Theresa Sigillito Hollema is a cultural consultant, team coach, and expert in working virtually. Her company, Interact Global, helps strengthen collaboration across cultures and borders. This interview is full of tips for how to talk to your team about culture, and what leaders can do to build trust on their virtual teams.


Subscribe to the Collaboration Superpowers Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

 

Her tips on working remotely:

  • Have conversations about culture with your remote team.
  • Reference models, read books, and hire outside expertise.
  • Train your teams on how to work virtually.
  • Be open to diversity. Bring people’s styles out instead of shutting them down.
  • Lean how to increase your emotional intelligence.
  • Build trust with quick deliverables.
  • As a leader, empower your teams and promote continuous improvement.
  • Try team building exercises.

Podcast production by Podcast Monster
Graphic design by Alfred Boland

 

Sign up for the Collaboration Superpowers newsletter (blue)


Original transcript

Hollema, a cultural consultant, team coach and expert in working virtually. She’s also another American living in the Netherlands, very close by to me so we’re going to meet in person soon but if you’ve been waiting for an interview that talks all about culture and how to deal with culture on your virtual team, this is the interview for you without further ado here is Theresa.

So I’m super excited to get dive into leadership and culture on virtual teams but let’s start with the first question which is what does your virtual office look like, what do you need to get your work done?

 

Theresa:          It’s a good question, so I start with my home office, which is where I spend a lot of time when I’m not on the road and my home office serves two purposes. One is a place where I can work quietly, design, prepare for workshops, things of that sort but it also is my headquarters for reaching out globally. So that means I’m speaking all over the world, some days I’m speaking with Singapore and then Italy and then the US all on different phone calls as I… or phone calls or whichever tool, as I connect with different clients across the world. So I’m quite globally plain but sitting in my office here and then I’m very often on a plane going off to the workshops, going off to meet clients and for that of course I bring along my laptop which has everything and the phone just like everybody else.

 

Lisette:            So really simple, so laptop, phone and Wi-Fi I of course.

 

Theresa:          Wi-Fi absolutely and actually my favorite tool is the clicker for Power Point because if you don’t have that you’re continuously walking back and forth to the machine and that’s just a torcher.

 

Lisette:            And distracting for the participants to a little bit.

 

Theresa:          And distracting as well.

 

Lisette:            Yeah, indeed and I should mention that you’re also an American, but living in the Netherlands not too far from me. So will be meeting in person very soon.

 

Theresa:          Absolutely.

 

Lisette:            So it’s also very exciting to meet, another American in the Netherlands, it’s not like it’s rare but it’s not common, it’s not common.

 

Theresa:          No and in fact I’m here a little bit longer than you, I’m here jeez almost eighteen, nineteen years. I came over for a European project to work on as a project manager and to work on a Global a European. So with people from all over the world, all over Europe I should say and I ended up falling in love with our consultant who is a Dutch man. So it was good for me, good for the project and that’s why I’m here.

 

Lisette:            Yeah those Dutch men.

 

Theresa:          They are loveable.

Lisette:            They are loveable, I also fell in love with a Dutch man indeed, indeed. So let’s talk about then what you’re doing because on your website it says ‘strengthening collaboration across cultures and borders’ and man I’d like to start with the cultural, the culture question because everybody asks, like how do we, we’ve got these teams from all over the world we have some people in India, some people in New York, some people in South Africa, how do we bridge the culture and I know this is a big question and I’m sure you do whole workshops on this. So we are not going to get into all the details today but what advice do you have for teams around this, where do people start?

 

Theresa:          Where do people start is absolutely having a conversation about culture because often we just, we start with teams, we start working and we run into issues, problems and we start to blame it on culture without…and that makes sense because there are differences in how people get things done and so we start to have issues and then we start to say ‘well I never want to work with that culture anymore, oh what a headache working with that culture is.’ And that clearly just leads towards frustration, misinformation, and the project goes into a deep pool. I would suggest when a multicultural project is first coming together to have a conversation about culture. What are some of the differences that we’re bringing to the table, what are some of the different ways that we work together and often referencing models, books, other people work higher styles? Working with a cultural consultant like myself can help to facilitate this conversation because most people don’t even know where to begin when you’re starting to talk about culture.

