How to manage a global team

It can be hard enough to successfully manage a team when you're all in the same office and misunderstandings can be sorted out immediately. If you're having to lead a team spread across different locations and even time zones, it is hardly surprising that communication can break down and mistrust ensue. Here's how to manage a global team without having to be on the road all the time…

  1. Use all the technology available – Skype, FaceTime, instant messaging – to stay in touch.
  2. Share and share alike; make sure you connect in their time zone, as well as vice versa.
  3. If you travel to your team's region, ask them to construct the agenda for you, not the other way around. It's their turf.
  4. Check in weekly on the phone with each report – even if only for 15 minutes.
  5. Once a year, somehow get the whole team together somewhere. It's important to be able to communicate face to face.
  6. Focus on delivery, not on who's at their desk at what time of the day… you can't see them anyway – you might even be asleep half the time they're in the office.

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