5 Common Complaints About Meetings and What to Do About Them

We all complain about meetings. We have too many. They’re a waste of time. Nothing gets done. These complaints often have merit, but they are so broad that they’re difficult to argue with and harder to address.

There are specific complaints that can be tackled, however. When I ask people in the workshops I lead what they most want help with, five issues consistently come up. … [ Read more ]

How to Keep a Global Team Engaged

Life on a global team isn’t necessarily equitable. Employees far away from headquarters often have less access to the team leader. As a result, they may have a harder time getting their concerns noticed and attended to. Additionally, more peripheral members of global teams are often forced to speak in a language that’s not their own and communicate in a style that’s not necessarily second … [ Read more ]

This Matrix Helps Growing Teams Make Great Decisions

Gil Shklarski, CTO at Flatiron Health, has adapted a framework from his executive coach Marcy Swenson to serve as a tool for his team to quickly and efficiently create alignment around decision-making — and at the same time, foster a level of psychological safety that would take fear, self-consciousness and anxiety out of the process.

How to Lead an Effective Virtual Team

When it comes to brainstorming, project planning and setting goals, SHRM research suggests that virtual teams can be more effective than in-person teams. Virtual teams, however, are still considered inferior in some key areas. Traditional teams, for example, receive higher marks when it comes to developing trust, maintaining morale, monitoring performance and managing conflict. Furthermore, as the SHRM survey illustrated, virtual managers have a harder … [ Read more ]

Is Your Team Coordinating Too Much, or Not Enough?

Effective teams don’t just happen — you design them. And two of the most important elements of that design are a) the degree to which team members are interdependent — where they need to rely on each other to accomplish the team task, and b) how you’ll actually coordinate that interdependence.

Use Social Influences to Be a Better Manager

A new book shows how you can create a better team by recognizing people’s needs to stand out, fit in, and shape their identities.

To Make a Team More Effective, Find Their Commonalities

Teams, not individuals, are the future of work. As organizations mobilize to solve increasingly complex problems at an ever faster pace, cooperation and trust between employees has become paramount. But how do you move teammates from collegial behavior to true collaboration? By building their empathy and compassion.

How to Accelerate Learning on Your Team

As Peter Senge wrote in The Fifth Discipline (Doubleday Business, 1990), a learning organization is one in which “people continually expand their capacity to create results they truly desire.” When we view learning in this broader sense, we build feedback right into the system as an integral part of the work. If you want to accelerate learning on your team, first engage them in a … [ Read more ]

Your People’s Brains Need Face Time

A look at the value of in-person meetings for dispersed teams.

30+ Tips for Effective Team Building

Getting a team to work efficiently requires focus on team building. But what are the best tricks for getting a team to bond and succeed? We’ll provide you over thirty science-backed tips for making the most of your team.

The Serious Fun of Shared Experiences at Work

Shared experiences are a powerful tool for managers to build high-performing teams. They help to shape values, norms, and behaviors that allow people to get work done more efficiently and effectively.

The Acceleration Factor

During the past six years, we have studied the behavior and performance of more than 3,000 teams across a range of organizations, functions, and geographies. Our data includes responses from the four groups associated with teams: the team leader, the team’s members, the line manager of the leader, and the team’s external stakeholders. Specifically, we surveyed them on 16 factors that together helped us determine … [ Read more ]

3 Situations Where Cross-Cultural Communication Breaks Down

The strength of cross-cultural teams is their diversity of experience, perspective, and insight. But to capture those riches, colleagues must commit to open communication; they must dare to share. Unfortunately, this is rarely easy. In the 25 years we’ve spent researching global work groups, we’ve found that challenges typically arise in three areas.