Early in the COVID crisis, the situation forced churches to have staff gatherings, team meetings and small groups virtually. Though many have now returned to in-person meetings, many others have not—and have, in fact, grown to affirm virtual meetings.
Even when team members work together virtually, they can still increase their personal connections with each other.
Here are 10 ways to help build team cohesion virtually:
1. Prioritize face-to-face time. When team members can't be face-to-face physically, they should make regular effort to meet together via video. Too much communication happens outside of verbal communication to limit seeing each other.
2. Focus on mission. Stay connected to the mission. Reinforce the team's shared purpose, and remain grounded on the "why" behind your working together.
3. Clarify group norms. Teams should have norms for how to interact with one another. Not being physically present often wrongly justifies being rude, unkind or unprofessional towards another team member. Every team member should know and be committed to the group norms.
4. Enforce group norms. Team members should hold each other accountable to the agreed upon norms. At times, distance provides a false comfort zone for some to attack or for others to remain silent when they should speak up.
5. Encourage input from everyone. Cohesion comes when every team member feels valuable and wanted. Make it easy for anyone to give input.
6. Celebrate successes. Look for and celebrate achievements. Build on small successes by taking advantage of the proverbial "low hanging fruit." Get excited about what you are doing together.
7. Share personal stories. Create an outlet for team members to share their personal-life stories. Help team members get to know each other and connect to what's going on in their lives.
8. Communicate openly. Provide an environment where people are open and honest within the bounds of the agreed upon norms. This openness will allow for healthy communication in order to avoid team stagnation, and interpersonal conflict.
9. Connect regularly. Even when you are connected virtually, the connection is real. You cannot over-communicate, you can over-connect if you do it in healthy ways.
10. Pray always. If you want to build a cohesive team, pray for each other. Even virtual meetings can become prayer meetings.
Team members may be socially distanced in proximity, but they don't have to be distanced interpersonally. Cohesive virtual teams turn on their computers to connect to the internet and to each other.
How are you building cohesion with team members if you are still separated?
Kevin Hall is a graduate of Cedarville University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Adv. MDiv), Kevin is a current PhD student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his family served in Mexico as missionaries. They currently live in Michigan, and Kevin's long-term goal is to be a professor.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.