Conflict in virtual teams - Deepstash

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Lindred Greer: Why Virtual Teams Have More Conflict

Conflict in virtual teams

...is more likely to escalate because:

  • Colleagues are more likely to take disagreements personally when they don't have the context, nuance or even the facial expressions of the other person they are engaging with.
  • Communication is often impersonal, so it encourages a back and forth that escalates more quickly than during in-person encounters.

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Lindred Greer: Why Virtual Teams Have More Conflict

Lindred Greer: Why Virtual Teams Have More Conflict

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/lindred-greer-why-virtual-teams-have-more-conflict#

gsb.stanford.edu

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Key Ideas

Managing conflict in virtual teams

  • Assign tasks that demand interdependence among team members to complete, so that they rely on each other to succeed.
  • Set clear goals. Formalizing the team’s vision, roles, norms, work processes, and strategies can help keep a team on track.
  • Awarding teamwork is crucial to encourage them to work together and discourage an individual from going off the rails.
  • Be patient. Teams often overcome problems of virtuality over time.

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Virtual teamwork places greater emphasis on communication and organization.

Over the short-term, newly formed virtual teams experience more negative outcomes, such as team conflict, lower satisfaction, less knowledge sharing, and poorer performance. But, they will adapt and improve over time.

Adapting quickly

At an individual level, some people will find it easier to adapt than others.

  • A study revealed that when people are imaginative and enjoying a new challenge, they are happier to embrace virtual teamwork.
  • Extroverted individuals prefer face-to-face work, and virtual work may lessen the energy they get from social interaction.
  • Introverts are better at adapting to a virtual environment as it involves less face-to-face interaction.
  • Those who like to make quick decisions prefer virtual teams.

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Research on communication

Research found that only 7 percent of communication comes from the words you use; the rest of what you communicate comes from your voice and tone (38 percent) and your body language (55 percent).

Connecting with people
If you really want to communicate effectively, you need to connect and converse with the people around you—beyond words on a screen.
Embrace small talk

Small talk might not be that meaningful, but it does have a few benefits: it can make you happier and it can boost the brain’s executive functions responsible for everything from attention and focus to time management to organization.

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Focus on your camera

Practice looking into your camera during video conferences when you speak, even for brief moments.
It's challenging to focus on your camera for an entire meeting, but know that you increase the ...

Maintain a strong voice

Strong voices convey authority, credibility, and confidence.
Using a loud voice will also keep you from mumbling and from speaking too quickly due to the amount of breath required.

Frame yourself in the right way

Make sure you have time before the meeting to pick your location and put your head fully in frame.
In a video conference, your head and the top of your shoulders should dominate the screen. Also, be mindful of your background. Distracting elements will pull attention away from you.

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