Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Great idea for connecting a remote team

I had breakfast with a friend the other day who manages a team of individuals who live and work in different locations across the US. Because they work autonomously, many of them have not met each other other than through a team conference call where they share strategies and ideas about their work and client service. Other than what they learn from each other on this monthly call, they know nothing to little about one another.

One of the team members approached my friend (her manager) and offered to create a Power Point presentation where each person on the team would be represented through a few photos and comments on a page in the deck. She figured it would be an easy way to provide some information and a connection among the team. The person who volunteered to create the presentation, also volunteered to gather information from each team member to include on their page. She kept it simple by emailing the team members to let them know what she was doing. And, she included a simple set of questions for each person to answer, including: Hobbies/Interests?; Family info?; Pets?; and Favorite color? order to establish background color on each person’s slide; or whatever they wanted to share. Each person was invited to offer 1 to 4 photos for their page to help their co-workers get a sense of who they are and/or how they like to spend their time. The feedback about the benefits that she received from the team were great including the opportunity to see what they immediately may have in common with others on their team.

The cool thing is that you can establish whatever questions you, or your team, choose. In the example above, the information published was clearly personal. Yet, you can use this format for team members to share their professional bio or goals, or projects they’re most proud of, or where they feel knowledgeable and where they would welcome more knowledge; or a tidbit about themselves that would be helpful (i.e., prefer email over voice mail). You get the idea.

Just thought this was a simple and inexpensive idea worth sharing. Do you have any other great ideas for team building among a remote team?

If you’re managing remotely, and you missed this past entry, you also may want to check it out.


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