Tips to create and maintain effective remote collaborations

Tips to create and maintain effective remote collaborations


1. Establish a framework for collaboration

In order to engage in collaboration, it is necessary to understand what is expected (the vision which gives meaning to the work of each person) but also to know the applicable rules of life (the charter).

  1. the vision is presented by the leader and must be accepted (often used in a crisis situation or if there are major transformations to come)
  2. the leader's vision is argued and discussed until it is accepted and committed by the people involved
  3. the vision is debated and can be modified according to the reactions of those involved
  4. before developing the vision, there is consultation with the people involved to collect their suggestions and ideas.
  5. a common vision is co-constructed from the personal vision of each person.

Whatever the process of sharing the vision, it is developed by asking questions; examples of questions to ask: What is our vision? What does it mean?Β  How do we want to achieve it?

To create and maintain a climate of trust, the collaborative charter makes it possible to co-develop the values and behavioural norms (rules of life) of the group wishing to collaborate.

2. Communicate more effectively

In synchrony

Beyond active listening, productive conversations and meetings, it is a matter of sharing in greater depth the elements and modes of reasoning that are at the basis of our decisions, opinions or actions by using the Inference Scale.

As a sender of a message, this tool invites us to share with our interlocutor not only our conclusions and decisions but also the facts on which we base our reasoning. In this way, the reality we take into account and our representations become more visible. This allows the person we are talking to better understand the facts on which we base ourselves, and to identify our analytical frameworks and interpretations. They can then ask more relevant questions, point out the flaws in our reasoning or add to our information.

He can also facilitate "the descent of the scale of inference" by practising active listening: silence, attention to one's own feelings, and questions, rephrasing, and attention to non-verbal cues, and beliefs. A real conversation can then take place, with each person, in turn, being the receiver and sender.

This tool also enables the reconstruction of a common reality, the assembly of facts and experiences on which each person can express themselves in order to problematise, develop strategies and build a vision.

In asynchronous

This involves setting up collaborative spaces to get organised, to have spontaneous exchanges by theme or at random, to share and organise resources such as a shared calendar, applications that allow people to write together (google Docs, collaborative whiteboard...), and exchange spaces (slack...).

3. Develop effective relationships

  • The first thing to do is to work on self-awareness and self-management: indeed, others impact us, provoking reactions in us that we are more or less able to control: at a distance, the pace of work being often higher, without a break, being present to one's reactions can be more difficult due to greater stress which prevents access to one's feelings. Getting into the habit of revisiting one's day or week, regularly asking oneself the question "how do I feel now?
  • The second thing is to develop dynamic and lively relationships with others: this implies a fair distance so as not to instrumentalize the other or minimise differences in order to be able to confront and debate in a healthy way. In short, it is necessary to find the right relationship with the other, be respectful of the limits and integrity of each person, and constantly invent the adjustments necessary to maintain a quality relationship during the meeting. At a distance, it is therefore a question of multiplying the opportunities to discuss not only the work and the way of doing it, but also more personal subjects, the relationships that one has, their qualities and shortcomings, in short, to develop a meta position on the ways of interacting and being in a relationship. The development of a culture of feedback by all for all and the implementation of a "facilitation plan" is part of the practices on this subject.
  • Even if it is not specific to distance but to what collaboration requires, it is necessary to develop skills in negotiation and conflict management, and to know how to counteract the toxins of communication.