How would one sum this up in a conclusion? This consulting report is the work of our team that we jointly created specifically for this course and this section.?All research or material that we used in preparing this report has been properly acknowledged within the assignment in accordance with academic standards for complete and accurate citation of sources.?ntroduction Lauren is the manager of a virtual team. With no experience leading a virtual team, Lauren has to navigate tools for running an efficient team and managing conflict. Laurens team faces challenges such as operating across various time zones, cultural differences, and limited virtual experience. The team’s opportunities are identified as utilizing team members strengths and weaknesses to promote peer-to-peer learning which facilitates communication and trust. To keep the team productive and focused, Lauren should create an agenda for the team kick-off meeting, with topics including an introduction, addressing challenges and setting ground rules. The kick-off meeting should be conducted via video conferencing to provide the best opportunity for all members to participate. As the leader of the team, it is important for Lauren to build relationships and trust with her team by getting to know team members, finding common ground, and exuding confidence and competence. The existing conflicts Lauren has to address include email lags, inappropriate use of instant messaging and uneven exchange of project knowledge. Lauren can prevent conflict within the team by?hallenges Faced By Lauren’s Team Lauren’s virtual team is facing the challenges of operating within various time zones, cultural differences among team members, and not a lot of virtual team experience. Operating in a virtual team usually utilizes team members that are geographically disbursed. Lauren will have to overcome the challenge of her team members working at different times and being aware of each individual member’s working hours. An effective way to communicate with team members in a different time zone is by utilizing text based communication. This channel of communication includes email and instant messaging, which will be the quickest for virtual teams. Text communication is most effective for tasks, schedules, questions, and reports. The drawbacks to text communication is the lack of vocal and visual cues that could cause misinterpretation (Carmi, Kauffmann, 2014). Another challenge Lauren will have to navigate her team through is cultural differences between team members. With having geographically dispersed teams there is a chance a language barrier will exist. There is an increased risk of misinterpretation with the various uses of dialects and societal specific sayings. Team members with different cultural backgrounds will possess various work practices, languages, attitudes, and levels of communication technology usage. Every society has a multicultural background that has characteristics that relate to the standards of communication and this is a challenge for virtual teams to find a common acceptance (Zahar, Ismail, Tashid, 2021). Lauren, John and Adam are team members that do not have any virtual experience. With Lauren being the team leader she has to quickly learn the technology and best practices of a virtual team so she can be an effective leader. The team members can learn how to efficiently operate virtually from their peers, The challenge to overcome is for Lauren to be comfortable working and leading a virtual team.?pportunities for Lauren’s Team?The opportunities Lauren’s team can capitalize on include exploiting various team member strengths and weaknesses to optimize performance and by utilizing the varying time zones to achieve maximum productivity. Employing the use of the team member matrix, Lauren can pair up team members that have complementary strengths and weaknesses.?By having peer-to-peer teaching this will be the beginning of building team trust and unity. This also will allow the employees to partake in boundary spanning. “Team leaders and managers facilitate functional exchange with?other units and?external groups and foster their subordinates’ identification with the organization as a whole.?So boundary spanning or boundary management is very important for team effectiveness” (Harvey, Peterson, & Anand, 2014). By taking advantage of the team’s varying time zones, Lauren can be strategic and greatly increase productivity versus the other teams that operate in a singular place.The increase in?productivity will put the team at a large competitive advantage versus a team that only operates 8 hours a day (Lilian, 2014). The best way for Lauren to capitalize on the opportunities that face her team is to hold a one one one meeting with each individual and assess their competencies and shortcomings. She may look to pair team members based on skill match- ups or personality traits. This mentoring will ensure the team gets started on the right path by increasing skills and building trust among team members.?eferencesCarmi, D. K., & Kauffmann, D. (2014). How team leaders can use ICT to improve trust among virtual teams to increase collaboration. International Journal of Engineering and Innovation Technology, 3(9), 204-220Harvey S., Peterson, R. S., & Anand, N. (2014). The process of team boundary spanning in multi-organizational contexts.Small Group Research, 45(5), 506-538Lilian, S. C. (2014). Virtual teams: Opportunities and challenges for e-leaders. