TONIKA BRUCE

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Top 3 Challenges Of Virtual Teams Managing And Their Solutions

Top 3 Challenges Of Managing Virtual Teams And Their Solutions​

challenges of virtual teams :Your business will benefit much from hiring remote employees, such as enhanced efficiency and productivity, access to global talent as well as lower resource and infrastructure expenses. However, you will only be able to enjoy these benefits if you can overcome the challenges of working with virtual teams. You have to put a lot in place to ensure success. Click here to access free training to ensure you have the traits of a leader if you are leading a virtual team or you intend to lead one. Also, check out the three top challenges of managing virtual teams and their solutions.

1. Poor Communication

Poor communication and miscommunication are arguably the most significant challenges leaders face with their virtual teams. It can sometimes be difficult to pass messages to your virtual team because there is no face-to-face communication with them. The most popular reasons for this poor communication are time zone differences between virtual teams and their cultural differences. There are several ways poor communication can impact your team and business, such as unsatisfied customers, not meeting targets, higher stress levels, and disputes between workers.challenges of virtual teams

Solution?

Communication Tools

Email is very old-fashioned even though it’s still one of the most popular means of communication. It also lacks the practicality that several other modern communication tools provide. There are numerous virtual team communication tools designed and developed to make your work easier. These tools will help you reach out to your team and ensure everyone is on the same page. For example, Slack and Google Hangouts are excellent choices for instant messaging. Chats, Zoom, and Skype are great for video conferencing, G Suite is perfect for file sharing and collaboration.

Virtual Team Communication Guidelines

As a leader, you can significantly improve your virtual team’s efficiency by setting guidelines for team communication. 

These Guidelines Include Challenges Of Virtual Teams

  • Response Time Limits: Determine the time an employee has before responding to your messages. Doing this will ensure no query or message will be left unattended for long.
  • Set Particular Working Hours: specify a few mandatory working hours daily where everyone will be available online. This will promote effective planning and collaboration.

Tips to manage your virtual team and get everyone working in sync:

2. Low Productivity

Leaders face another top challenge with their virtual teams: low productivity and reduced focus. And that’s because working remotely makes it hard to focus and be accountable. The home is unabridged with distractions, unlike the office. And these distractions can affect your virtual team’s productivity. Also, many workers are susceptible to burnout when they work remotely because they lack boundaries.

Challenges Of Virtual Teams Solution?

Productivity Tools

Productivity tools can help to prevent distractions and maintain focus. These tools are categorized as website blockers, white noise generators, timers, and noise cancellation software. Some of these great tools you can introduce to your virtual team members are StayFocusd, Noisli, Pomodoro Timers, and Krisp.

Promote Work Standards

As a leader, it is your responsibility to emphasize and promote work standards if your virtual team members are not used to working remotely and telecommuting.

You can use the following ways to help them transition and adapt to working remotely and virtual work.

  • Carry Out Frequent Reviews And Check-ins: Regularly check in on your virtual team’s progress by maintaining an open line of communication with them. Please encourage them to tell you about the difficulties and help them with solutions. Continuous interactions with your virtual team will motivate them to be more engaged with their work.
  • Use Clear Targets and Goals: Clear targets and goals help your virtual team know precisely what they have to do. Clear targets ensure that there won’t be any distractions because your team has something they are working towards. You can use project management or a calendar tool to proffer a clear visual of your brand’s goal to your team, you can use project management or calendar tool.
  • Share Ways to Increase Productivity: As popular as this is, some leaders still tend to forget or overlook it. Sharing tips on how your virtual team can increase productivity will go a long way in benefitting them and your company.

3. Difficult Task Management

Teams in companies with office spaces review and plan projects through physical discussions and meetings. However, the same is not for virtual teams. Most virtual teams work in different time zones. As a leader, it won’t be easy to organize frequent meetings. You may not even pass your message as effectively as you would in a physical session, even with all the advanced video conferencing tools.

Solution?

Project Management Tools

challenges of virtual teams: Project management tools help virtual teams to plan, collaborate, and stay updated easily. You will be able to track deadlines, ongoing projects, completed projects, what each virtual team member is currently working on, etc. As a leader, you will be able to plan, organize, and update your tasks, assignments, and projects in a single place using reliable project management tools. ClickUp, Todoist, and Wrike are some dedicated tools for remote workers.

