5 Tips for Leading Effective Virtual Team Meetings

 It is conference call time for a multinational headquartered in Paris. Professionals in three time zones get ready with their details and plug themselves in the conference. The first greeting starts with a small tease with the professionals in three time zones expressing three salutations – A good morning, another one good afternoon and the third one expressing a good evening. They break the ice with another banter stating how the time zones have been made irrelevant by technology.  They then get into their engagements, discussing serious issues pertaining to the clients.  This is no exception, but a rule in a globally connected ecosystem.

Virtual teams are the new realities of the business world. With physical geographies having been obsolete in terms of businesses being done, to succeed it is but important for every professional to understand the nuances of managing virtual teams across the globe.

Given below are some techniques to manage virtual team meetings effectively –

  1. Motivate people to engage in relaxed conversations

Being in different time zones and from seemingly different cultures, it is but important to break the ice before hitting the point. Motivate your team from across the world to engage in relaxed pleasantries if they are meeting for the first time so that the team is relaxed to share ideas and opinions with each other.

2.  Encourage cultural sensitivity

As your teams move into virtual conversations across several locations, it is pertinent that each one of them attending the meet is sensitized to the cultures of the others who are participating in the discussion. Because it is virtual, it becomes more imperative than face to face meetings as to be sensitive to the diversity that each of the member brings to the table.

3.  Describe work process

Each individual has his/her unique way of looking at tasks. In a virtual team, where time is a huge factor, it is important that you upfront describe the discussions and deliberations so that each one of the member is in the same page. Setting standardization in the deliberations will save a lot of time, which otherwise would be difficult.

4. Have clear and detailed deliverables

It saves a lot of energy and effort from either sides when you have an absolute clear and detailed deliverables to be discussed and concluded at the end of the meeting. Everyone, irrespective of the geographies loves to be a part of a professional culture which is focused and has a clear agenda to discuss and deliver.

 5.  Be meticulous in your approach

Remember that the most important aspect of a virtual team is how you effectively communicate with each other. Hence, it is important that you become a great team player across the board. Make sure you listen intently and ask questions rather than forcing your opinions on others. Also, it would be great if you could call people by their names and get everyone to contribute their ideas to the discussion.  Speak slow and use short sentences so that everyone understands clearly what you are saying. State what seems obvious to you because if you assume that people across geographies understand a few things without saying, you would end up in a position to call for the next meeting…albeit the same agenda!

Systemic Team Coaching: the next big breakthrough in leadership development

As an avid reader of HR In Sights I’ve often stumbled upon wonderful articles which have helped me grow, both personally and professionally.

Sharing an excerpt from an article posted by Ben Quarless. Thank you Ben.

Systemic Team Coaching is a process by which a team coach works with a whole team in the context of their organisation’s current and future requirements to help them improve their leadership as a whole team and as individuals. Connections with, impact on and ability to influence and lead in the wider system are additional outcomes that the approach achieves.

In Systemic Team Coaching the team is coached a team as a unique and coherent ‘whole’.
Systemic Team Coaching is therefore not the same as individual coaching of each team member in a group setting and is also fundamentally different to ‘team building’ which is generally more focused on improving team-member relationships.

A systemic team coaching approach considers the team to be an inseparable entity whose performance and results depend on the systemic, interactive, operational responsibility of its members – functioning both together and apart.

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The work starts with an inquiry as to the purpose and mandate of the team in the organisational context. The rationale and mandate for the team are examined from different perspectives to create clarity and purpose. Systemic Team Coaching is also primarily focused on achieving clear performance results as measured by mutually-created and measurable criteria.

Five conditions for effective Systemic Team Coaching

Systemic Team Coaching emphasises and focuses on the system alongside individual and team challenges. There are several conditions that engender effective Systemic Team Coaching:
1. There is a team of a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to or can create a common purpose with a set of agreed performance goals and are willing to examine how they can most effectively work together and hold themselves jointly accountable
2. The team collectively aspire to achieve a greater level of performance
3. The team can be open to working with others on their learning and performance journey
4. The team recognise the importance of meeting stakeholder needs and connecting their work to the needs of the organisation
5. The team understand the impact they can have in motivating and inspiring others across the organisation and beyond
The right practitioner
A Systemic Team coach works with and alongside the team and does not stand outside with a focus on facilitation alone or indeed training alone. The answers lie within the team and wider system. As a result each team member has the opportunities to develop personally and professionally alongside moving towards greater organisational health.

