One of the largest challenges to any project is getting the people working on it to transform from a group of individuals into a team. There are lots of ways to work on team building when everyone is in the same room but what do you do if your team is scattered around the State, the Country or the World. Telephone conference calls can often be awkward, it can be hard to identify strangers by just their voice and there is no way to insure that everyone in the call is involved in the substance of the meeting. One of the most powerful tools available to overcome the challenge of leading a geographically diverse team is Video Conferencing.
Historically, Video Conferencing was an expensive process that was only reserved for executive board rooms and military commanders. Those days are gone as the video communications revolution is in full swing. Using powerful software and streamlined infrastructure, cost effective Video Conferencing is now available for every user in your organization, at their desk or on their mobile device.
Suddenly team members who are hundreds or thousands of miles away can collaborate in ways they never have before. Making eye contact, seeing a quirky smile, or conveying a critical message and ensuring everyone understands is now possible for all teams at every level of your organization. It is this level of nonverbal communication that enables team members to bond with one another and empathize with their peers.
Once your group embraces the benefits of video communication the team building almost happens on its own. Rather than the need to strictly control the meeting on a phone conference I often allow my video meetings to devolve into the witty banter of colleges who are becoming friends. Jokes are funnier when you can see the laughter in the other persons eyes. Work is more productive when you can see the concentration on your coworkers face.
Mobile Video Conferencing further empowers your team building as people in the field are able to join desktop video calls seamlessly. Using their mobile device remote team members can provide the entire team with a real-time video feed of the obstacles or challenges they are facing. This is truly a situation where a picture is worth a thousand words.
Team leadership is one of the greatest challenges facing the modern business environment. Telecommuters, satellite offices, and field engineers are often left out of the synergy built by a strong localized team. Enterprise level Video Conferencing is a powerful tool that managers and leaders can use to overcome these challenges and transform a diverse and disparate group of workers into a strong and dynamic team, ready to face the 21st Century marketplace.