Final Thoughts

You will enjoy the exclusive benefits of leading a coordinated virtual team once you overcome the challenges that come with virtual teams. You also have to ensure you are constantly working on yourself to lead a virtual team. And the best way is to keep learning and challenging yourself to be better than you were the previous day. Click here to access leadership courses by Tonika Bruce. She is a seasoned author passionate about seeing leaders reach their full potential.

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How To Improve Your Team Time Management?

How To Improve Your Team Time Management

As a successful leader, you must consistently find ways to bring out the best in your team members. One of the ways to effectively do that is to help them manage or improve their team time management. Time management is one of the crucial roles of a leader that wants their business to thrive.

With adequate time management, your team members will be less stressed, more productive, deliver high-quality work and meet deadlines. Proper time management also promotes collaboration and keeps everyone updated about every ongoing project.

However, it is challenging to help your team members to manage their time well. You will need a lot of patience and time to master people management. This article outlines four tips you can employ now to reduce the chaos and spend less time on a project. 

4 Ways You Can Improve Your Team Time Management

Improve Team Time Management

Below are 4 effective ways to improve your team’s time management:

1. Set Your Team Up For Success

It’s not ideal to set expectations for your team members to meet when you have not given them the necessary tools, instructions, and training to execute the project efficiently. A lack of proper direction from the team or project leader will affect productivity and waste time.

Before your team members start any task, you want them to be productive and effective, so communicate your expectations and goals.

Here Is How To Do This

  • Set the priorities: Let them know the part of the project that should be prioritized and the deadline for the project.
  • Provide guidelines: Make sure they can easily access the information to complete the task.
  • Highlight the project guidelines: Another excellent way to set your team members up for success is to highlight the guidelines for the project in a document and share it with them using Google Docs or Dropbox. They will quickly refer to the document if they have any questions.
  • Delegate wisely: don’t overwhelm your team members. Ensure you know their capabilities and their limits. This will ensure that you can agree on a more manageable itinerary for new tasks.

2. Encourage Teamwork And Support

Apart from a lack of time management, some work cultures are integrated by leaders, which prevents team members from reaching optimal output. While most of these work cultures are unintentional, some leaders have successfully created sterile environments.

These work cultures include expecting your team members to respond to emails immediately or expecting them to be available online at all times. Although many employees struggle with attention and time management, leaders need to address the underlying work culture problems.

If leaders don’t address these issues, time management will always be a problem. So, instead of expecting your team members to be available at all times, ensure that every team member has someone to fill in when absent. This will significantly improve productivity and prevent stress and burnout.

3. Always Be Available

Many leaders might feel they are not responsible for managing and protecting their team members’ time. But the truth is, as a leader, it is one of your crucial responsibilities. You can not afford to be too busy for your team members. So make time for them, no matter how little.

Dismissing your team members anytime they come to meet you is a sure way to lose their trust. They won’t go the extra mile for you since you are never there for them. Instead, make time to help your team members if you want to improve your team’s time management.

Please encourage them to tell you what’s hindering their time management or bothering them. You need to lend your team a helping hand if you want your business to thrive. You may even have to change some of your existing processes and work cultures, but a productive and healthy team is worth the effort.

4. Limit Meetings

While meetings are necessary, they also consume a lot of time. One of the best ways to limit meetings is having “no meeting day.” Popular brands like Facebook and Asana propagated this idea.

The idea is to pick a day in the week when there will be no meeting of any kind. This will allow your team members to spend their time catching up on tasks, handling deliverables, and progressing on tasks and projects. During this “no meeting day,” they will focus on their tasks without interference.

Another excellent way to limit meetings is to ensure that every meeting has a defined purpose. That will help you to create an agenda for the meeting. As a result, your team members will be clear on the necessity and have enough time to prepare. Also, ensure you keep the meeting as short as possible and allow your team members to make more time to solve the meeting’s agenda.

Also, you should set clear objectives for the meetings to lessen the time spent during meetings since everyone will come prepared for meetings.

Final Thoughts

Improving your team’s time management can be challenging. The way to get your team members to collaborate with you is to allow them to learn the tools and skills they need to manage their time. Ensure that you involve them in every process, as this will make them receptive to new tools and methods you employ.

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How To Be A More Effective Leader

How To Be A More Effective Leader

No successful organization can exist without the backing of effective leadership. It is the force that drives the growth and innovation of the employees. However, the better question for a business is how to get an effective leader. Some individuals may have a natural capacity for leadership but, becoming more effective is learned. Adopting some approaches can enhance the effectiveness of a leader. Here are a few practices that will create the best leader out of a good one.

