How can we create virtual closeness in a culturally sensitive and culture-independent way?
Virtual collaboration has become the new norm for many (international) teams and in the context of training programs. Success criteria for both virtual collaboration and content adaptation to the new normal is the creation of virtual closeness and a culture of trust. In exchange with some of our trainers, we explored how to operationalize trust in intercultural overlap situations online. To meet this challenge, it is more important than ever to actively build relationships with participants.
Actively inviting feedback is one strategy. Digital tools and creative ideas can be used to actively approach participants in this regard. For example, Mentimeter is an efficient tool to solicit feedback asynchronously. Also, actively inviting people to use the chat during virtual meetings or to use emojis to get a mood picture can be helpful. In summary, multi-channel communication and informal sharing are areas where virtual leaders, facilitators or trainers can build virtual closeness with her/his team or participants.
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