As I noted in 5 Actions for Leading a Virtual Team, the Impacting Leaders team is comprised of mostly virtual employees. I asked my team to think about the actions they deem to be essential to success as a member of a virtual team. Here’s what they had to share:
Would you have said what you said in that phone call to your teammate if you were on speakerphone? If the answer is no, then why would you say it to the person with whom you’re speaking?
I’m not referring to confidential conversations. I’m talking about how we speak to each other and what we say. I’m referring to the words we sometimes all too quickly spew without considering the lasting repercussions or how we’re making the person on the other end of the line feel.
Before you say what you’re planning to say, ask yourself, “Would I say that on speakerphone?”
It all gets back to how we treat others when others are around. If we tend to treat our teammates differently based on who’s present, then we need to carry ourselves as if others are observing all the time.
(This same philosophy applies to email as well.)