Do This One Thing When Meeting Your Virtual Team in Real Life

Grow Your Virtual Team Relationships

These days, it is possible you are part of at least one team that works virtually. Perhaps each person on your team is located in a different part of the city, country or world. Your meetings and work is done over email, video conferencing or some type of virtual office arrangement like Sococo.

At some point you may have the chance to meet in person. Grab the opportunity! The one thing you want to make sure you do during this time together, is to meet with each person on your team one-on-one (1:1), and have each person on your team do the same.

Break Bread With Your Virtual Team

It is easy, when a team meets, to just have a group meeting or a meal. This makes sense because it saves time and feels very efficient. However, in these scenarios, only relationship building that can be done is with the person or people sitting close to you, or with the people you already work closely with. What about the person at the other end of the table? Missed opportunity.

To get the most out of your in-person meeting, arrange for everyone to spend a least 15 mins in a one-on-one conversation with each team member. At a minimum, you could set it up like a mini speed networking event, except it is with your own team, not strangers.

It is in these meetings where relationships start to be built and strengthened. This gives more vitality to the group and a sense of belonging and connection between your team members. A good in-person conversation can work wonders to deepen a virtual working relationship.

Missed Opportunity

This is one tip I missed when I met with one of my virtual teams.

Recently, a group I am part of, The Global Marketing Collective, met in person for the first time. We’re made up of Pam Campagna who runs Blue Sage Consulting in Boston, Julie Vetter who runs Hoi Moon Marketing in Paris, Lynda Sydney who is a freelance marketing writer based half the time in Paris and half the time in Toronto.

It made sense for all of us to meet in Boston in mid-September due to work commitments and the Hubspot Inbound 2014 conference. The four of us had spent almost a year in monthly meetings, over Skype, discussing ways to put our talents together on global marketing projects. It was time to meet in person.

Pam picked me at the airport and we headed for dinner. A an excellent chance for the two of us to get to know each other. The next day the four of us met up and did a toursity tour around Boston. It was a good way to have some laughs and see the city.

We then headed for dinner, where at a large table I was sat beside Lynda. We were able to break the ice and get to know one another.

And then, due to schedule demands, that was it. We all went our separate ways after dinner. It wasn’t until later that I realized I hadn’t had the chance to spend some 1:1 time with Julie.  I really missed out on starting to build that relationship.

It is then that I realized group events and dinner do count, but the real relationships are built 1:1 and this has to be something that is purposefully planned for.

Julie and I will do more talks over Skype, and I may just have to travel to Paris for 1:1 meetings with her earlier than originally planned.  Darn! (smile)

How do you structure in-person meetings with your virtual team? Any tips to share?

World map image thanks to


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