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Enabling Virtual Team Relationships - Part VII

Checking in with Samantha and Mimi

Read Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V and Part VI of our story for background information.

It has been one month since the meeting with Samantha and Mimi and Alice has set up a brief phone call to check in with the two of them. She wanted to be sure that they were resolving any issues that might arise between the two of them and that they were following what they agreed to at the meeting. Things seemed to be going well from a distance; but Alice wanted to be absolutely sure that was the case.

During the phone call, Alice asked the following questions and received the following responses:

QUESTION asked by Alice

RESPONSE by Samantha and Mimi

Were virtual meeting times alternated to accommodate their time zone differences?

They responded that they started off by changing the meeting time zones every other week, but have agreed to have consistency for a month at a time in order to make it a bit easier on both of them. Mimi noted that, since she had inconvenienced Samantha initially, for the first month the time was most convenient for Samantha. Mimi also noted that she now understood how inconvenient this had been for Samantha.

Were they sharing leadership of the meetings?

Samantha noted that they were; but they decided to divide the leadership roles up based on their own individual strengths and interest areas. Mimi said while it may not seem like a perfect sharing (equally) situation – it was working for them.

How effective were the virtual meetings? Were they working collaboratively to solve problems and make decisions?

Both noted they had a set agenda for their meetings which included:

  • Status report on their individual tasks
  • Discussion of challenges they were having in getting the work done
  • Any problems that needed to be discussed/resolved
  • Discussion of what was next on the “to do” list

They have found that by sending information to each other ahead of time, they could make the meetings more efficient and effective overall. They were able to come in to the meeting and immediately get to work on making decisions rather than taking time to review information.

Were they checking in with each other about how it was going and ensuring each meeting they shared something the other did that was valuable?

Both Samantha and Mimi noted this was definitely awkward at first, especially the part about complimenting the other person. Each noted they felt they were working together much more effectively. Particularly Samantha noted that she felt confident speaking up when she felt Mimi was not listening and Mimi noted that she was more sensitive to how she was acting/being perceived. Regarding complimenting the other person, both of them decided to not have this as something they do regularly but both noted that they most certainly did compliment the other – just not on a set timeframe.

Mimi noted that she had a problem with one of her tasks and reached out to Samantha who had some outstanding ideas on how to resolve the problem.

Alice was pleased with the progress they had made in such a short time! In fact, she noted that at the beginning of the conference call, before they officially got started with the meeting, Mimi was catching up Samantha on what she had done over the weekend and Samantha was telling Mimi about a great movie she saw with her young son. They had obviously developed a close working relationship! This was key to them resolving problems that arose between the two of them and working more collaboratively together – respecting the differences they brought to the project.

At the end of the conference call, Alice thanked Mimi and Samantha for their excellent work on the project and noted that she was so pleased to see how well they were working together. Mimi and Samantha thanked her in return for her efforts in getting them to come together and understand each other’s point of view. They were enjoying working together!

Part VIII – Another Conflict on the Team