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 110, 1251-1261.Zahar, N. N., Ismail, F., & Rashid, U. K. (2021). Challenges and Critical Success Factors in Managing Virtual Teams: The Workplace of the Future. Advances in Humanities and Contemporary Studies, 2(1), 8-14.Part 2 (Lakeisha)Team Agenda An agenda helps in time conservation and outlines what the team members are expected of; this will help the meetings to remain productive and focused (Edwards & Wilson, 2016). For Lauren’s kick-off meeting, the topics of her agenda would include; introduction, addressing challenges and setting ground rules. To begin with, the introduction would help the team members know each other. Addressing the predicted challenges such as communication barriers attributed to the different time zones would help set appropriate times for meetings. Ground rules enhance consistency in the workflow and assists in boosting the team members’ values as they get to practice social etiquette. These topics would thus guide her during the meeting. For this kick-off meeting, Lauren should use web conferencing with video because it is the most preferable for live meetings. Web conferencing also increases work efficiency due to its flexibility through the elimination of geographical barriers (McCoy, 2021). This method would also engage all team members and thus promote the participation of all group members. This method works best when ground rules are set beforehand. Lauren should therefore set the following ground rules to help manage the team; timeliness, preparedness, participation, muting oneself and sticking to the agenda. Timeliness should be a mandatory rule as it promotes time management. Preparedness, on the other hand, would help in arriving at the solutions quicker: as such, this would also be made a mandatory rule. Participation would also be a mandatory rule, as all team members are expected to contribute ideas during meetings (McCoy, 2021). Muting oneself when one is not talking would also be mandatory to avoid distractions such as sounds from the television, children and even pets. Finally, all team members would be expected to stick to the meeting’s agenda, although this will be negotiable as things might come up during the meeting. All these would lead to a fruitful meeting.Building Relationships and Trust?To efficiently manage the cross-functional team, Lauren will have to find ways to build relationships and trust within the team and to do this. She might have to make use of some of the tips listed here; getting to know team members, find common ground and exude confidence and competence. By getting to know team members and acknowledging each member by name, one is able to convey warmth and thus put the members at ease (Dirks & Skarlicki, 2021). Finding a common ground with the team members, such as challenges they have experienced before in their work environments and even their accomplishments, brings trust among the team members. Finally, exuding confidence and competence by executing mastery of the project at hand will enable the team members to trust Lauren to lead them in the project and thus lead to a successful mission (Dirks & Skarlicki, 2021). These tips will thus help Lauren develop trust and even build relationships with her team members.?For Lauren to have a fruitful kick-off meeting, she will have to draft an agenda before each meeting, set up ground rules, and find ways of building trust and relationships with the team members. The agenda will hugely aid in keeping the members on track and save time as they will not veer off track with matters that do not concern the project. Moreover, the ground rules will enable the team to stay grounded as they will develop respect for each other’s time and ideas. Furthermore, building trust and relationships among team members will lead to the smooth running of the project process, and she will efficiently manage the team. All these will therefore lead to a kick-off meeting that is both efficient and fruitful.ReferencesAbigail Edwards, & John R. Wilson. (2016). Implementing Virtual Teams? A Guide to Organizational and Human Factors. Routledge.Dirks, K., & Skarlicki, D. (2021). Retrieved 15 July 2021, from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.468.7656&rep=rep1&type=pdfKatzy, B., & Evaristo, R. (2021). Knowledge management in virtual projects: a research agenda. Retrieved 15 July 2021, from https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/926602McCoy, K. (2021). Using Zoom, Cloud Based Video Web Conferencing System: to Enhance a Distance Education Course and/or Program. Retrieved 15 July 2021, from https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/150025/Part 3 (Jenny)Resolving Existing ConflictsE-mail Lags The issue with lags in email responses can be traced to the team’s diversity. According to Magpili and Pazos (2013), diversity can be a “barrier to effective task performance since the combination of members coming from different backgrounds may lead to misunderstandings due to differences in their underlying attributes which includes their values, attitudes, and personality” (p. 1196). Furthermore, diversity can impact the amount of respect team members’ have for another one and how well they communicate.?To resolve this issue, Lauren should facilitate perspective taking, an action that occurs when “an observer tries to understand, in a non-judgmental way, the values, attitudes, and personality of other individuals” (Magpili & Pazos, 2013, p. 1197). Perspective taking helps team members listen to and understand different opinions and perspectives; as a result, trust between team members increases (Magpili & Pazos, 2013). To place this into context, if the team member with the issue had engaged in perspective-taking, he or she would understand their teammate’s communication style and trust that he or she would get back to them.?nappropriate Use of Instant Messaging Another issue that Lauren’s team is