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21st Century Work Life and leading remote teams

Brought to you by Virtual not Distant, the 21st Century Work Life podcast looks at leading remote teams, online collaboration and working in distributed organisations.

Join Pilar Orti, guests & co-hosts as they shine the spotlight on the most relevant themes and news relevant to the modern knowledge worker.

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Jan 18, 2018

Current research suggests that having text-based debates can diminish our perception of the other person and that audio-only conversation can build more empathy than that involving also visual elements. What does this mean for virtual teams?


Pilar and Maya discuss the article: Why You Should Never Ever Argue with Anyone on Facebook According to Science

Is the phrasing “according to science” trying to prevent us from questioning the findings?

Do Emojis communicate emotion or belittle it?

And what happens when we add contradictory emojis?

Are managers nervous about giving negative feedback and causing conflict or upset?

Maya gives an example of how easy it is to misinterpret a text message’s intentions.

Are even full stops conveying emotion?!

If you are nervous about how a message will be received, when possible, get on a call. Moving onto voice/video call also signals that the conversation is important.

Pilar mentions this previous episode 115 on Managing Up in Virtual Teams with Eva Rimbau-Gilabert

How polarization can easily turn into the wrong image of someone.

When did we need to start asking for an appointment to ring someone up?

So how does this influence how we communicate in virtual teams?

For example, should we stop “working out loud” in writing? Not always, we just need to be mindful and this article by Jochen Lillich Founder and CEO of freistil IT.
has a great description of how.

Yale Research on Voice and Emotion: Five Experiments and What it Means for Speakers

(Pilar mentions the podcast Evidence Talks, which looks at evidence-based practice in organisations.)

“Empathic accuracy”.

Empathy is only a part of business, using video does have some benefits, like keeping the team conversation fluid and a sense of team unity.

But as always, it really depends.

The context in which the experiment was run was different to that we experience “in vivo”.

Pilar mentions episode WLP136

And the article on hiding your own face from view during video calls

Maya’s been in the virtual space for ages, before Facebook!

How switching on video can actually help us to focus when in a distracting environment.

Our backgrounds during video calls.