Leaders and employees are not always effectively prepared to succeed on virtual teams. This is especially the case when virtual teams are composed of people from culturally diverse backgrounds. What solutions does research offer on making these teams more effective?
If you’ve ever been on a conference call or worked remotely, you may have experienced being in the minority when it comes to making decisions on a virtual team. This scenario often results in majority members not wanting to address your concerns when you challenge the majority viewpoint. Whether your insights are radical or marginal, we know that contradictory opinions are needed to foster creativity and combat groupthink, which is a lack of individual creativity that may lead to harmful group consensus. What can organizations do to ensure virtual team members are open to everyone’s ideas? Researchers (Swaab, Phillips, & Schaerer, 2016) found that awareness of secret conversation opportunities can help.
Does virtual teamwork require a different set of competencies from those needed in traditional teamwork? Researchers found that there are some knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics that are more important in virtual teams than traditional teams. This study provides insight into the competencies needed to be a more effective team player in a virtual setting.