NetSpeed Learning Solutions April 2019
The Impact of  the 
Virtual Workplace
When I talk to managers of remote teams, we frequently discuss how easy it is to misread people's intentions when we work in different locations. Without the benefit of seeing someone scurrying around in the workplace looking busy and overwhelmed, we may question why they haven't answered a recent email. It may feel as if they are ignoring their commitments. After we lead a virtual meeting, we may receive little to no feedback from people about how the meeting went. It can feel as if we no longer have the same reference points to know what people are truly thinking and feeling.
This sense of disconnection and isolation can create confusion or conflict on a virtual team. In the Virtual Leader program we introduce the C3 model: Calibrate, Collaborate and Celebrate.  This model recommends that the virtual leader consciously work to get and keep people aligned with the team's goals and expectations. It supports the virtual leader to intentionally increase collaboration by delegating projects to sub-teams. And it encourages the virtual leader to create a culture of celebration where people recognize that their work has meaning and purpose, and their contributions are valued.
Two incidents in the past couple of weeks reminded me how important communication and connection become when we have little face-to-face contact. In one instance, I was awaiting the draft of an article from a colleague in another state. We had agreed on a deadline for her to write a first draft so I could review it and make changes before we submitted it to the editor of a publication. The deadline came and went. No article arrived and there was no communication from her about what happened. In frustration, I emailed and asked for a phone conversation. In that conversation, I explained my concern that we were now three days past the deadline. My colleague apologized and explained the situation that had blocked her from writing the draft. We agreed on a revised deadline which I communicated to the editor. I asked my colleague to communicate immediately if she found she couldn't fulfill the commitment. We got back on track. When we don't work next to someone, regular communication becomes even more critical to reduce misunderstandings and increase trust.
In the second situation, I delivered a face-to-face workshop on how to resolve conflict to an enthusiastic and engaged group of people for a client in another city. After I returned to my office, I received several emails from participants thanking me for the course and offering specific examples of how the content would help them manage more effectively. Receiving immediate, positive, personal feedback is truly a gift. I was blown away that these managers took the time to say, "thank you." It was a great reinforcement of why virtual leaders should consciously build cultures of celebration and appreciation. I have a little rosy glow as I type this newsletter. My work is valued! It made a difference! That's the way we want everyone on our virtual team to feel.
If you want to train your remote leaders in the techniques that virtual workers value, check out the Virtual Leader program at We can deliver this five-web workshop program for your virtual leaders, or we can certify your internal trainers to deliver it.
To learn more about building a high-performing virtual team, join us for our next complimentary webinar Rocking the Virtual Workplace: Leading High-Impact Virtual Teams, on Wednesday, April 17, 1:00 pm ET / 10:00 am PT.
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Cynthia Clay
Trainer Tips:  The New
Great Webinars is Launched!
The revised and updated Great Webinars is now available for purchase at Amazon. It's hard to imagine that it has been nine years since I first wrote this book. In the latest version, I've updated some of the key points to better reflect improvements in web conference technology. We've also replaced all of the graphic images with more current examples. And, most exciting to me, I've written a new chapter on the cognitive principles that make for great virtual training.
If you want to support the virtual trainers in your organization, consider buying multiple copies of Great Webinars. For single copies, buy it directly from Amazon. For 20 or more copies, contact us directly for a volume discount
Cynthia Clay's Upcoming Speaking Events
If you are planning to attend an upcoming conference, Cynthia Clay would love to meet you there.
May 20 - 22, 2019
Washington, D.C.
Visit our Booth #1419 in the Expo Hall!

That's Using Your Noggin: Brain-based Principles for Better Virtual Training
Marriott Marquis, Monument Room
Tuesday, May 21, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
June 17 - 19, 2019
Raleigh, NC
Awards Luncheon: Top Ten Articles (Training Industry Magazine)
September 17 - 19, 2019
New Orleans, LA
That's Using Your Noggin: Brain-based Principles for Better Virtual Training
Hilton New Orleans Riverside
Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
One Final Thought

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Cynthia Clay
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