 

Lisette:            Yeah we don’t know what we don’t know.

 

Theresa:          Exactly.

 

Lisette:            Yeah.

 

Theresa:          Exactly, so bringing that into the conversation, into the team. A lot of people go ‘aha now I understand,’ and then they’re equipped with more interest, more knowledge, also more curiosity and so then these conversations start between the teams, start to become more fluid and they also learn to work better with each other but what I also like to see is that when people are working across cultures, they start to grow, they start to develop their cultural competence and that means the ability to work with people from different cultures, and that doesn’t mean holding on to my style and that’s it. Actually I learn to expand my style in my options of how I can approach different people in different situations and so there’s an opportunity to grow every time we work in a multicultural team.

 

Lisette:            Oh I love it, so not only are you learning how to work on that team, you’re actually learning how to be a worldlier person shall we say in the world.

 

Theresa:          Absolutely.

 

Lisette:            Okay.

 

Theresa:          It’s the gift of working on a multicultural team that you wouldn’t have if you were just in your own country or in a less diverse team.

 

Lisette:            And the fun thing is you can do it without travelling, just working with people. You don’t even have to travel to that country to really understand.

 

Theresa:          You’re absolutely right, you’re absolutely right I mean it’s more challenging, let’s say more of a hurdle to realize, to reach out to others when you’re working virtually. However the chance is there, the opportunity to learn is there and it’s through that collaboration that you can grow through as somebody who can work across cultures as well.

 

Lisette:            Yeah I would also think of that as fun to learn about other cultures, learn about foods and traditions and holidays and all kinds of things. I mean if you’re a curious person then I can imagine that that’s a really fun area to dive into.

 

Theresa:          I think so and many other people think so as well, we’re just trying to take the pain out of it and make it something that is more… can be used by the team. I mean studies show that more diverse teams can lead towards a more creative solutions as well and that doesn’t happen when a team is all frustrated and miscommunicating and struggling with each other. That comes when there’s an understanding of each other, respect for each other and appreciation to create together. It’s a great opportunity.

 

Lisette:           Are there to fraternity are there specific questions that you ask teams or that you posed to teams to get them to start talking about their culture? Because for instance I wouldn’t know where to start with my… like if I were to explain my American culture it would be easier for me to explain the Dutch culture because I’m an outsider to the Dutch culture so I know all the things that are different, but how do you bring that out?

 

Theresa:          Lisette you’re spot on, it’s much easier to explain something else than our own and the reason is it’s because for us it’s normal right. So how we act, you and I act as Americans is normal for us but for our Dutch husbands or our colleagues it’s weird. It’s like being a fish in water, it’s much easier to explain the other, so I have a whole process let’s say of bringing people along to first understand that there are differences and then to learn how to explain someone’s own culture. I mean that doesn’t come like you’re saying overnight. It’s something that, first we have to understand that there is this dynamic culture and then I can start to explain my own, because when we’re working in a team being able to explain your own cultures. Quite important to explain your point of view but also to help your colleagues understand your culture and the other people that they’re working with as well. So there’s a lot of dynamics going on when we’re exploring this topic.

 

Lisette:            I can imagine and I can imagine it’s easier to do if we get to visit the other country because then you get to see it firsthand but on a remote team we don’t always get to do that, so having the conversation is the next best and most important thing I suppose.

 

Theresa:          But we can go beyond that, so we can read books about the countries that we’re working with, we can read the newspaper, we can explore the holidays, and we can learn more about the culture itself speak to others. So there’s a lot we can do even in our own offices to learn about the cultures of our colleagues and I highly recommend people spend time on it.

 

Lisette:            Indeed I actually use You Tube for that every time I go to a different country to explore something I always watch some sort of You Tube history about the country and just to learn a little bit. Like how to say ‘hello’ and that kind of thing so You Tube is a great resource.

 

Theresa:         Absolutely those are the basics and there’s more and it’s a great way to open the door, fantastic.