Conducting A Regular Self-evaluation

It’s easy for leaders to forget themselves when they are always in charge of others. Every single human has deficiencies. Leaders need to take stock of their weaknesses and strengths. In this way, they can identify the tasks to delegate and take on. They will also be able to select team members who complement rather than supplement their abilities. Lastly, a self-assessment allows leaders to work on improving themselves.

Developing A Sharp Perception

Perception is the capacity to read people and situations with great accuracy. A good leader directs and makes decisions; however, the best leader is sensitive to employee’s perceptions of the decision or action.

There is a correlation between performance and how people interpret the importance of something. Unless employees perceive an assignment or job as vital, they will put little effort into accomplishing it. Perception is necessary for fostering effectiveness.

Understanding The Needs Of The Team

Understanding the value of people increases a leader’s effectiveness in managing them. By understanding the team’s and individual needs regarding the work style, personalities, and goals, he can tailor the best management strategies.

Leading By Example

The reason the best leaders inspire is that they show people how to through their behavior and actions. In organizational settings, teams are more likely to adopt or internalize their leaders’ mindset. Since he is responsible for setting the standards for how the team reacts or acts, he will model the company culture and best practices. An effective leader becomes the first to embrace any policy changes, and model positivity, and performance.

Exploring Further Leadership Training

The best way to grow is to keep learning. The best leaders read extensively and attend training that relates to their industry. Exploring new concepts and leadership skills that can add a competitive edge to an individual’s performance is a step in the right direction.

Aspiring leaders can consider pursuing an online leadership course to sharpen their skills. There are many programs by industry leaders online. Leadership modules like the Tonika Bruce premium training offer insightful and practical strategies for effective leadership in any field.

Conclusion

Well-led businesses tend to perform better and record higher profits. Thus, Leaders have to take a stance of constant reevaluation of their leadership skills to become more effective.

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Top 5 Creative Tips To Find A Job

Top 5 Creative Tips to Find a Job

Finding a job can be a tough and tedious exercise, which could lead to frustration. You have signed up for every job notification website on the internet, followed up with calls, and networked until you are blue in the face. Each day you apply for every job in your field with little to no results. Today, we learn the top 5 creative tips to find a job that could help you land your dream job.

Send Half Of Your Resume

Find a company you want to work for and write a great cover letter on why you are a good fit. Don’t seal the envelope or enclose your resume; they’ll think it fell out in the mail. They will call and engage in a conversation and potentially land you a job. If not that exact time, in the future.

Write A Prospecting Letter

Make use of the power of direct mail. Identify 5-10 companies and write a letter to your contact network asking them if they know anyone who works at any of the companies on your list. If they do, send them your resume and ask them to forward it to their contact or ask for permission to send it yourself. This will place you at an advantage over unadvertised positions in the companies.

Email Chain Letter

Create a list of 20 companies you want to work for and send an email to all your contacts to see if they know anyone who works at any of these companies. Ask them to contact you if they do so that you can ask for a referral. Finally, ask them to forward your email to 10 more people to broaden your search and increase your chances of landing a job.

Distribute A Booklet

Write a booklet with information relevant to your industry and give it away. Everyone loves free information and this demonstrates your expertise. Give the booklet away electronically and advertise it to newsgroups where hiring managers will see it. These are creative and easy-to-implement tips and tactics that can give you better results in finding your dream job.

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How Meditation Can Help You Improve Your Personal Life

How Meditation Can Help You Improve Your Personal Life

Meditation is the process of removing all thoughts from your mind for a short time and then allowing the mind to focus. It coordinates our senses, thoughts, and body helping us relax. As we relax, we gain control over our minds and thoughts, helping us focus on our goals. Meditation lifts our spirits; it helps us to deal with life and people more calmly. Let’s take a closer look at how meditation can help you improve your life. meditation 

Increase Focus

When you start to meditate, you must realize that at first, it will be difficult. You will need to follow basic steps to learn how you can focus on what you intend to accomplish in your career, business, and daily life.

Reduce Stress

As you meditate, it’s all about finding a comfortable position. You want the body to sit upright in your relaxed spot with your back upright and aligned. As you take deep breaths, learn to focus on your breathing; it helps you remove unwarranted stress.