experiencing is the use of instant messaging to solve complex problems without reaching resolutions. This issue speaks to an inconsistent task-technology fit. Task-technology fit influences communication processes and outcomes. Additionally, team members may use technology in different ways that do or do not adhere to their established use; this can then impact behavior and performance (Bartelt & Dennis, 2014). During the kickoff meeting, Lauren’s team had an open discussion about the technologies they would use. However, technology choices and how they would be used were not formalized. To resolve this conflict, Lauren should intervene to formalize the information and communication technology (ICT) structure. The structure should include rules for the intended ICT use, consensus between team members on how to use the ICT, and their opinions regarding how the ICT will be used (Thomas & Bostrom, 2010).Uneven Exchange of Project Knowledge Lastly, Lauren’s team is experiencing an uneven exchange of project knowledge. This is a common problem in virtual teams where individuals with different cultural backgrounds and experiences “utilize different processes for capturing, storing, and disseminating knowledge” (Chiravuri et al., 2011, p. 312). One way Lauren can resolve this conflict is to create a shared understanding of mental models between team members; a mental model refers to “cognitive representations of events and situations that include the characters in those situations and their interrelations” (Chiravuri et al., 2011, p. 216). Mental models allow team members to predict what information and resource requirements they will need when communication is limited; additionally, they can help coordinate collaboration (Chiravuri et al., 2011).?A second solution to this issue is the promotion of a knowledge sharing culture. Knowledge sharing involves disbursing information among team members and introducing the team to new knowledge from external sources. Lauren could encourage knowledge sharing through virtual platforms such as instant messaging, email, phone calls, discussion forums, electronic bulletin boards, and the creation of a dedicated team webpage (Rosen et al., 2007).?reventative Conflict Management At varying levels, Lauren’s team is experiencing issues related to trust, communication, time and deadline pressures, and cultural constraints. There are several actions Lauren could have taken to prevent these issues. For instance, to resolve trust issues, Lauren could have made sure that everyone was able to voice their opinions on items before moving forward; this action would have created a psychologically safe culture where members felt encouraged and willing to admit their mistakes. To address any communication issues, Lauren could have established rules governing what information should be shared and in what format. She could also have encouraged team members to prioritize information by level of importance, such as “time sensitive,” “helpful,” or “FYI,”; these labels would have helped team members quickly determine the relevance of the communication (Rosen et al., 2007).?To address the task-technology issue, Lauren could have identified technology that was straightforward, user-friendly, and easily accessible to all team members. Once the team decided on which technology to use, Lauren could have established rules on how the technology would be used, and emphasized the importance of complying with the rules (Rosen et al., 2007). To encourage a knowledge-sharing environment, Lauren could have established various forums to house task, social, and contextual information. Pre-existing information forums could have helped mitigate the inconsistent project knowledge sharing issue (Berry, 2011). Lastly, Lauren’s team would have benefited from cross-cultural training to help members recognize, adapt, and adjust to the team’s diversity. This training would have developed the team members’ competencies in understanding and recognizing cultural differences; feeling comfortable with various cultures; and exhibiting appropriate cultural actions (Zakaria et al., 2004).?uture Conflict Management Conflict is not avoidable; however, there are steps Lauren can take to mitigate future conflicts. The first step is to become a better mediator. In order to meet this goal, Lauren should set ground rules for mediations: 1) recognize the importance of everyone’s opinions; 2) know which issues to handle and which to avoid; 3) use “I” statements and specific examples; 4) acknowledge the roles everyone plays in conflict; and 5) work together on solutions (Zofi, 2012).?The second step is to promote conflict positivity. Conflict-positive teams emphasize their interrelated goals; believe that one team member’s success contributes to the team’s overall success; engage in open-minded discussions; express their views and try to understand one another; and work together to solve problems. In the short-term, this view of conflict can increase team members’ comprehension of problems, decision-making, and relationship building. In the long-term, this view promotes psychological development and health. Furthermore, conflict-positive teams are more confident when taking calculated risks and more innovative. As the team leader, Lauren will need to serve as a role model by expressing her own honest opinions and engaging in perspective-taking. By exemplifying these conflict positive behaviors, she can encourage her team to do the same (Tjosvold, 2008).BusinessManagementHuman Resource ManagementHRMD 665Get a plagiarism-free order today we guarantee confidentiality and a professional paper and we will meet the deadline.
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