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Curiouser Science Lessons, No. 3: Empowering Virtual Teams

Empowering Virtual Teams

What could a researcher from 1965 have to teach us about leading virtual teams? Quite a lot, according to this review article, which uses a team development model first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. Among the 5 stages of this model, the authors share 3 key recommendations: 

  • When the team is initially forming, make sure to create multiple ways and virtual channels for team members to connect and share with each other since this sets the stage for the team dynamic.
  • As the team starts performing and moving towards its shared goals, set expectations for team meetings. To do this, you can create a virtual team charter that outlines guidelines around communication standards, cadence of meetings, and common practices. This is particularly important in a remote setting as virtual communication can often be misinterpreted as its missing facial cues and in person body language. 

After meeting its collective goals, and the team is adjourning, thank your team members publicly in relevant virtual communication channels so those successes are properly recognized.

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This article was featured in the Torch People Development newsletter, Curiouser. Each month, we deliver the latest research, stories, questions, and insights about the art and science of people development to your inbox. Sign-up and join a community of people passionate about growth, learning and leadership.

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