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Technology Opens Up Virtual Teamwork In B-School And Boardroom

The emergence of video and audio conferencing technology is opening up new channels of communication – at business school and in the boardroom.

Do you currently work with a client whom you’ve never met in person? If you don't now, you will soon. In today’s business climate it’s becoming the norm to work with someone halfway across the world.

It’s so easy to communicate via email that many people don't think about what they're missing out on by not having that personal connection.

However, it's easy enough to replicate that personal touch. Business schools are incorporating distance learning to help students connect through the web, and there is similar pressure on businesses to connect virtually in global teams.

Think about your last in-person meeting with a client. You probably briefly spoke about things unrelated to work, but the conversation probably flowed freely. That whole dynamic is powerful. You’re bonding – much more so than if you were limited to email text.

Now think about what type of relationship you have with a client whom you’ve never met. You probably lack the chance to really connect with them.

It’s true that you can have a successful client relationship through email – but it's also true that you can have a better relationship by utilising the great technology there is out there to help facilitate remote work.

Polycom has systems for both audio conferencing and video conferencing. There’s Skype of course, and Google Hangouts as well – both of those being free. Staying engaged isn’t just about phone calls or video chats, however.
 
It’s about making the effort to go above and beyond. It’s about not forgetting that your client is a real person who may communicate more effectively through speech rather than text. 

If it’s relevant to your business relationship, set up a collaborative system so that your client can check in on you whenever they want to see your progress. You could use an online project management system like Zoho which has sections for a forum and chats so that you can update your progress in real time, and reassure your client that everything is being handled – giving them one less thing to have to worry about.

It’s all about making the effort here. Emails and phone calls alone don’t show that you value a client or team member. You have to reach out in different ways. And with all the amazing communication technology – available for free or at very little cost – you’ll have more productive and happy clients and team members – if you utilize it.

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