Momentum for action on racial equity has continued to build around the world, and we like many others have spent the past few weeks in an ongoing discussion on what else we can do to help contribute to positive change. It remains remarkably difficult for organizations to have uncomfortable conversations about racial bias, so as a first step we’re spreading awareness of how cognitive diversity can be used as a powerful device to break down the walls in these conversations.
For many, the word “diversity” brings up images of staid EEOC training or well-intended but not necessarily critical programs—the “have-to-dos” that don’t get much buy-in or enthusiastic support across the business. So it’s probably not the first word that comes to mind when you’re talking about innovation.
But here’s why it should be.
Leading a team meeting can be tough even in the best of circumstances. You have to make sure everyone stays engaged, feels welcome to participate and can comfortably raise any issues. But you also have an agenda you need to get through and objectives to accomplish.
Meetings with remote teams can be even trickier to manage.
When was the last time you multitasked in a meeting? Drifted off? Got annoyed? Wished you were anywhere else but there? Or come down with a case of Zoom fatigue you just couldn't shake?
If any of that rings true for you, you’re not alone. In a Verizon Conferencing study, 91% of respondents admitted to daydreaming during meetings, and 39% said they’ve napped in them. Overall, research shows that employees waste a staggering 31 hours of unproductive time in meetings every month.
In some form or fashion, working virtually has quickly become the reality for most of us today. And whether you’re working with colleagues, customers, vendors or others, there are more tools and apps than ever to help you collaborate across any distance, whether it's across the country or even across the globe.
But no matter how many tools and devices you have, effective collaboration still comes down to how effectively the parties communicate with each other. Particularly when you don’t always have the advantage of visual cues, tone of voice, or cultural nuances, the chances for miscommunication are high.
Here are 4 steps for making sure your communications get across in the way you intended, no matter what technology you use (these can even useful for when you’re communicating in person):
A little over a decade ago, the remote workforce was dominated by people in outside sales roles. They came into the office on occasion for meetings or, if they were local, to load up on marketing brochures and office supplies. But for the most part, they were out of sight.
There’s nothing better than a team that’s found its rhythm. Healthy debate, deep trust, respect for each others’ ideas, mutual accountability and support...it’s truly the dream team.
And then someone leaves.
Dealing with employee turnover is always a challenge, and it can be particularly disruptive when it happens to a tight-knit, high-performing team. No matter how great things are today, when a key person leaves, it can throw off your productivity, morale and even your results.
People leave. That’s the reality. But the best defense against turnover is having a plan in place before the inevitable happens. Let’s look at a Whole Brain ® approach you can follow to plan for turnover and keep your team on track when a member departs and a new member comes on board.
Teams have never been more important in business. But with the demands and complexities of today’s work environment—not to mention the challenges of working with global, remote or regularly changing team members—working in a team isn’t always easy.
A great team is a “brain trust” of diverse thinkers, one that’s greater than the sum of its parts. They’re collaborators you can count on to bring new perspectives to the table, listen to and value your ideas, and stay accountable to common goals, especially when the pressure heats up.
This is a guest post by David Szen. David is an HBDI® Certified Practitioner specializing in sales training design, leadership development and coaching performance management. As a Principal Consultant at Symmetrics Group, David designs and delivers custom training programs for sales leaders and professionals. His book, The Multigenerational Sales Team, co-authored with Symmetrics Group’s founder and managing partner Warren Shiver, focuses on the increasing need for sales organizations to more effectively leverage talent from generational groups who think, sell and buy in vastly different ways.
According to estimates by the US Department of Labor, in less than ten years, Millennials will represent almost 75% of the workforce. But the multigenerational salesforce is already here, and businesses are struggling with how to develop a cohesive, collaborative team that not only manages through that diversity but thrives on it.
We heard about these challenges as we talked to business leaders while we were writing our new book, The Multigenerational Sales Team. Some of the key questions we explored were: How can generations with different perspectives find ways to successfully work together? And how do you recruit, train and deploy different generations of salespeople to build an effective sales team?
They’re issues that every sales leader needs to get a handle on for their organizations to remain competitive in an increasingly competitive selling environment, one where generational differences can have far-reaching impact.
Is your team’s specialty putting out fires?
Being able to deal with a big crisis is a good skill for any team to have. But why wait until the sirens are blasting to think about your team’s performance?
Not every crisis can be prevented, but many teams keep getting caught off guard by problems that could have been identified and addressed long before they turned into an emergency. Without regular maintenance checks to provide line of sight to performance and progress, though, it can be difficult to detect the little sparks that, over time, can do a whole lot of damage.
A team dashboard is a great way to get everyone on the same page and make sure the team isn’t missing any important checks or clues to potential problems down the road. It can help your team sidestep the preventable problems and be better prepared when the unavoidable happens.