Team Building for Virtual Teams with WebEx
Team Building for Virtual Teams is popular now that many teams have recently become virtual, or, having been distributed previously, are now denied in person contact. WebEx employees tested our virtual team building solution, “Who Stole Anti-Matter” for us and showed us many incredible ways to use the tools within WebEx Teams to augment our game.
Who Stole Anti Matter is designed to encourage the use of best practices for high functioning virtual teams. It encourages:
- Collaborative discussions. Workshop ideas, challenge assumptions, ask questions, and get answers.
- Free flowing conversations that allow personality and “humanness” to show; they replicate what we miss most about human interaction.
- Conversations that allow free thought and spontaneous idea creation.
- The use of a shared thread to document results and input – this can make virtual meetings more efficient than in person meetings: organized information accessible to everyone on the team.
- Asynchronous communication – people can come back to a thread after refection and contemplation, and add thoughts and solutions. All decisions or reactions don’t have to take place in real time.
- The use of all available tools: share screens, screen shots, and documents; one-on-one messaging, and even small group video chats of 2 to 3 people – then regroup as a team.
- Teams to summarize conclusions and create solutions: what is important to keep, and how do we organize it so it makes the most sense.
- Proper Virtual Behavior: quality audio, video, and timing of interaction – especially the timing of speaking – is learned and perfected over time with practice.
In Summary, teams that leverage best practices are able to achieve better solutions – creating a whole greater than the sum of the parts. By allowing maximum input in multiple formats, collaboratively summarizing conclusions, and by using logic, reasoning, challenging assumptions, having relevant facts available, having experts present, and by using the combined computing power of all humans present, virtual teams are able to decide and/or discover what is best.
The WebEx engineers we hosted demonstrated the use of all of these best practices while saving the planet from the theft of Anti-Matter. Two teams of 7 people competed to solve the crime, and provide evidence to prove who did it. Each team used the WebEx Teams software in interesting and different ways.
One team kept a collaborative discussion with the whole team going the entire event. They chose to interrogate the suspects as a team as well. They adeptly used their team thread to post relevant evidence as needed. In real time as the interrogator mentioned specific evidence against the suspect, the team would post the evidence to the thread. The crime experts were listening intently, and would for example, post the fingerprint results on the flashlight as the interrogator was grilling the suspect if they touched the flashlight. A truly effective technique to get the answers they needed.
The other team actually broke into smaller sub-teams of 2-3 people each and completed their expert learning and application together, then collaborated on their connections, then all met again as one complete team and shared with each other one last time. An interesting use of the flexible video conferencing software.
Being experts in the daily use of Teams, their audio and video quality was excellent, and their timing during the discussions was almost flawless and yet somewhat spontaneous.
A huge thank you to WebEx teams engineers for taking a few moments to have fun with us. As they said “Thanks Jeff and Wayne for helping the team to have some group time together. It’s great for everyone to interact with each other and not worry about work for a moment 🙂”