Find Peace And Serenity

When you learn to meditate, it helps you find peace within since your thoughts will gradually quiet. Meditation helps you to clear up clutter. Once you feel that sense of serenity, you will have affirmed your mind. This helps you to hold firm to what you intend to accomplish.

Gain Control Of Your Thoughts

One must practice meditation daily as it helps a person gain control over their thoughts. As you continue your journey through meditation, you may find areas of disturbance. In some instances, your mind may wander backward to memories you do not like. Allow room to accept your discomforts and the thoughts to come forward freely. Remember, you lived it once; how can it harm you again? While you meditate, you do not want to force any actions or thoughts on your mind and body. Allow room for freedom. As seen above, meditation helps you improve your well-being, causing you to live the best possible life.

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How To Know If Working From Home Is The Right Fit For You?

How To Know If Working From Home Is The Right Fit For You?

Working From Home If you’ve just begun your search for a work-at-home job, you probably have a beautiful concept of what working from home is like. You probably imagine yourself waking up whenever you want, doing things at your own pace. I hate to burst your bubble, but it doesn’t always work that way. The truth is, working at home is usually a lot harder than working in an office somewhere. Business opportunity ads have given us the belief that working at home is oh-so-easy. We just relax on a tropical beach, then go collect our paychecks. Here are some things you should consider before jumping into a work-at-home job.

Pay

How much do you want to earn? Be prepared to make less than you would at a job outside the home on some occasions.

Benefits

Do you need benefits? The majority of work-at-home jobs do not provide services like health insurance or life insurance. Again, there are exceptions.

Taxes

 Some companies will hire you as an actual “employee,” and they will take taxes out of your pay. But some will only hire you as an “independent contractor,” and you are responsible for paying your taxes.

Work Availability

If you are hired as an independent contractor, it’s essential to understand that your employer is not obligated to provide any work for you. Most companies have busy seasons and slow seasons; it is important to keep that in mind. However, many people choose to work more than one job at a time. If one slows down, they start working more for the other.

How Motivated Are You?

If you are the type of person who usually needs a kick in the rear to get moving, working at home will be very hard on you. You have to be extremely disciplined to sit down at the computer, log in, and WORK each day.

If this article has given you the impression that working at home might not be for you, remember that you can change if you want it badly enough. If your resolve is strong enough, you can make it happen! Never give up on your dreams.

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Self-Help Tips To Boost Your Career

Self-Help Tips To Boost Your Career

You may ask yourself, what is a career? A career is not just about living out of inherited money, nor is it limited to earning a livelihood. It is the progression of one’s working or professional life. Career means a lot these days. Nowadays, parents start grooming their children from a young age to choose their careers. Let’s take a look at some self-help tips for boosting your career.

Choosing the right Career

Choosing a career is as simple as a ready-to-eat preparation served in a silver bowl because they inherit it through legacy. Still, they don’t leave a stone unturned in their efforts to pursue it and make successful careers. For example, Henry Ford, the third generation person to successfully carry on his parents’ legacy. Has toiled hard to expand the empire beyond the Atlantic Ocean.

Start Early

Students should start thinking about their careers early enough. Exploring careers should be given serious thought while still in school because planning and choosing the appropriate line of study will get you a good pick of your choice.

Career Counselors

Having counselors proves beneficial in personal development and can easily double up as career coaches who guide you in the path to take. They assess your scope of interest, ability, personality, and style of working and, accordingly, help you choose your career.

Focus On Career Development

Did you know choosing a career is much easier rather than developing it? Landing a suitable job may take less than a year but making a career is for the rest of your working life. Once you land your chosen career, you must manage it carefully by gaining deeper knowledge and skills, and working ethically and with integrity. Climb the ladder of success to achieve your goals by rising to a higher level or position in that organization. Be good at decision-making; these tips will be the step to boost your career to help yourself with. Never give up hope, as the saying goes, `In every difficulty lies an opportunity.’

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What Are The Steps To Success?

What Are The Steps To Success?

What are the Steps for Success Everyone wants to become successful in life! Who doesn’t?! It’s possible to achieve success in life; however, it isn’t easy. You will go through many obstacles, but you shouldn’t give up. As per me, if you don’t give up, you have crossed half of your journey to success. But what about the remaining path? In this blog, I have explained in detail the steps for success. So, let’s get into the blog to learn about the remaining path to success.

