Long-distance collaboration requires a special set of skills and sensitivity.
Keith Ferrazzi, the networking guru gives some same advice for working across geographic boundaries. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as I’m collaborating with west coast colleagues (I’m in Philadelphia) on developing a leadership development program on leading across boundaries. Just like Ferrazzi suggests, awareness is at the core. Awareness of your interpretations, biases and your shared purpose for working together. And awareness that it takes longer to build a trusting relationship from afar. And remember that nothing beats face to face contact. Whenever opportunity presents itself (project kickoffs, meeting major milestones, multi day working sessions) hop in the car, train or plane to have the opportunity to work together in person. The effort of travel will payoff in the strengthening of the relationships with your virtual colleagues.
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