Teleconferencing and the Importance of Biographies
In today's increasingly globalized work environment, the teleconference has become an essential work tool. When committee members can't be in the same location, the teleconference is the means by which the committee can hold necessary meetings. In some cases, committees are having to run regular teleconferences because it is not possible to have the required people in the same location at any time. All communication is through teleconference, email, or one-on-one phone conversations.
In this situation, committee members can begin to feel isolated and demotivated because they do not have a social link to the project or the other committee members. Teleconferences do not provide opportunities for the same levels of social interaction that come from face-to-face meetings. That social interaction is often what creates a sense of team because it helps people get to know each other.
One way committees can help members get to know each other is through the circulation of member biographies. Providing biographies of committee members puts a face and personality with the voice. Biographies reveal dimensions to each person's character that otherwise would not be communicated.
Distribute a document to committee members containing small biographies of each member. Include a picture so committee members can put a face to a name.
When compiling the biographies, circulate questions for people to answer. Here are some suggestions:
- Where do you live?
- What is your current position?
- How long have you held that position?
- What was your previous position?
- Describe a project that you are working on or have worked on that you are/were really excited about?
- What is one thing you want to accomplish with this committee? Or, What is one thing you hope happens with this committee?
- Describe one interesting fact or quirky detail about yourself?
After circulating your biographies, post the biographies to your MyCommittee site so people can review them at any time. (You can use the 'Committee Settings - Terms of Reference' tab to attach committee documents).