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Tarli

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What is virtual leadership?
Aug 17, 2006

In an effort to remain competitive in the global marketplace organisations are progressively operating in virtual teams (individuals who communicate with leaders located in another location via phone, web or internet).

• By 2008, 41 million corporate employees worldwide will work virtually (Gartner, 2006).

• Working in isolation in a virtual workplace can mean employees miss out on the face-to-face contact and team spirit found in a group environment.

• While an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mentality might factor into a company's lack of attention to virtual teams, research suggests organisations should pay closer attention (De Rosa, 2005).

When creating virtual teams to facilitate employee work/life balance are we choosing the right people to lead?
- I think that successful leadership in a virtual team requires very different skills to leadership in the face-to-face environment.

What do you think?

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Beth

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Aug 18, 2006

I do see this more and more. I believe that any leader must be compassionate and supportive, but there are many skills required of those communicating via email, IM or phone that are not necessary for face-to-face. Leaders must be able to understand and encourage people.

I also hope that as people work more virtually, they continue to find means to create great relationships in person. This could mean going to conferences and networking or meeting fellow employees once a quarter in a common location. One of the best things about building a great team is team-building activities were groups are given the opportunity to relax and be themselves and work together to solve less stressful challenges.

Maybe virtual leadership needs video phones? Or more travel? Maybe it requires more creativity of getting ot know others through hobbies such as photography or art posted on social websites? It seems to be occuring all over the world.

We may also consider that organizations/companies that are working virtually have found ways to have less predominate leaders than the older top-down companies and rather more of a community-based organization.


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Tarli

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Aug 19, 2006

I agree eakboo. Companies do need to find alternate ways to structure management. Research suggests that a flat organisational structure is more common than a hierarchical structure in companies that have adopted a virtual working model. These companies appear to use cluster models, which are based around specialised areas of expertise, rather than traditional top-down style of management.

To create sustainable models of virtual working I agree that it is imperative to form relationships in person. However, this is not always possible, which highlights the need for research into effective relationship building in the virtual environment. This might include training managers on the anomalies and challenges of virtual communication.

If you have experience working virtually or ideas you would like to share please click here.


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Zainul (www.connecttask.com)

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Aug 19, 2006

This is very important issue and thus needs great attention. The question ofVirtual leadership appears frequently even somebody is not related as a member of the same office or management.Many interests and services are available virtually and in most cases the partners are hardly known,but relationship must exist.
Besides fake or pseudonyms separate people in the virtual environment.So let us explore the diverse nayure of virtual activities and then relate the important question of virtual leadership.


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Tarli

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Aug 20, 2006

Thanks Zainul. I appreciate your support.

You raise a very important point. It is difficulty to establish and maintain a relationship with someone virtually (i.e. using text based communication on the internet, mobile or writing a letter). It is challenging to ensure both people are ‘speaking the same language’ (i.e. understand the same exact meaning of their writing) [I suppose therein lies a skill in communicating!]. Limited face-to-face contact means there is little or no non-verbal communication (i.e. behaviour - facial expression, pose, body language) to clarify the meaning of written communication.


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Tarli

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Aug 20, 2006

Oral communication appears to have a different impact on creating or maintaining virtual relationships to written communication. Oral communication such as, web chat - Skype, teleconferences, or talking on the mobile phone, exists in real time. Written communication, on the other hand, does not require two people to share real time. For example two geographical disperse people can communicate orally (in real time) however, they are likely to exist in two different time zones i.e. 2pm Sunday in Melbourne, Australia will be 9pm Saturday in Vancouver, Canada. In contrast, two people can communication in writing, such as an email, text or a letter, in which the message is sent on a particular date and is received on another date and even read at a later time.

Despite the limitations of non-real time information exchange, written communication has experienced a wider use than oral communication. Not only is written communication cheaper than oral communication but it is more flexible. Organisations with geographically disperse offices (i.e. head office in New York, USA and regional office in Johannesburg, South Africa) rely heavily on written communication as their primary basis of global communication i.e. to provide necessary detail when tendering for business. Another reason that has contribute to the popularity of written communication is that the time delay provides business ready time - that is ample time to make decisions when negotiating a deal and time to prepare a document that was requested at the end of the day in another time zone.


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Tarli

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Aug 20, 2006

Although there are different benefits associated with written and oral communication there are clearly challenges to establishing or maintaining a relationship virtually. Currently easily accessible methods of virtual communication, such as email, text, and web discussion, are widely used. These forms of communication are void of human emotion, however, form the primary basis for many individuals social interaction (especially generation Y). Although users have adapted their language to compensate for the lack of emotion ( smile , sad , !!!! , F#*$ ; ha, ha, ha), much misinterpretation of meaning occurs.

An idealistic thought is to create a virtual dictionary. This would contain commonly used terminology and be accompanied by a description of the word use, actual meaning (and emotional connotation). It could be translated into many languages and published solely online. I call this an idealistic thought because decades of debate regarding The International language (English) has created many new dialects and much confusion.


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Tarli

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Sep 1, 2006

What do you think?


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Hayk

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Sep 1, 2006


Tarli wrote:

What do you think?


Well at least some people already aspire to a more organized and structured approach of cirtuality.

Say VMW virtual dictionary is one example.

Thre is even a visual thesaurus, which has objective of clarifying terms, which had so far escaped or were hard to define visually.

H.


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Tarli

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Sep 28, 2006

Hi Mnopq,
VMW virtual dictionary is a great idea.
Not exactly what I envisaged. I think it is really an online dictionary.

The visual thesaurus is more like it. The relational illustrations contextualise word meaning and facilitate creativity. Definitely a great template.

Great idea!


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Hayk

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Sep 29, 2006

Hey Tarli,

no probs!

I wasn't being ingenious smile I just googled "virtual dictionary" and after some intelligent search came up with the above two sites.

I am sure you can find more of similar stuff if you spend some time on it!

H.


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TheTWLeader

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Re: What is virtual leadership?
Apr 26, 2016

Virtual leadership is guiding and motivating your team to reach their performance goals. Applying virtual leadership means checking in with your team regularly in a manner that works well for your followers. To build this relationship with your team try different team building games. Playing games with your team members is a great way for members who don't have a personal connection to feel still involved with others responsible for the outcomes of the same goals. To get a list of team building games visit [link="http://thetwleader.com/"]


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