 

Lisette:           So now you’ve got a book that you’ve been working on, now is this the same book on the website; ‘The leading virtual teams across cultures.’ Is?

 

Theresa:         Yes.

 

Lisette:           Okay so now it looks like everybody can contribute to this book, it’s a crowd sourced book. So before I tell people too much wrong information tell us about the book.

 

Theresa:         Thank you, yeah it’s not a crowd source book but it is a book that we are looking for stories but let me take a step back because I decided at one moment I wanted to write a book about working across cultures remotely, because this is working globally and I find that there’s a lot of opportunity to share this kind of information with people and I wanted to take the angle of coming from academia, seeing if there are research, theories, ideas that we can use in the business community when we are trying to figure out how to work virtually more effectively. But I’m not an academic, I’m a practitioner so I wanted to partner with an academic. I went online searched and I came across a professor named [inaudible – 12:03] who is a professor at the State University of New York in Binghamton. One of his specializations is leadership and IT and technology, so I read his work, I liked what I was reading, I found it to academic but I thought this could be a really cool partner. Coming from the academia and me coming from practitioner, I sent him an email and he was enthusiastic, we’ve been working together for about a year and a half. So the first part of the book was looking at the research in academia, seeing what could be applied to the business community and now we are in the next phase which is looking for stories of success, because if you have just a book with just academics it’s a little too dry and not very interesting. What we’re trying to say, well who are doing this well that we could share with our community through the book and so that’s the stage we’re in right now. I must say the interviews are fantastic, and there’s a lot of clever people out there, really consciously thinking about how to create a team in the virtual space, because it’s completely different than working with a team on site. There are many managers who say it’s my responsibility to bring this team together even though they’re sitting in there. And even though they’re sitting in different directions and even though they have cultural backgrounds as well.

 

Lisette:            So have you met this professor in person yet?

 

Theresa:          No.

 

Lisette:            Awesome.

 

Theresa:          We’ve never met our whole experience has been virtual. We’ve seen each other, we use email, we’re using all the tools but we have never met, and at first we thought ‘oh we should meet, we should meet.’ It the thing to do but time went by and we just found we just didn’t meet to meet. It’s the relationship and the work together is going so well, as it is that there’s no reason to make that happen unless it happens and it happens so it’s good.

 

Lisette:            Excellent, its super exciting to see that you could be collaborating with people from anywhere, we can…I mean and it just takes a little more time to build a relationship but it’s absolutely possible to do it online.

 

Theresa:         Well Lisette you’re spot on, it’s not that the point was when we started working together there were times when we came together and we only spoke about our own personal stuff or we only spoke about why are we doing this project together? To make sure that there is that shared goal, that there’s shared purpose. Sometimes we hardly ever worked, it was really about these softer topics and that helped build the relationship, build the trust and then we started working together it was much more seamless. So it’s a combination of focusing on the work but also focusing on who we are together.

 

Lisette:            Right getting to know each other personally, does make sure you have the same values and directions I’m assuming that you want to go in.

 

Theresa:        Right.

 

Lisette:            Now I want to dive a bit into what you’re finding in the book because of course I have done nothing with academia and you’ve said in a previous conversation, you said that ‘academia is like hidden behind this wall that only other people in academia really ever access.’ I mean it’s available for everyone, I am assuming some stuff but academia is the one that’s accessing it. So I’m really excited to hear about what you’re learning and I’m curious, what are you seeing teams really struggle with right now in terms of the research?

