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Communication Mistakes to Avoid with your Remote Team

To keep work smooth and productive in a remote workplace, here are the communication mistakes to avoid!

Why do you need to avoid these communication mistakes?

When managing a remote team, there are some communication mistakes to avoid. After all, everyone needs to be on the same page to get work done. And not seeing your team face to face can pose a few challenges. Hence, there are messages that could be interpreted differently or responses that you can’t get across.

For example, it’s easy to appear curt or impatient in an email when that’s not your intention. Additionally, things can easily be misconstrued when deprived of nonverbal cues like facial expressions and body language. Albeit the challenges present, it’s worth it to work through these because of the benefits of working remotely. Such benefits include a 21% increased profitability and 54% decrease in retention. That is why it’s essential to be aware of these communication hiccups and take steps to avoid them. 

Communications mistakes to avoid with your virtual staff

1. Using the wrong tools, or lack thereof

To be aware of the communication mistakes to avoid, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, be mindful of the available communication tools and ensure everyone on the team uses the same ones. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to have a conversation when everyone is on a different platform. Second, take the time to learn about each team member’s communication preferences. Some people prefer to communicate via chat, while others prefer to talk on the phone or via video call. By understanding each person’s preferences, you can ensure that everyone is comfortable with how communications are handled. 

Finally, remember that remote teams are not able to meet in person. This means that there may be times when written communications are the only option. When this is the case, make sure to be as clear and concise as possible to avoid confusion.

2. Absence of opportunities to connect

One of the most important things to remember when communicating with a remote team is to create opportunities for connection. Without regular opportunities to interact with each other, team members can quickly begin to feel isolated and disconnected. This can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunications, and a general sense of disengagement from work. 

To avoid this, schedule regular team check-ins, both online and offline. Make time for small talk, personal updates, and work-related discussions. For example, you may schedule a weekly “touch base” to catch up with the successes and struggles of each for the past week. 

Additionally, as the leader, you are responsible for organizing online team-building activities to allow your employees to get to know each other without work pressure. And don’t forget to celebrate successes and accomplishments together! By taking the time to create connections, you can cross off one item in the list of communication mistakes to avoid. 

3. Rushing and having too many meetings  

Included in the communication mistakes to avoid with your remote team is rushing through or skipping over essential conversations. Just because you’re not meeting in person doesn’t mean you can’t take the time to have a productive discussion. Make sure everyone on the team feels heard, and all critical points are addressed.

Additionally, keep away from overscheduling. When there are too many meetings, it can be challenging for team members to focus and be fully present. Instead, try to have fewer, more focused meetings. This will help everyone stay on track and avoid unnecessary distractions.

4. Failing to communicate expectations 

If you’re leading a remote team, it’s essential to recognize that there are communication mistakes to avoid that would cause misunderstandings and frustration. One of the most important things to be cautious of is failing to reiterate what you’re hoping for your employees to accomplish. If your team doesn’t know what you expect of them, they won’t be able to meet your standards. 

To avoid this problem, communicate your expectations early and often. Let your team know what you’re looking forward to regarding work quality, deadlines, and communications. And be sure to provide feedback regularly so they can adjust their behavior if needed.

5. Micromanaging your remote team

Suppose you’re constantly checking in on your team and giving them detailed instructions. In that case, it can create a feeling of distrust and insecurity. Instead, try to give your team members the freedom to work independently and solve problems on their own. This will show that you trust their abilities and judgment and will help foster a more collaborative and productive team dynamic. Of course, there will be times when you need to provide specific directions or feedback. But if you can avoid micromanaging your team, it will go a long way toward maintaining a healthy and productive working relationship.

6. Disregarding cultural and religious differences

It’s important to remember that not everyone comes from the same cultural background or follows the same religion. What may be considered normal or appropriate in one culture may be offensive in another. The best way to avoid this mistake is to learn about your team members’ cultures and religions and respect their customs and beliefs. 

This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything. Still, it does mean being open-minded and understanding that everyone has different values and perspectives. When you take the time to learn about and respect the cultures and religions of your team members, you’ll find that communication is much easier and more effective.

7. Having inappropriate chat etiquette

Good communication is key to any successful relationship, whether it’s personal or professional. Some communication mistakes to avoid include failing to use professional chat etiquette when communicating with your remote team. Just as you would never shout across a room or interrupt a conversation, you should also avoid using all caps or using too many abbreviations in your chat messages. Doing so can come across as rude or disrespectful, and it can make it more difficult for team members to understand what you’re trying to say. By taking the time to learn and use proper chat etiquette, you can help ensure clear and effective communication with your remote team.

For example, in some cultures, it’s perfectly acceptable to have informal conversations and even joke around with colleagues, while in others, such behavior would be considered unprofessional. If you’re not sure what the norms are in your team’s culture, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid any conversation that could be interpreted as being too personal or suggestive. By being mindful of these differences, you can help ensure that everyone on your team feels comfortable and respected.

One of the biggest communication mistakes you can make is hiring people who lack verbal skills

In hiring virtual employees, it can be difficult to screen those who are genuinely qualified. You may make the mistake of employing a staff who doesn’t have the communications skills required for a remote setup. Sometimes, qualifications can be exaggerated, and some are minimized. 

However, with Core Virtual Solutions, you are guaranteed to have caliber Virtual Assistants (VAs) and Virtual Medical Assistants (VMAs) who have been screened by our industry experts. Talk to them through a free consultation call at your convenience!

Read more: 5 Business Statistics Why You Need a VA this 2022

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