Icebreakers and warm ups
You have been there. At the start of practically every international virtual meeting, it goes something like this:
Sanjay: It has been so hot in Bangalore the past few days. 37 degrees, unbearable!
Holger: In Leverkusen, it is cloudy and rainy since days…
Jennifer: Really? It has been really nice in Amsterdam…
“Weather reporting” can get a little tired after a few times. Imagine a virtual leader who has prepared an icebreaker – maybe even one related to the actual meeting topic – in advance.
Creative icebreakers and warm ups can really help international virtual team members relax and feel comfortable with each other at the very start of a meeting – before getting down to business. Minor interventions designed to make us smile together as a team and allow for unpredictable human interplay really pay off in helping to build trust. If we feel – even virtually – like real humans together, we can overcome conflict much more easily when it erupts. These interactions aren’t just fun and games; the science indicates that building trust is what effective virtual leaders do.