 

Theresa:          Well I think what we’re seeing, so I think what I see teams struggling with is very similar to what you’re seeing teams struggling with. Is they’re not connecting, they feel that using technology is hard and impossible then to build the relationship, many people are frustrated. So I think what’s interesting is that you’re coming from an angle with your book which really is looking at what people are doing practically and really making that happen and I think that’s fantastic. And we’re coming from a different angle of saying ‘well if research was going to be used to help these teams, how that might look?’ And I think both of these together are helping to bring a conversation to people who are working virtually. What we’re seeing from the research is that to work and lead a remote multicultural team is a completely different way than if you’re working on site. You need to build trust differently, you need to think about leadership differently, empowering differently. It’s just a different way and what I like as well is that, actually the type of leadership that is successful in the virtual space requires leaders to continue to develop themselves so for instance how somebody might lead an onsite team. They might be for instance very directive, well the research shows that just won’t work in a virtual space it’s almost impossible to be in so much control with people who are remote. So a directive leader then needs to develop themselves into a more facilitative leader, a more coaching leader and that is actually good I think for the business community because that helps people and helps teams to address the complexity that we have in our world right now. So it’s exciting that’s why I think when leaders say ‘oh I’m now leading a virtual team,’ it’s a great opportunity for them if they consciously think about how to do it well.

 

Lisette:           What’s the resistance from managers in terms of learning how to lead in this new era, what’s the resistance from managers for going remote that you’re seeing?

 

Theresa:         Technology,    they don’t think they can coach somebody from a far, they don’t think they can control someone from a far. They don’t think they can build a team where they are have to talk into the computer or in the phone. They don’t have people, they don’t feel like… it’s like ‘how can I lead people if I’m never with people, if I can’t take someone for a coffee and really talk about what’s going on.’ So there’s a lot of resistance to using technology, going beyond the hurdle of technology to build a team and it can be done and so my work is trying to share with people that it can be done and how to do it as well.

 

Lisette:           Yeah technology can be really scary, a lot’s happening and it seems to be going exponentially fast in terms of the apps and software and tools that are being developed. I mean now we’ve got the Tele-presence robots and holograms are really just around the corner and I can imagine that it’s intimidating for people to see this, and what I see is people are still struggling with basic online meetings, like basic video conferencing.

 

Theresa:          Well I know I’ve heard you say that Skype is one of the least preferred tools to use for meetings and my clients that is actually what they’re using.

 

Lisette:           Right.

 

Theresa:     So they’re not, it’s not… my clients are generally not IT companies. They’re manufacturers, they’re banks, they’re insurance companies, so they’re not perhaps as up to date on the technology as others who could use that to work remotely but nevertheless we’re still have this reality of the technology they have so how can they build a team remotely and it is possible and that’s what I support them to do.

Lisette:           And so in terms of leading in a different way we’ve got that ‘the need to be less directive and more focused on continuous improvement,’ are there other things that managers need to do differently than you’re seeing?

 

Theresa:     So if we start to think practically for instance, how we build trust in a virtual space is different on an onsite. So in an onsite you can build trust within a team by going out to lunch, getting to know each other, maybe our children go to the same school. So we get to know each other as people and then we start to work together but in the virtual space that’s really difficult because I’m sitting in the Netherlands and my colleague is in China our kids clearly don’t go to the same school. So we’ve seen that there’s this concept of swift trust that okay we’re ready to trust but it’s through working together that we will start to build trust through understanding your capabilities. So that means if I’m a team leader I need to very quickly have some quick deliverables so that people can prove trust to each other when I’m creating the work flow for instance.

 

Lisette:           I like this word ‘swift trust’ I like that.

 

Theresa:          Yeah so people are generally ready to trust, they are sort of but it needs to be proved very quickly that I’m capable and that means sending information to each other, working together and so that has an influence on the work flow. Another example is this idea of interdependence so if we are thinking about who should work with who on a task, often we will have the people down the hall working together and because it’s just easier. Logistically it’s easier, language, culture etc. but if you’re trying to form a virtual team actually that’s not the best solution. We want somebody sitting in country ‘A’ to work with somebody sitting in country ‘B’ the reason being is because you start to have different points of view. So different perspectives coming together, you also start to learn about each other but equally importantly you build trust because again it’s through working that we start to prove that we’re capable, that we start to prove that we’re interested in each other and that we share the same goal through conversations and learn about each other. Now most teams will say ‘oh please don’t make me work with the guy in the other country, when the guy down the hall is so much easier,’ but I’ve spoken with many leaders and managers and when they make that happen the results are fantastic for the team because they do start to collaborate, they do start to like each other and they want to continue working together in the future as well. So it’s just a different mindset on how do I help this team to form?

