TMA World: A Guide to Effective Virtual Communications

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Information about TMA World: A Guide to Effective Virtual Communications

Published on May 16, 2013

Author: StevenParkinson

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Communicating successfully in today’s global organizations depends on making sure that messages are understood accurately and intended outcomes are achieved. With the loss of non-verbal cues and the likelihood of different cultures, it is essential to choose appropriate technologies and behaviours for successful virtual communication.

This presentation gives useful and easy to apply tips and advice, which will ensure that you and your team communicate effectively as possible.

For more advice on how to thrive in the borderless workplace, contact us today: enquiries@tmaworld.com

A Guide to Virtual CommunicationCreating shared understanding across boundaries

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]2Workers in today’s globalorganizations face greatercommunication challenges thanever before.VirtualCommunications

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]3Communicating via technology is inherentlymore challenging in itself, with face-to-facemechanisms lost or distorted and vocal andnonverbal communication cues mostlyabsent.VirtualCommunications

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]4The added likelihood of communicatingwith colleagues in different time zones andcultures, which can also often distortcommunication, means it is essential tochoose appropriate technologies andbehaviours for successful virtualinteractions.VirtualCommunications

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]5With so much done viatechnology andwithout ever seeingmany colleagues Ifind I miss that ‘human’touch…To makeyour virtualcommunicationswork both for youand others adoptthe following tips“”

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]6How can you relate more throughtechnology?Communicating via technology createsemotional distance.Virtual communications can appearimpersonal, co-located colleagues tend toside more with each other and falseassumptions and attributes becomeattached to those on the other end oftechnology, leading to greatercommunication challenges.Building rapport goes a long way ineliminating these problems.To makeyour virtualcommunicationswork both for youand others adoptthe following tips

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]7In the early days Choose technology that meets the needsof the task and that will connect yousocially Be proactive and connect simply to sayhello – it reminds others you’re ‘human’ Show enthusiasm in yourcommunicationsTo makeyour virtualcommunicationswork both for youand others adoptthe following tips

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]8Longer TermMy team mate neverappears to understand what Isay.I speak to him on Skype and hesays all is OK, but when I emailhim he never responds! Create a rhythm to your communications, get into the habit of being intouch Respond to others clearly and precisely and do so promptly“”

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]9What impact does culture have?Virtual communication can be difficult when different cultures interact.Cultural difference, from local to national, or organizational to businessunit, can vary significantly and in the virtual world of todaycommunication only magnifies its impact.For example, implicit (low context) cultures rely on the meaning ofwords when they communicate, explicit (high context) cultures relyheavily on deeper understanding, ambiguity, silence and non-verbalgestures.This opposing way of communicating presents many challenges toovercome.

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]10Follow these top tips to make your cross-cultural virtualcommunications clearer: Be alert - in the virtual world culture is out of sight. Ensure you keepcultural considerations in mind at all times: Implicit cultures use soft communication: polite and indirect,visual and aesthetic Explicit cultures use hard communication: direct and to thepoint, information rich Select the richest medium possible, choosing spoken communicationswherever possible Use colour with due thought in your visual communications - colourhas cultural meaning, which affects interpretation

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]11I have a 3 hour ‘sweet spot’where my manager’s workinghours and mine both match.He insists during that time wecommunicate by phone,but I don’t think it’s alwaysnecessary.How can you make time difference work?Spanning time zones can presentadvantage as well as disadvantages.Here are some helpful tips when youshould look to use real time(synchronous) communications andwhen it’s OK or even advantageous touse delayed time (asynchronous)communications.“”

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]12How can you make time difference work?Synchronous Issues cannot be easily predicted in advance When quick and confirmed shared understanding is required When real-time interaction/sharing is critical When the presence of a decision maker is needed

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]13How can you make time difference work?Asynchronous Communications are non-urgent So individuals can engage in communications at a time that suits To meet specific needs, priorities or preferences of individual When participants need to research or reflect before makingcontributions When the message needs to be perpetual information When time zones make synchronous difficult

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]14In virtual team meetings theothers speak so quickly andinterrupt one another so muchthat I am unsure what they aretalking about much of the time.What adaptations are needed for different languages?Virtual communication can also bedifficult when it involves people whoare communicating in a non-native orsecondary language.“”

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]15Follow these tips to overcome secondary language barriers: Address difference in common language by using a leaner media(text and image based). Be precise with your words and especially avoid unclear analogiesand metaphors Make complex information visual and make visuals clearer by addingwords When speaking be aware of how you say things: keep it simple,keep it slow, ask straightforward questions When listening be attentive to what is and what is not said and givethe other person time to think by not interrupting Check for shared understanding at the end of your communications

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]16Webinar Twitter Blog Viewpointsand articlesPublications Written by Terence Brake, Director of Learning &Innovation at TMA World.Our new Borderless Working e-book seriesAbout UsVisitwww.tmaworld.com/insightsto discover the latestthinking from our experts onglobal, collaborative, cross-cultural and virtual working.There you’ll find links to our:

© Transnational Management Associates Ltd. All Rights Reserved. [Virtual Communications]17About UsAbove all we’d like to hear fromyou directly, so please don’thesitate to send any comments,questions or feedback to us at:enquiries@tmaworld.comOr visit our website:www.tmaworld.comVisitwww.tmaworld.com/insightsto discover the latestthinking from our experts onglobal, collaborative, cross-cultural and virtual working.

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