4 rules: effective communication between global teams

How to complete a project with teams across multiple time zones.

Greig Robertson

Digital Content Lead
· 3 minute read
Communication between global teams

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At Builder.ai, we help global entrepreneurs and tech creators connect with other globally-minded innovators and developers. We believe the potential of Builder Generation is best fueled through the give and take of multicultural perspectives, and we've learned how to overcome the logistics to make it happen successfully. With people working together across the globe, it's key that effective communication remains unmatched within each multicultural team. Here's how we make it happen:

1. Listen attentively. Then summarize

There is a lost art of listening, it seems. In the era of mobile technologies,listening seems obsolete almost. It’s not.The main joy of talking to someone who speaks the same native language and was born in the same part of the world is clear. You believe you understand this person innately. You won’t often repeat what this person is saying--to confirm you understand what they’re saying. Because you’re sure you understand everything they’re saying.Or so you think. Whether you’re negotiating or doing every-so-often project status updates, it’s important to both listen to your teammates, as well as re-confirm through the process what you believe they’re trying to tell you at this moment.This is a good practice for general life--because listening and re-confirming keeps everyone on the same page through project updates.Successfully delivered projects absolutely depend on listening and summarizing, so do that better. Not just for your next Builder project, but also your other professional connections.

2. Schedule ‘in-person’status syncs often

ln order to connect and communicate, you need to make time for updates. The best way to make time--schedule it! A regularly-occurring or, “standing” weekly meeting update helps you connect around prospective problems and bug-fix updates for the technical of us. There are numerous free options for face-to-face meetings including Skype and Zoom. During the meeting, remember recommendation #1 from above.

3. Learn to love an agenda

If you have Zoom, you can record meetings and have a central location for all your meeting exchanges just in-case you forget what you talked about. Speaking about your best meeting agenda tool--whether you’re working with someone in your office or halfway across the world--a meeting agenda! What better way to get on the same page than actually looking at the same page, There’s nothing quite as powerful as a to-do list and meeting agendas offer just that. An organized way to stay on-task with why you’re both here in the first place.Simply put, better meetings start with great agendas no matter where you are in the world. On top of your meeting organizer, Google Drive offers a suite of complementary tools to ensure your meeting minutes are available to everyone from the meeting.

4. Prioritize tasks

The thing we’ve learned being in startup-mode is how to prioritize to find out what’s the most important task to do--today. What’s the highest value task I can do today to move my project forward? The #BuilderGeneration knows this add slots of value to your team. After staying in tune with project deadlines and deliverables, a good team will ensure its’ highest value tasks are being completing successfully.As to who’s leading this task of staying on priority,your leadership will impact how priority is established.

Greig Robertson

Digital Content Lead

Greig is the Digital Content Lead at Builder.ai and a University of Bristol History grad. He has 5+ years’ experience in B2B SaaS, creating data-driven, human-friendly content for high-growth tech startups. When Greig needs a dopamine hit, he checks Builder.ai’s keyword rankings.

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