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Enabling Virtual Team Relationships – Part V

Preparing for the joint problem solving session

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

Alice knew she had to be well prepared if the upcoming 3 hour session she was going to facilitate between Samantha and Mimi was going to go well. They were such different personalities! But Alice knew if she could get them to work together well, it would benefit not just the project overall but also the relationship between the two. They will be working together on other projects certainly in the future.

She developed the initial agenda for the problem solving session as follows:

  • Discuss the problem and ensure that there is an agreement that there is a problem
  • Discuss what is going well with the work they are doing
  • Discuss the ramifications of the problem – to the individuals (Samantha and Mimi), the team as a whole and the project overall
  • Develop a variety of options to solve the problem
  • Come to agreement on the best solution to the problem
  • Develop an action plan of agreement to move forward with the proposed solution including “check in” points
  • Wrap up the meeting and lunch together out of the office

Alice liked the idea of having them get together for lunch after the meeting. She felt they could use some time together to build a relationship with each other which would set them on the path to working together more effectively.

Alice sent the agenda to Samantha and Mimi and asked them to prepare by doing the following:

  • List the strengths that each felt the other brought to the team and be prepared to share that with the other person
  • Be prepared to discuss how they felt the issue might be impacting their working relationship with each other and on the team as a whole
  • Be prepared to share what they need from the other person in order for them to work together successfully

Alice knew this would be challenging for both Samantha and Mimi but felt confident they could do it and the meeting in 2 weeks would be a success and they would get back on track.

Part VI – The joint problem solving/conflict management session

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