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Building Strong Teams Through Social Networking

By Dianne Crampton, President

TIGERS Success Series

Back in the early 90's we called it the sneaker net. We put on our sneakers and walked to another home business that provided a service to help our businesses grow.

Maybe a collaborator was a writer. A web designer. A marketer. A team builder. We pooled our expertise, and a business network grew through outsourcing our services to one another. Many became subcontractors for larger RFP proposals.

Many of us still do business together. At the very least we are trusted and admired friends.

What was the glue that held us together beyond making money? What built deep layers of loyalty so that, even now, referrals are shared?

The answer is in how we communicated with one another. The ground rules and culture associated with our ventures were grounded in trust, interdependence (the idea if we win, I win), genuineness, empathy, risk and success (TIGERS).

Each of these values is grounded in behaviors that support the process. To lean more about the model, click here.

With the downturn in the economy, Social networking holds the key to developing collaborative ventures way beyond neighborhood boundaries. And the development of virtual teams for specific projects or developing new virtual enterprises is well served through social networking for two reasons:

1.    You are able to build relationships before you recruit talent.

How people act in social networking is much like how they perform in life or at a Chamber of Commerce networking event. You will determine over time whether the quality of their networking is all about them – or – from a perspective and true interest in developing something of value that benefits everyone.

2.    People who communicate and function well virtually, work well on virtual projects.

Virtual applications require specific leadership skills that are different from face-to-face operations. People who communicate and function well virtually and who build virtual teams are on the forefront of business trends. Therefore, the more cutting edge contacts will be found in professional Social Networking sites.

The trust required to do business with one another is established as people communicate and collaborate over time. Social Networking creates the opportunity to do this. To read an article on how to build trust in virtual applications click here.

Dianne Crampton is a Pacific Northwest Executive Leadership Coach and Group Development Consultant and developer of the TIGERS team development model. TIGERS measures the level of team trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success in the workplace and on virtual teams. For the past twenty years she has helped motivated leaders and their teams learn how to work well together to consistently achieve goals with high levels of collaboration and teamwork. To subscribe to TIGERS free monthly newsletter or to learn more, go to http://www.corevalues.com