Do you remember pen pals?
When I was 12 years old, I had a pen pal, randomly assigned to me based on our age and who knows, also our name. Her name was also Sarah and she was from Greece. We each exchanged one picture. Sarah: big curly hair, mini skirt, high heels and red lips. Me: holding my rabbit, rocking a nun-style dress my mom probably found adorable at the time. Nevertheless, we quickly became friends, sharing our heart’s secrets and giving each other sound 6th grade advice. Sarah and I became invested in each other’s lives. And although we never met, I look back at our one-year friendship with tenderness and it was as real to me as any other friendship at the time.
Leading a virtual team magazine
It’s been a while since I’ve thought about Sarah. Not all 6th grade friendships last a lifetime. But in working on this ‘Leading a virtual team’ edition, the question of what lies at the core of human connection kept popping up. Given that you’ve never met your team members or rarely see them, how do you build trust? How do you support, inspire and motivate each other? How do you feel part of something bigger than yourself that gives you a sense of belonging and purpose? How do you tackle the same challenges any team has, but without the benefit of being able to solve your issues face-to-face? My own conclusion at this point is that the possibilities for human connection are limitless and definitely not constricted by space or time. The real question is not if virtual connections work, rather what are the key set of principles and habits to make them work?
In this ‘Leading a Virtual Team‘ issue, you can expect in CUTE-fashion both inspiration from the latest cutting-edge research on the topic, as well as practical tips from (our own) virtual working practitioners. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this issue, live or virtually!
Enjoy the magazine and feel free to comment below!