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Any Answers Digest #8 – team building for remote teams, how to start benchmarking, a downturn in delegates?


TrainingZONE Any Answers Digest - Issue 8
Wednesday 10 April 2002

********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS **********
......Team building exercises for remote to start
benchmarking...establishing a client base...getting into
training...a downturn in delegates?......
********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS **********

Log on to Any Answers to share your thoughts with other community
members free of charge any time at

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What you asked this fortnight:
New questions posted include:

- I have 8 years sales experience and want to get into training.
I'd be grateful for any advice. Mike Summerfield

- I work for an organisation hosting training events for
chemical and related industries in the UK. Has anyone working in
other sectors noticed a downturn in the number of delegates at
sessions?, asks Sam Parker Brown

- I am currently involved in developing a 'user friendly'
approach to training plans and am looking for advice on using
different formats, says Ian Stone

Got a question you need answered? Post it now, free of charge at

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Featured question: Team building exercises for a remote team
I am putting together a training course on a new database our
company will be using. The database users will be drawn from
different countries across Europe and will be expected to work
together as a team although after the training they are unlikely
to see each other very much. Communication will be via e-mail,
telephone and the database itself.

Can anyone think of any good team building exercises to start the
training, that would be suitable for (A) a multicultural team
with different levels of spoken English (B) a team that is going
to be working remotely from each other most of the time?

Question submitted by Stephen Taylor

Members responses

(edited responses appears - see the site for full responses)

I have lead remote multicultural teams for over 10 years and
enjoy it immensely. Suggest that you think about teambuilding in
this face-to-face training as a chance for team members to get to
know each other as 'people' and appreciate the unique attributes
of the different cultures. This could be done in various short
activities throughout the day(s)and could also include something
outside of the training room such as dinner, sightseeing, etc.

Diane Atkinson


Stephen - I have found greater (non-threatening) self
understanding followed by group understanding invaluable in your
situation. Some European cultures are quite unused to
psychometric profiling - but sensitively introduced, it reaps
rich dividends. My favourites are Myers-Briggs and FIRO-B, and
even Belbin Team profiles if it is understood that these reflect
current work roles.



I adapted an activity created by Thiagi that could be used to
explore virtual team issues and it is ideal for gathering and
comparing information, opinions, points of view, etc. from people
who never see each other. The entire activity is handled via e-

Bob Rice


I've worked with many teams where there hasn't in fact been any
task related need for the team to function as a team - rather it
is meeting a social/belonging need.



Read the full discussion and add your own views at

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Any Answers Answered:
This fortnight, new responses have been added to the following

Q - I'm an L and D Consultant working in the Oil and Gas
industry. One of this years objectives is benchmarking against
industry standards, but how do I go about doing this?
Frank McGoldrick

A - If it's of help, NEC has just completed with LSDA a
benchmarking report into distance learning. Linda Holland

A - We have set up a network called StrategyNet, adds Maureen

A - One way is to contact other companies in non-competitive
arenas and compare notes. (examples listed). Damon Rainsford

To read the full responses, see

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Q - I currently do a great deal of my work through a number of
companies, acting as an associate. This year I wish to start
developing my own client group, however I hate call calling! Has
anyone any advice or experience I can draw on?
Steven Rowe

(edited responses appear - see the site for full details)

A - Try writing first, mention you will 'phone later and then
call them. Remember to describe benefits to the client
rather than only what you do.
Brian Birkby

- First of all - Good Luck!! As people become increasingly
busy, they also get very protective of time. Cold calls can be
quite soul destroying but more importantly - they are quite
simply not effective!
Gill McNally

A - Unfortunately there is no substitute. You'll need to devise
your own script. Make sure you are in contact with the right
person - Keep comprehensive records - you are sowing, cultivating
and reaping - Be positive.
Lisa Birch

If you are not keen on calling, then why not direct mail? It also
sounds to me as if you may need a sales person not a marketing
person. Kind regards

Any Answers would cease to function without all those who
regularly share their knowledge and experience. If you've
benefited from receiving advice from an Any Answers question but
have yet to post a response yourself, why not do your bit by
responding to one of the questioners now at

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May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as
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Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630 ISSN 1474-2225


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