Goals Insight - Insights E-zine

September 2010

Volume ViII, Number 9

In this E-Zine:
  A Few Notes From Cheryl
  Feature Article
  Upcoming Workshops and Teleclasses
  About Cheryl and Goals InSight

Insights Archives


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Additional Resources:
  Goals InSight website
  2010 Workshop Schedule
  Client Successes

Contact Information:

Cheryl Mann, MBA, CPCC
President / Certified Coach
Goals InSight
Team/Department Coaching, Group Facilitation and Workshops
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A Few Notes From Cheryl

September 22 Teleclass:   Join us for “Where is My Team? 5 Steps to Creating Effective Virtual and Remote Teams!” Would it be helpful for you to uncover the underlying reason(s) why your virtual / remote team is not performing at optimal capacity? Would you like to learn how to create alignment structures to get all of your team members on the same page, regardless of where they are located? If so, you are invited to join us for this month’s teleclass! See information below or on our Speaking page for details and to register for this f-r-e-e teleclass – hope to “see” you on the call!

Coaching Group Starts Soon:   If you are ready to replace “busy-ness” with FOCUS, and would like a committed team to help you do that, so that you can achieve the goals /   intentions that are most important to you, then be sure to call me or send an e-mail ASAP - the next Achieve Your Intentions Coaching Group starts on Tuesday, September 21!   Get all the details HERE!

Feature Article:   "Where’s My Team?” is an introduction to some of the concepts we’ll be discussing in this month’s teleclass, and is an updated version of an article I wrote a few years back.  Enjoy!

Warmest regards,


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Feature Article:  Where’s My Team? 8 Steps to Creating Effective Virtual / Remote Teams

Many of our clients (particularly those on project teams) are members of virtual teams, also known as geographically dispersed teams. Many also have team members who frequently work remotely (full time or part-time telecommuting). What I often find is that these teams are often not sure how team development principles could be utilized, because the team members work in so many different locations as well as potentially different time zones.

It is important to remember that virtual teams are still teams, so general team development principles still apply. However, they need to be implemented a little differently than teams where all members are at the same location. Use the tips below, as well as general team development principles from our other articles at Newsletters, to create a high-performing, sustainable virtual team for YOUR organization!

While there are many, the primary differences between working with virtual teams and co-located teams are:

  1. Communication
  2. Technology
  3. Expectation setting
  4. Trust development
  5. Shared mission, vision and values
  6. Greater opportunities for appreciating diversity
  7. Visibility / rewards and recognition
  8. How team development principles as well as team interventions are applied

Let’s take a look at each of these individually:

  1. Communication:
    Creating solid, reliable methods of communication is critical to a virtual team’s success. Help your team create a set of team agreements for how your virtual team will communicate and interact with each other, especially in the following areas:
    • Phone (in what circumstances will we pick up the phone rather than send an e-mail?)
    • E-mail and/or instant messaging (is e-mail ok for decision making, or just info sharing?)
    • In person (is it possible to bring your virtual team together for annual, semi-annual or quarterly face-to-face meetings?)
    • During web, video or phone meetings (full focus on the meeting/no multi-tasking, etc.)
    • How the team will hold each other accountable to team agreements
  1. Technology:
    • Explore different technologies to help your team be more effective in your meetings and your communications: web meetings, videoconferencing, shared online/virtual workspaces, etc. Choose the solutions that work best for your team’s level of technological savvy, and remember that simpler is often the best choice!
    • Create and utilize specific team agreements about how each team member will stay focused in team meetings and not multi-task (e.g. no checking e-mail, etc.)
    • Create specific ways to keep every team member engaged in the meeting (e.g. each team member is responsible for a portion of the agenda, etc.)
  1. Expectation setting:
    How do team members who don’t see each other often know what to expect from each other? It is important to:
    • Clarify expectations of all team members (especially with different cultures)
    • Determine what the right balance is for independence vs. control
    • Create and utilize team agreements that include accountability so that team members know they can count on each other
  1. Trust:
    With virtual or remote team members, building and maintaining trust among team members is CRITICAL, since frequent face-to-face interaction may not be possible. Trust can be trusting that your colleague will do what he/she committed to, or it might be trusting that he/she will be honest and work with integrity. Remember:

    • Building trust in a relationship takes place over time (not overnight) – this is KEY!
    • Building trust is based on building relationships, so it’s critical to create regular opportunities for interaction to occur as frequently as possible, as these will significantly help develop trust (as well as respect and camaraderie, which are critical success factors of any team!)
    • Creating team agreements with your virtual team regarding how they will create and maintain relationships with each other will help build trust
    • Create virtual “water cooler” opportunities for team members to get to know each other on a personal basis, as if they were running into each other by the office water cooler (e.g. each team member can send or post pictures of themselves, their family, etc. and share updates, just as if they were all in the same office location)
  1. Shared Mission, Vision and Values:
    With all teams, members must have a sense of contributing to the team’s overall direction, so it’s particularly important that virtual teams:
    • Create a shared set of mission, vision and values so that the team stays in alignment while working from different locations
    • Frequently reconnect to team’s shared mission, vision and values in order to help keep the team moving in the same direction from different locations
  1. Diversity:
    • Appreciate and integrate into team discussions all of the diversity your virtual team has to offer (diverse opinions, diverse cultures, diverse perspectives, etc.)
    • Create fun activities so that team members can share experiences or stories related to the diversity of their virtual office (e.g. each member can share something about their particular working style, office environment, culture, time zone, geography, etc.)
  1. Visibility / Rewards and Recognition:
    The activities of a virtual team may not be as readily apparent to other departments or within the organization as a team who is co-located in the same office, so be sure to:
    • Discuss with your team how to maintain your team’s visibility within the organization
    • Integrate ways to reward and recognize your virtual team members, as the benefits of rewards and recognition programs for virtual team members are likely even more important to them than to co-located team members
  1. How team development principles as well as team interventions are applied:
    When team members are in different locations, it requires a little more planning and proactivity to develop your team, but it certainly can be done! Be creative – use the principles above, as well as ideas that your own team generates, and have fun helping your virtual/remote team becoming more effective!