 

Lisette:           Oh I love it, I think also a lot of teams have, they end up taking the people that are in one location and having them work together and then the other people in the other location will be a totally separate team and it quickly goes to ‘us versus them’ even if it’s not a different culture it’s just an automatic thing. So how do you keep, I mean I guess this quick deliverables in the swift trust is one way of making it. So we’re doing quick things together but how do you prevent the ‘us versus them’ especially with culture?

 

Theresa:          Absolutely just by creating this interdependence between the different sites and that helps, people will complain in the beginning but that helps people to learn their colleagues, to learn about the other locations and to have different perspectives as we’re starting to create together. So it’s very powerful but it’s not a natural.

 

Lisette:           Are there things that people should think about before they go remote culturally, yeah before a team forms or a manager is thinking ‘I’m not sure I want to work with this other remote team.’ Is there something that you put in place, I mean there may not be, it’s just a random question that wasn’t on my list but anything before people go remote that you have them think about like culturally or management wise?

 

Theresa:          Absolutely, so for sure if you’re going to… if you’re thinking about working remotely, becoming a remote manager for instance. A couple elements or competencies are quite important for remote managers. One is cultural competence, so being open to different cultures, being open to diversity because it will be a challenge when you’re working with people who are sitting in different locations, have different styles and as a leader how do you bring those styles out instead of shutting them down. So developing cultural competency through courses or reading books etc. Another element is emotional intelligence, now it’s a word we’ve been throwing around for the last twenty years but actually in a virtual setting it’s even more important because when the person is far away you missed so many signals, body language things like that so you need to have emotional intelligence to really go beyond just the words you’re hearing and the nuances and then to act on those as well, and to reach out to your colleagues when they’re needing you. Of course I’m sure this is advice I’m sure you give which is ‘know the tools you’re training.’ which is interesting how many people are frustrated and check out, disengaged just because they don’t know how to use the tools on the team. So it’s these type of things before you even start working together that we can start thinking about how to develop the competence to work effectively virtually.

 

Lisette:            That’s true and I was just thinking to myself like how does one develop emotional intelligence and then I was thinking boy you could just Google that and I bet you have tons of answer but do you do you have any tips if somebody wants to develop like myself?

 

Theresa:          Yeah there’s plenty of books, there’s plenty of voice but also coach, a mentor somebody who can give you a feedback as you are developing as well.

 

Lisette:            One of the best tips that I heard on a podcast that I listen to called ‘Entrepreneur on fire,’ they interview different entrepreneurs every day but they always say get expertise from outside, don’t rely on just yourself or try to learn it all. When in doubt reach out, find somebody that knows a little bit more than you do and just get expertise, so I really I’m a big fan of like getting the books, getting training really important. People think that working remotely is so easy that your just ‘oh I’m in my pajamas and I can do it from home,’ but that’s not at all. That’s just the surface, that’s just the surface.

 

Theresa:     Lisette I agree with you and in fact that’s one of the benefits of diversity, is that you do get different perspectives. So often I’ll recommend when a team is just coming together and they’re doing the design phase is to bring in someone from a different function, from a different country, another part of the organization just for the design phase because they’re going to bring an idea that you say ‘wow we would not have thought of that.’ So just this idea of there’s lots of cool ideas coming out there, its bringing them in in an effective way.

 

Lisette:            So the perspective on this, so most of the time when I’m interviewing, I’m interviewing a manager who’s on a team and I talk about specifically their teams, but you have a different perspective because you’re working with a whole bunch of different teams. You’re a consultant and you’ve seen all kinds of people, what about productivity on remote teams, what do you see as being an issue there in terms of getting work done and also some of the solutions that you’ve seen people implemented in order to be more productive. I don’t know if that’s part of one of the things that you do but?

