Helping you leverage the power of your Virtual Team

Understanding Personality in Virtual Teams – Virtual Team Building Activity #1

Help your virtual employees to connect and collaborate with each other more effectively by facilitating a fun virtual personality profiling session.  This is the first game in a series of 10 Virtual Team Building Activities that you can use to help your team build trust and develop a stronger connection with other virtual team members.

Step 1 >>    Each member of the virtual team should complete their own personality profile

There are various sophisticated personality profiling models available like DISC and Myer-Briggs where a consultant will lead you in the personality profiling session.  However, if you want an alternative that you can facilitate yourself as a fun online virtual team building activity,  you can use a book like Personality Plus: How to Understand Others by Understanding Yourself (copies available for as little as $2 each)   Each member of the virtual team can complete their own personality profile.

If you opt to facilitate the session yourself, then the game facilitator and each virtual team member should also be familiar with the personality plus model and how it impacts on their work as individuals (also covered in the personality plus book above)

Step 2 >>  The virtual team meets to reveal their dominate personality traits and how this will impact on the virtual business and virtual team dynamics …

Set the time and open up the virtual collaboration room where the entire virtual team can gather together.   To get the “reveal” session going the facilitator will need to be prepared to lead the discussion to encourage participation.   After explaining the personality profiling model you could start with some “ice-breaker” questions like  …

  • Do you agree with what the profile revealed?  Discuss why you agree or disagree?
  • What surprised you about your profile?
  • What questions did you find difficult to answer and why?
  • Talk about each individual personality style and how it impacts on their work styles.
  • Discuss each personality style and what positives and strengths each style brings to the virtual team.
  • Discuss how different personality styles will communicate and work with each other?
  • Does each virtual team member feel they are suited to their role?  If not, what can be done to improve the virtual team dynamic?
  • Discuss what communication techniques can be employed in the virtual team to improve overall team dynamics and cohesion
  • Discuss what conflicts could arise and have arisen within the Virtual Team and how understanding the personality traits of fellow virtual team members will help the team overcome potential conflicts in the future.

 

Step 3>>  Document any actions the virtual team decides to make to improve virtual team dynamics, online communication and/or virtual collaboration

To make this virtual team building activity truly effective you will need to document and implement suggested changes to improve the virtual team dynamics.   As the virtual team discusses their different personality styles and what can be done to improve virtual team communication, make a list of any actions the virtual team needs to implement as an outcome of the virtual team building activity.   Use the online meeting room to ensure the whole team can contribute to the list of actions being suggested.

Here are some ideas to help you with the kind of virtual team improvement actions that might be implemented >>>

  • Perhaps your virtual team meetings are uninspiring because they are usually dominated by one strong character in the group while other virtual team workers are rarely heard from. What can the virtual team do to encourage participation and ideas from everybody?  Maybe there is too much detail and data and the meetings are being dragged out.  Or perhaps the meetings are so boring and tiresome some virtual team members don’t want to show up!
  • You may have members on the virtual team that are very creative yet never get the chance to present their ideas.  How can you encourage all members of your virtual team to get more creative and have the opportunity to present their ideas.
  • You might have a very strong determined team member who feels frustrated by what seems to be the lack of enthusiasm from other team members.  Is it really a lack of enthusiasm or is it just different working styles?   What can be done to get everyone involved and excited about projects?  Are their fun virtual collaboration tools like online mind mapping and brainstorming that could be introduced?
  • Some remote workers may feel completely isolated and unsupported.  Perhaps they are looking for more interaction with other team members so ideas can be bounced around together.  What virtual team building games or social collaboration platforms could be introduced to encourage more interaction?  Perhaps the working schedule of all remote workers needs to be reviewed so that as one virtual team member “signs off” there is a relay of information on projects – either verbally or via video conferencing.
  • Are any of your team members feeling frustrated by not knowing where documents are stored and/or managed?  This can be a problem for virtual teams working in different parts of the globe within different timezones.  Is it time to review your virtual document management system?  Perhaps there are people on the team getting frustrated by missed appointments or other virtual workers not showing up because of time-zone confusions.  What tools can the virtual team use to improve organization?

Step 4 >>  Arrange a follow-up  virtual team building session

As with every virtual team building activity you want your virtual team to benefit from the session.   Arrange a follow-up session to discuss how understanding each other on the team has impacted on the overall virtual team unity.    During the session the list of actions or “take-aways” from the initial session should be discussed.   The virtual team facilitator should co-ordinate the virtual team to ensure that all actions are implemented.

This virtual team building activity can be fun as well as informative as your virtual team goes on a journey of discovery together – each remote worker will likely discover new things about themselves and their working style as well as discovering new things about their remote co-workers.   This virtual team building activity provides a wonderful platform for virtual team members to get honest about their strengths and weaknesses and how they prefer to work with others.  When you continue to facilitate virtual team building activities with your remote workers, you are helping your virtual team to develop a sense of online community and will give each individual virtual team member an awareness of their identity and place within the team.

 

For more Virtual Team Building Activities click here to access the “Big Book of Virtual Team Building Games”