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The first time I got internet

The first time I got internet at home, I was 12 years old.
It was a new thing, especially in the rural north of France.
I was lucky to convince enough my mum about the investment.

We got the 56k through AOL.

Oh, I loved AOL!
This name is my Proust madeleine.

I discovered the forums.
Awesome functionality where unknown people gathered and talked about various things.
I will always remember my first “virtual” friend I made.
We will call him Sam.
Sam was 1 year older than me.
Sam was a huge fan of manga as well.
Sam had problems with his family.
Sam was amazing.
Sam became a close friend for years.
We met IRL (in real life) a year later.
It took us a year though.
By that time, we knew already so much about each other.

That’s how I discovered for the first time in my life, I could have real friendships online.


Working in distributed teams

Years later, while working in Ireland, I met virtually some of my teammates.

To this day, I am still in deep contact with 2 of them.
One of them stayed at my place in Barcelona even though we had never met face-to-face before.
But I knew everything about him, about his family, his life, his dates.
And he knew my stories too.
We developed a strong bond over the internet.

So when someone tells me “You cannot build a high-performing team remotely”, I beg to differ.


Remote is not for everyone.

Remote is not for everyone.

That is the difference.

Remote implies you have to be willing to work this way and you are willing to put in the necessary efforts to be part of and build a high-performing team.

But, after all, a high-performing team in colocated mode does not emerge by itself, does it?
It takes time, effort, and dedication from each team member to build a high-performing team.
And, we know a high-performing team, has a high level of psychological safety among its member as a famous Google study showed years ago

For my friendships to emerge it took a lot of willingness on both sides.
It took a lot of hours to talk about things.
To talk about life, to exchange our values and experiences.

For colocated high-performing teams it takes also a lot of time, effort, and dedication.
The only difference is that it happens more smoothly and naturally when you put people together in the same room than when you are online.

Online you have to be intentional

The difference is that online, you have to be intentional about creating relationships between team members.

Are your team members being real and intentional about building a high-performing team?

Are you ready for your team members to be intentional?