 

Theresa:          Well I don’t focus so much on the productivity side, so for instance using tools that track productivity and things of that sort. I’m more focused on the leadership, developing the team, the connection between the team, the collaboration, the team spirit and so this idea of for instance doing a team building exercise online. Many people that I speak with have not even thought about something like that but for me that’s a why not, you can Google team building exercise and see which one fits your team the best, because we’re trying to help people to get to know each other as people and not just as an email address. So this idea and what I’ve seen with my clients is that once they start building that team, once they start working together then it becomes natural, it becomes ‘oh yeah, sure I’m going to reach out to Joe or to whomever to Yond,’ because sure, they’re far away but they’re still part of my team and that’s the feeling that we’re trying to set.

 

Lisette:            I love that also that people get used to it because I think, like for instance an example that I had as our first virtual coffee on a team that I had. We all got together just to have coffee and there was no work talk allowed and if first it was totally weird because nobody had an agenda. We were just like sitting around in our home offices, hanging out but once we got the hang of it became second nature. So I’m assuming that some of these things are going to feel weird to people at first and then they’ll get the hang of it and it’ll feel totally normal to have virtual coffees or the Happy Melly team went so far as to have a virtual dance party once, it seemed so weird to people but it was really fun and once we get used to it we have them all the time now and so yeah things like that. So I can imagine.

 

Theresa:          Well had a, you had someone in one of your podcasts Mariana [inaudible – 28:42].

 

Lisette:           Oh yeah.

 

Theresa:          Yeah she had that kind of experience, they had been working virtually, very effective using tools and having bears and parties etc. and eventually when they all met it was seamless. It was like they didn’t even need to meet because that relationship had already been established and for me that that is a goal of a team leader and or a virtual team. Is that we don’t even need to meet and I find that with my clients I’m hearing that often ‘I cannot wait till we meet.’ We are only allowed to meet once a year, that’s the only budget we have and it makes such a difference when we meet and I understand that of course but I find that a bit sad as well, because there’s three hundred sixty four days in between, so how do you connect with each other and be effective and like each other, and trust each other, and help each other in ways that are affective even because you’re not meeting, so its inner circle.

 

Lisette:            Yeah indeed and have you seen managers who just can’t get the hang of it, they tried or is it possible for everybody you think?

 

Theresa:          Oh I don’t know about everybody, some struggle more than others but the point is I have seen managers who do it very well and those are the ones we are interviewing for a book and so we’ll be sharing those stories as well.

 

Lisette:            Are there other things in the book that we haven’t gone to. So I’ve talked about some management and culture, what else is in the book that you’re going to be bringing out?

 

Theresa:          Well I think this is funny, we want to include everything in our book and of course we have to whittle away a little bit. Manager our scope, one area that we are at least going to touch upon a little bit this is what the corporation can do to support virtual teams and leaders and the team members themselves because if a team manager and a team come together and make this work they’re not isolated. They are in an organization that either supports them or hinders them in that process and so we’re also going to be having some advice chapter, let’s say for executives who are thinking about how do we make this work in organizations because that is also so critical.

 

Lisette:            Oh I see that, I just gave a workshop for a large airline and one of the things that they’re not allowed to buy, in terms of like you know they have a sort of a catalog of equipment that they’re allowed to get. One of the things that’s not on the list is a headset, they’re not allowed to buy headsets for themselves. So I thought ‘oh there’s an improvement,’ like things like that. Like corporations can support their teams by getting good equipment to everybody, like good conference room equipment. Like make it easy to connect with each other, like to start with are there other things that you’re seeing corporations do that don’t support teams?

 

Theresa:         That’s a fantastic example, so you’ve been training right, so trainings and support in the ways that put that together. I also notice in some clients that it’s not enough of ‘a walk the talk.’ So everybody else needs to be a virtual except the executives all need to be in the same location. So there’s that dichotomy as well happening sometimes. So we need to think about how we develop our leaders, coach our leaders, coach our teams to really make this work well and that it doesn’t come naturally. It needs to be consciously approached.

 

Lisette:            And when we started talking before about the resistance that managers have, that the tools and technology finding a way to make it less scary for people because it’s true in the beginning, it’s a takes a little bit of getting used to but then it does get easier and less scary.

 

Theresa:     Well that’s what’s nice about your website and many of the things that you talk about and that some of your interview we also talk about is there are fantastic tools out there and using them effectively within the team can make a big difference, so that’s also part of it.

