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  • Anton has joined the meeting.

  • While it may be astounding that we can have a virtual meeting with people on different continents, it can also be frustrating.

  • And these frustrations can affect morale, engagement, productivity, and innovation.

  • When changes in the ways we communicate lead to changes in how others perceive our communications, this calls for a new set of protocols and behaviors.

  • Authors Erica Dhawan and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic have a few rules of thumb for communicating with remote teams.

  • First, since clarity and consistency are key, sticking to a set of agreed upon norms can help avoid confusion.

  • This could range from a set of acronyms about expected response times to standardizing use of particular communication platforms.

  • Next, remember that you can never be too clear.

  • Unless you've established a shorthand protocol ahead of time, don't assume others understand your brevity.

  • Take the extra time to be extra clear, regardless of the medium.

  • Third, don't bombard your team with messages.

  • Each time you email, text, or call imagine that you are physically walking into your colleagues workspace.

  • If you followed up an email by text and phone, it would be like opening their office door three times in a row.

  • Minimize your digital volume, and think wisely before hitting send.

  • Fourth, notice that team members who are more introverted in person can really benefit from written communications.

  • Physical barriers can actually level the playing field for those who may be less inclined to speak in group settings.

  • Lastly, find ways to celebrate and socialize remotely to strengthen relationships between team members and improve collaboration.

  • Even a simple switch from conference calls to video, for instance, can boost rapport and create empathy.

  • The challenges of remote teams will not disappear, but creating consistent rules, rituals, and protocols will go a long way in building a new communication skill set.

Anton has joined the meeting.

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