Team members often start out with no idea where the path to the solution may lie. It is exciting to participate in a collaboration that brings forth creative ideas. Following are some thoughts that will help you become a good virtual team member.
Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness
You will probably be working with people from other cultures. An understanding of how each culture communicates, expresses agreement and disagreement, how they offer new ideas, and how they relate to leadership, is extremely valuable.
Profound respect for each team member is essential for a great virtual collaboration. Each person has been chosen because of their diverse skills and experience. We know that diversity is conducive to creativity. Your ability to listen is extremely important.
We believe a diverse team is a more creative team. After all:
- it was a sculptor who invented the ballpoint pen
- it was a musician who invented Kodachrome films
- it was an undertaker who invented the automatic telephone
- it was a journalist who invented the parking meter
- it was a veterinary surgeon who invented the pneumatic tire
- it was a television engineer who invented the long-playing record.
In virtual teams trust is built up by contribution and reliability. Faith is needed in the beginning, because you cannot see your teammate thinking about challenges. Frequent participation builds trust. Read each other's profile (under "Team" button) to get a more personal view and feel about your teammates.
You have been accepted to collaborate on a challenge because of your great skills, experience and commitment. The ThinkSpace® gives you ability and freedom to choose when you want to work alone, and when you want to work with team members who are online.
Most teams have a very experienced Facilitator. The Facilitator is not an authoritarian leader, but is there to help with encouragement, support and focus.
Consensus is not necessary. The ThinkSpace® allows contradictory ideas to develop, and allows more than one solution to be presented to the Solution Seeker.
After the challenge is complete, each virtual team member is asked to evaluate the Solution Seeker, as well as each of their problem solving teammates. The confidential results are taken into account in IdeaConnection's future team selection.
Most teams greatly enjoy working on these challenges. It is common for some good friendships to develop.