Therefore it is essential that organisations work with a coach who has the capacity to work with the whole team and see beyond the individual personalities. Someone who challenges thinking and will variously provoke and invite the team to expand the boundaries of its’ thinking to enhance performance.

Does it deliver?

Systemic Team Coaching can deliver extraordinary results for the team and organisation. This holistic approach has been shown to deliver increased performance and collaboration amongst key teams because it actively seeks to work with the organisational factors that sometimes unconsciously block teams from working effectively together.
In my experience, within a System Team Coaching session you are likely to hear bold cut-through statements that get to the core of some of the organisation’s most acute challenges and the team coaching work which takes places is therefore deeply embedded in the service of the organisation’s overall performance and health.
Systemic Team Coaching actively looks for ways to connect the work and journey of the team back into the organisation and explores shifts and changes that it can make institutionally – upwards, laterally and cascading through the system. As a result, profitability, productivity, customer satisfaction and employee morale all benefit from the team’s improved ability to connect with, impact upon and lead in the wider organisational system.

Excerpt taken from article in HR In Sights posted by Ben Quarless

‘Life Coach’ Added to Merriam-Webster Dictionary

This is a proud moment for the Coaching Industry. The word ‘Life Coach’has now been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

I see this as a validation of an industry which is growing at an exponential speed – and this growth is proof that Coaching is an effective solution in the current socio-economic conditions worldwide.

Am proud to be a part of this profession. Proud to be able to help people unleash their potential. Proud to be able to live my life purpose. Proud to be a Coach.

Here is the news article published by Sacramento Bee. Links to the original article have been provided below.

LEXINGTON, Ky., Aug. 17, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — For the first time Tuesday, the word “life coach” appeared in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. “I think it’s great,” says Michelle Hollingshead, President of the ICF Ohio Valley Chapter. Merriam-Webster picks about 100 additions for their annual update, by gathering evidence of frequently used words over several years. “I think it communicates the legitimacy and the timeliness of our services.” Hollingshead continued, “It’s great to get global recognition as a profession.”

In an economic age where more and more jobs are being cut, the coaching industry is growing. “The industry keeps growing because it’s meeting a societal need to make people more effective, satisfied and able to maximize their potential to help humanity flourish,” explains Dr. Damian Goldvarg, President-Elect of ICF’s Board of Directors. The first-known usage of the word “life coach” was in 1986 according to Merriam-Webster, but since then the professional coaching industry has exploded. The 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study* revealed there are 47,500 professional coaches worldwide bringing in a total annual income of nearly $2 billion. The growth in the professional coaching industry is one indication that coaching is an effective solution to the common economic struggles plaguing many companies today.

Major corporations have turned to coaching to improve their businesses, including IBM, Nike, Verizon and Coca-Cola Enterprises. Studies show that virtually all companies or individuals who hire a coach are satisfied. According to the ICF Global Coaching Client Study (2009), a stunning 99% of people who were polled said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the overall experience.

A key differentiator for the industry is that coaching is seen as an “action plan” rather than an exploratory process. Coaching has become a significant trend in leadership development because it increases productivity, empowers employees, and provides a return on investment (ROI). Professional coaching explicitly targets maximizing potential and in doing this unlocks latent sources of productivity and effectiveness. At the heart of coaching is a creative and thought-provoking process that supports individuals to confidently pursue new ideas and alternative solutions with greater resilience in the face of growing complexity and uncertainty.

The International Coach Federation is the leading global organization for coaches, with over 21,000 members in more than 100 countries and over 7,900 credentialed coaches worldwide. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high ethical standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches.

* The 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study and the ICF Global Coaching Client Study (2009) were commissioned by ICF but conducted independently by the International Survey Unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Full copies of the studies are available upon request.

http://www.coachfederation.org

This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE  International Coach Federation

Link to the original article: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/17/4735401/life-coach-added-to-merriam-webster.html