Next Steps
I invite you to start using the ideas above with your team and see what a difference that makes! If you or your team get stuck or would like assistance implementing these techniques, we are here to help. Enjoy!

So, what WILL you do? I’d love to hear – drop me a note at cheryl@goalsinsight.com or give me a call at (510) 482-8987. I would love to hear your ideas about how you will create a more productive virtual team!

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Upcoming Workshops

"Where’s My Team: 5 Steps to Creating Effective Virtual and Remote Teams"

2010 Teleclass Series

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

12:00 noon - 1:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Eastern

During this teleclass you will:

  • Uncover the underlying reasons why your virtual or remote team is not performing at optimal capacity
  • Tap into the diversity of your team to maximize your team’s results, rather than hold your team back
  • Create alignment structures to put your virtual / remote team members on the same path toward success

For more details and to register click HERE


"Replace 'BusyNess' With Intention and Focus:
Achieve success through guided structure, support and focus!"

Achieve Your Intentions Coaching Group

September 21 – November 30, 2010

  • Are you ready to achieve your highest priority intentions and desired outcomes this year?
  • Would you like encouragement, support and accountability in balancing and creating what is MOST important to you, both professionally and personally?
  • Would mentoring, coaching and support from professionals who understand your challenges help you be more successful, especially if you don’t receive that level of support at work?

    If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, this program was designed for YOU!

For more details click HERE


"Who Moved My Stress? 9 Steps to Transform Project Stress/Pressure Into Peaceful Productivity"

Project Management Institute – San Joaquin Valley Forum

Thursday, October 7, 2010

5:30 to 7:30 pm

821 "L" Street - Modesto, CA

Workplace stress is one of the most significant contributors to blocking productivity on projects.

This session helps participants:

  • Discover the connection between reducing stress and highly productive project teams
  • Unlock the secrets to creating less stressed, more relaxed team interactions that yield better team results, especially during times of change
  • Create and deploy a specific “peaceful productivity plan” to turn their vision for a less stressed and more productive project team into reality

For more details and to register click HERE


"Maximizing Health-System Pharmacy Efficiency: Leveraging Team Dynamics in the New Leadership Paradigm"

California Society of Health-System Pharmacists
Seminar 2010 - Annual Conference
Saturday, October 23, 2010

2:00 pm

Hilton Union Square - San Francisco, CA

During this session designed for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, you will learn how to:

  1. Investigate and identify the real underlying reasons why your pharmacy team may not be performing at optimal capacity
  2. Formulate a step-by-step plan to lead your pharmacy team to maximum performance by enhancing subtle relationship and communication dynamics
  3. Identify gaps in your leadership as well as team effectiveness abilities in order to more effectively lead your pharmacy team

For more details and to register click HERE


"Leading High-Performing Cross-Functional Teams"

Healthcare Businesswoman's Association (HBA)
Annual Leadership Conference

Thursday, October 28, 2010 (2:30-4:30 pm)

Friday, October 29, 2010 (8:30 - 10:30 am)

Marriott Philadelphia Downtown - Philadelphia, PA

Cross-functional teams have the potential to be high performing when they optimize the strengths and diversity on their team and create a collaborative environment in which team members can thrive!

During this session, participants will learn how to:

  1. Leverage high-performing team communication tools that drive optimal performance for cross-functional success: team agreements with accountability, navigating conflict and a shared vision that goes beyond the charter
  2. Optimize cross-functional team results by enhancing relationship dynamics, leveraging team diversity, celebrating team successes and increasing awareness of potential pitfalls
  3. Measure, review and create a plan for team’s specific strengths and weaknesses

For more details and to register click HERE


Team Building Events and Off-Site Meetings:

Could your team use some help to be more cohesive?
Is it time to enhance your team's relationships and productivity?

Some teams know that something isn't working, but they don't know exactly what that is or how to improve it. Some organizations hold team building seminars and employee retreats because they know it's time to enhance their teams' productivity and relationships. Do either of those statements describe you/your team? If so, and if you haven't already contacted us to discuss your needs, feel free to give us a call to see if we can help you.

We offer a variety of programs to enhance the performance of your teams as well as improve the ways in which your teams interact, so we invite you to visit our Team Building, Training and Seminar page. This is a great way to show appreciation for your team and enhance their productivity, thereby improving the bottom line for your organization!

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About Goals InSight

Goals InSight helps organizations achieve their desired results in the following ways - click on any of the links for details:

If you know someone who could benefit from our offerings, would you please forward this e-newsletter with your recommendation?  We appreciate your referrals, as this is how we continue to grow and evolve – thank you in advance!

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