As modern project managers, we have so many roles, and managing relationships is one of the most important ones. Our position makes us responsible for project health and gives us the special opportunity to nurture the health of our teams and our ongoing relationships with clients. When we invest in relationships with the members of our project team, we help to build teamwork and collaboration, improve communication, create a creative and solution-bound project environment, and build stakeholder investment in our common goal–the success of our project. Above and beyond our day-to-day tasks, relationships give meaning and significance to the work we do as project managers.
As a member of a digital agency, I often find myself working with remote teammates and clients, and, more often than not, our relationship building occurs over the phone, video calls, and online chat tools. Most people prefer to spend as much time in-person as we can with the members of our project teams, but how do we make sure that our communication remains compassionate and empathetic even when it occurs over digital mediums?
Here are 5 simple but incredibly effective techniques for successfully building relationships with your remote team and clients when communicating virtually. Taking these steps helps people to see that you value them and, in doing so, helps you build critical project allies with the stakeholders involved.