1. Fix A Goal

As you all might know, fixing a goal is the first step to achieving success. But how many of us have set goals to achieve? Probably, less than half! Of course, this isn’t a good thing. If you want to achieve success, you should first set your goals to start working on the next steps. What’s the use of putting in effort when you don’t know where to stop and what to achieve? So, regardless of whether you like it or not, fix a goal before starting your success journey.

2. Ensure The Goals Are Realistic

Many people set unrealistic goals, and they complain that they aren’t able to achieve them. We, the people traveling towards our success journey, should avoid this mistake. When you set unrealistic goals, you will be demotivated psychologically, as you didn’t achieve your target. So, during the goal-setting process, know where you stand and give yourself sufficient time to achieve your target.

3. Motivate Yourself To Achieve Your Goals

Once you set your goals, the next step is to motivate yourself to achieve them. Nowadays, developing the feeling of motivation is pretty easy! One of the easiest ways to do so is by listening to motivational speakers and reading motivational books. However, be noted that self-motivation is the best form of motivation.

Many people tend to overlook motivation, which is wrong. Motivation is the force that drives you towards achieving your goals. So, if you lack the driving force to success, how can you become successful?!

Here’s my suggestion to boost your motivation. Try surrounding yourself with motivated people. By doing so, when you go through difficult times, they will give you the necessary motivation to get out of it.

4. Stop Procrastinating

We, humans, tend to procrastinate tasks. But, to become successful in life, we should strive to overcome procrastination. One of the easy ways to overcome procrastination is by thinking about the consequences you will have to undergo if you don’t complete a particular task. Also, stick your goals in a place that you come across frequently. By doing so, whenever you see them, you won’t feel like putting tasks for later.

5. Stay Away From Distractions

This step is pretty crucial to achieving success. I’m pretty sure that we have a lot of distractions around us. For example, when typing this blog, I experienced distractions from my phone, laptop, etc. Similarly, you will also undergo distractions when reading this blog. Distractions are unavoidable. But, those distractions shouldn’t make us lose our concentration. If we fall into the trap of distractions, trust me, we will start procrastinating. Here’s my suggestion to avoid distractions during work. Take a break of around 10 minutes for every hour you work. During the break, you can check your phone, talk with someone, etc. If you follow this technique, there’s a high chance that you won’t be disturbed by distractions when working.

6. Learn From Other’s Mistakes

If you want to become successful, you must learn from successful people. Avoid the mistakes they have committed.

The Following Is An Example Of How To Emulate Success

Say you have started an e-commerce business, and say that you sell clothes. In this case, you can implement the strategies of the e-commerce business owners who became successful by selling clothes. Also, stay away from the mistakes that made them lose money as much as possible.

Before moving on to the next step, I would like to make this point clear. Learning from other’s mistakes doesn’t mean that you’ll not experience failures in your success journey. Instead, the impact and the number of failures will be reduced.

7. Accept Failures

As mentioned above, failures are next to inevitable in the journey to success. But, if you want to become successful, you should accept failures and, more importantly, learn from them. I’m pretty sure that your first failure in your journey to success can make you upset. But, in this situation, you shouldn’t lose hope, and you shouldn’t give up. Handle the failures to the best of your ability, and when you undergo an issue that you aren’t able to solve, seek help from experienced people.

8. Take Risks 

Last but not least, if you want to become successful, you have to take risks. There’s a difference between the risks taken by successful and unsuccessful people. If a successful person finds that the risk he is about to take will benefit him, he will proceed with that risk. However, unsuccessful people don’t know how to differentiate between beneficial and harmful risks. This leads them to undergo risks that can collapse their entire life! So, before taking risks, you have to thoroughly analyze it and take it only if it’s worth it!

Here’s an example of how to take a risk that can make you successful. Say someone’s selling their profitable business because they aren’t able to manage it. Let’s consider the business costs half of your net worth. In this case, you’re sure that you can make a lot of money in return. So, you should proceed with this risk.

Conclusion

I hope you found this blog beneficial, and I hope you got a clear vision of the steps for success. As you all know, there isn’t something called overnight success. Real success takes time to achieve. You might have put in a lot of effort, but you may not see significant results. This shouldn’t make you give up because, who knows, when giving up, you can be so close to your goal. Also, when you give up, the entire effort you have put in will go down the drain.

So, please, DON’T GIVE UP!

Here is the last point I would like to mention before concluding this blog. Nowadays, I come across many people and even companies promoting scummy ways to make money. As you know, it takes time to build real success. So, make sure not to fall for the scam. Let’s all work hard, be patient, and achieve success!