Create Structure to Help Bridge Barriers - A Communication Quick Tip

Group discussion

Contributor - Kari Heistad

Create Structure to Help Bridge Barriers

Foosball is a tabletop soccer game featuring players that are fixed in position, meaning that each player can only cover a predetermined area. Flexibility, adapting, or helping out are all out of the question.

This lack of flexibility is similar in some ways to teams that are spread out over multiple locations or across borders, as their interactions are also limited in a predetermined way. The lack of face-to-face interaction can reduce the team’s ability to adjust and adapt as quickly as a team that is located all at one site.

In situations like this, having a clearly defined structure detailing everyone’s role and responsibilities is a key to success. Having this structure articulated will also help bridge language and cultural barriers that impact global teams.

Action Step: Have clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and goals when working on a team that is scattered across multiple sites.

Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways does our team have/not have flexibility? How does this impact us as a team?
  2. What are the roles on our team? Do any of these roles need to change?
  3. Often times team roles are unofficial and evolve over time. How do these roles get communicated to new team members or to people outside of the team?
  4. Do we need to clarify any team structures or roles to bring them up to date?
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