 

Lisette:            and fantastic trainings to, so I want to list off some of the trainings that your company offers because it sounds really good. I was a thinking about signing up for one myself as well. There’s one ‘Developing cultural competence.’ That sounds like one everybody in the world should develop cultural competence I think, it’s just a good life skill in general right?

 

Theresa:          Now you’re talking about my dream but please continue.

 

Lisette:            Right, ‘Developing international teams,’ ‘Working virtually’, and then ‘Leading multicultural teams.’ So do you want to say a little bit more about the training and the consulting and maybe I pick one or two and dive into a little bit what that offers, and I know we are about to, we’re going over time but I’m so interested in the training especially because I think training is very important on a team. People think that it’s really easy to be remote and actually yes it is easy but there’s a bunch of things that you need to know. So it’s not rocket science but it does need to have, you do need training I think. So what is it that you offer in a in a nutshell?

 

Theresa:          Yes I agree with you, I think training is necessary and especially in the virtual, multi-cultural virtual team because it is so different than what we’re used to in an onsite homogeneous team, and so I’ll talk about the last course that was offered, which brings the other three together.

 

Lisette:            Okay

 

Theresa:          So it’s this idea of, it’s offered to actually what the reality is for most people is that they are working in a multicultural team because people are sitting in different countries. It is a team and that they are working virtually in order to get things done, so this is becoming the reality and so on when I’m working with a team like this we’ll start by talking about culture. I’ll use some frameworks or an exercises but the whole, that just starts it off because the idea is really to get them speaking to each other about their values, their points of view etc. Culture just opens the door to a deeper conversation, then that’s in the context of the team which is really great because then we can start to think about ‘well what changes do we want to have in this team?’ If we’re talking about how we work together, what our expectations are and then finally but part of that throughout the whole session is we’re doing this in the virtual space. So first is giving information about how teams work virtually effectively and then they can start to say well what works for us, what we’d like to apply, what would we like to change, how do we want to build these relationships better, how do we want to handle our tasks better, how do we want to connect with each other even though we’re sitting virtually, sitting in different locations. So a workshop then with an intact global multicultural virtual team would cover all of those aspects because it is their reality and we’re trying to make it in their context.

 

Lisette:            Wow sounds like something every team should be taking. So last question because we’re running, I’m going over I always trying to keep it under thirty minutes but everybody is just too interesting it’s impossible to do it, but the last question is what’s the best way for people to get in touch with you and take one of these trainings and learn more?

 

Theresa:          Well thank you, so they can go to my website interact-global.net, they can find me on LinkedIn. So there aren’t any other Theresa Hollemas or Theresa Sigillito, so anything going just type in the name and that’s easy to find and I can very quickly reach out to them.

 

Lisette:            And you also have a Twitter handle I thought @TeresaSHollema.

 

Theresa:          Yes.

 

Lisette:            So I’ll put all of that in the show dots, I don’t know how much Twitter people are using out there. LinkedIn is probably a much more solid reliable way to connect but yeah so interact-global.net and then on LinkedIn.

 

Theresa:          Thank you.

 

Lisette:            Alright everybody thank you so much for listening, I hope you enjoyed that conversation. If you want to hear more stories about remote teams doing great things then head on over to the Collaboration Superpowers website, we’ve got everything in video, podcast and transcript form and if you want to get all the best tips stories and best practices delivered straight to your inbox, well then sign up on our newsletter. Every other week we send you great stuff about remote teams. That’s collaborationsuperpowers.com/newsletter, a huge thanks to the awesome producer of this podcast Nick [inaudible -36:52] he’s the one that makes us sound so pro you can hire him to make you a star at podcastmonster.com and another big thanks to our dazzling designer Alfred Boland. He’s the one that makes us shine so bright, you can hire him to make you look cool at bolandan.nl and. All right everybody until next time let’s have some great conversations about culture on our remote teams and be powerful.

 

Work Together Anywhere Workshop by Collaboration Superpowers

Podcast

This article is written by on