Leading virtual teams

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Leading virtual teams successfully

Working internationally offers numerous advantages, eg. bringing local know-how to a globally operating team. However, leading virtual teams can be very challenging and requires different leadership competencies than leading staff at one location.

Improve both your virtual team efficiency and performance by providing customised training for your leaders!

We look forward to advising you. Please contact us via phone +49 (0)2227 908 6252 and e-mail contact@culturewaves.com. Or just use our contact form.

Specific challenges of leading virtually

Certain organisational structures call for specific leadership styles. International companies especially are experiencing profound and dynamic change in their working environment, collaboration styles and structures.

In matrix structures, disciplinary and functionary leadership lines often work against each other.Employees find themselves in local reporting lines as well as in globally spread teams, which collaborate virtually only.

Leaders of virtual teams often do not have disciplinary authority over their team. Directive leadership and close monitoring are not possible. Leaders therefore have to deal with more ambiguity than with local teams.

Communication competence and sensitivity become an essential quality for leading virtual teams. Leaders need to establish trust, initiate a self-reliant working style and maintain each team member’s commitment.

Additionally, cultural traits such as different communication and working styles become promptly visible.International teams need to first agree on a joint vision, then define work processes as well as a team charter. The latter to help to identify oneself within the team and to work together effectively despite all cultural differences. Note: the leadership style experienced in the virtual team might contradict local leadership expectations.

Introducing new leadership models such as agile leadership or cooperative leadership can create a special challenge for remote international teams. These specific challenges and topics can be covered in customised training and team building measures.

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Leading virtual teams training: possible contents

Specifics of remote teams and working virtually

  • Realities and conditions of virtual teamwork
  • Challenges and opportunities of remote teams
  • Success criteria for virtual collaboration

Virtual team communication

  • Aspects of virtual communication and the effective use of various communication channels and media
  • The role of communication in virtual teams and communication preferences of team members
  • Communication styles in international comparison and their influence on remote team communication
  • Facilitation competences for a multicultural and virtual context – what is needed?
  • Recognising misunderstandings, difficulties and latent conflicts at an early stage and addressing them with cultural sensitivity

Multicultural teams and intercultural collaboration

  • Understanding project and team work in different cultures
  • Planning processes, time management, the meaning of hierarchy, agreeing on processes and objectives for the multicultural team
  • Accepting and leveraging differences to generate synergies

Leading at a distance- challenges

  • Successfully leading employees at a distance: agreeing on a common vision and goals, providing motivation, being responsive and reacting in a reliable manner
  • Giving feedback in a constructive and culturally sensitive way
  • Reflecting leadership competencies and personal leadership style

Team processes and team development

  • Tuckman’s team phase model and its applicability to virtual teams
  • Developing virtual closeness and building trust in remote teams
  • Establishing team-specific work processes and binding rules
  • Setting milestones, celebrating achievements and creating team events
  • Detecting and solving conflicts within virtual teams, using them to further team development

Do you have specific needs?

CultureWaves tailors training workshops for your business-specific demands and target group.

Let us design a solution that meets your needs. Contact us via phone +49 (0)2227 908 6252 and e-mail contact@culturewaves.com or just use our contact form.

Diversity at its best: the CultureWaves consultant team

Our team is made up of more than 120 highly qualified consultants, facilitators, trainers and coaches with multiple years of international professional experience in various sectors and positions.

Depending on the requested development measures, our trainers bring along further qualifications such as international leadership experience or extensive e-facilitation skills.


CultureWaves uses a variety of methods. With decades of experience in designing and delivering customized development programmes, CultureWaves has optimized training and facilitation methods for your maximum benefit.

CultureWaves’ behaviour orientated trainings and workshops stand out due to their interactive formats, their participant orientation and hands-on recommendations.

Our methods include interactive group exercises, role plays or simulations, small group work on practical case studies, discussion, reflection as well as hand-on recommendations and background information which helps create understanding for different business mindsets.

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Make use of our experience and competence! We look forward to hearing from you!

Since 1999 CultureWaves designs and delivers customised programmes for satisfied clients all over the world.

Benefit from the quality of our HR development initiatives!

You can reach us via phone +49 (0)2227 908 6252 and email contact@culturewaves.com. Or just use our contact form.

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