IS ANYBODY OUT THERE? or Working in Virtual Teams

The global manager of a virtual team of 20 across 3 continents, was frustrated by the lack of participation on monthly team phone calls.

I administered MBTI®s to all team members including the team manager. After determining the MBTI® types of each member and the team type overall, my findings were:

Those with introverted styles felt there was never the right opportunity to insert themselves into the discussion – by the time they had thought of what they would say, the group had moved to another topic.

The extraverted leader realized he was impatient with the silences and insensitive to what they might mean.

An additional complication was that English was a second language for most team members and all meetings were conducted in English. Some didn’t understand what others were saying but were too embarrassed to say so, others felt embarrassed to speak in English for fear of making mistakes.

Though on the same team, the members were widely dispersed geographically and most members had never met one another or the manager. For Feelers who like to know each other before getting down to business, this was not conducive to working together.

I conducted a videoconference with the entire team to discuss my findings. Based on what they learned individually and as a team, they formulated a new plan for their monthly team calls.