Feedback and advice
There has to be a time and a place for both of these activities. The secret is to know when to give feedback and when to offer advice. It is also essential that the recipients know when they are being given feedback and when they are being advised.
Issues to think about:
- Is most of the leader’s feedback negative? Does he/she seek just as actively to praise as to criticize?
- How will this feedback or advice appear in the eyes of the recipient?
- What method of communication is most appropriate?
- Is email used as something to hide behind?
- Is the whole team treated in the same way and given equal amounts of time and support?
- Is the leader open to feedback from the team? Does he/she listen to advice easily?
Virtual team members often complain of being ignored and feeling undervalued. They have very little (if any) face time with their Global Virtual Leader and can be left feeling like an anonymous commodity who is only contacted when things go wrong or blame needs apportioning.
A general rule of thumb would be that you need to spend more time talking to your remote members than to your local team members. This needs to be actively managed and needs a great amount of discipline, application and planning on the part of the Global Team Leader.