August 2014

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 | 05 August 2014

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 | 23 July 2014

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 | 21 July 2014

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 | 03 June 2014

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 | 20 May 2014

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?

Are you playing 'Game of Cubicles'?

Wayne Turmel | 22 April 2014

Maybe I'm getting a little obsessed, but I can't help noticing the similarities between corporate politics and 'Game of Thrones '. I even came up with a name for it. So how well do you play the 'Game of Cubicles'?

Is team technology a barrier or an excuse?

Wayne Turmel | 17 April 2014

Technology is often used as an excuse for the poor management of remote teams. While it can certainly be a barrier, understanding team dynamics and offering training and resources can eliminate most of these. That just leaves the excuses.

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