Weaving Influence is comprised of a virtual team — apart from weekly calls on GoToMeeting with cameras, we’ve never all been in the same place at the same time. That means we’ve never shared a meal together as a team, never had an in person party, and never worked shoulder to actual shoulder.

We live in Michigan, Illinois, and Tennessee. I’ve met each team member in person but many of the team members have only met me. Yet, we have a strong sense of community. We work virtual shoulder to shoulder. We celebrate wins and share frustrations. We practice accountability. We had a virtual party once (we all brought our own treats.)

We are building community. In his blog post today, Mark Miller defines community:

“a place where people know each other deeply, serve each other unselfishly, celebrate with each other often and endure the setbacks in life together… a place where people love each other”

The secret to our strong sense of community is our ability to stay connected through social media.

At the center of our connection is our secret Facebook group. Our secret Facebook group allows us to communicate regularly and in the moment. What we share with one, we share with all. On a typical day, we might post, as a group, about 20 updates. We comment on each others’ posts, give each other the thumbs up, and interact throughout the day. We talk about work and we talk about personal issues.

Although I can only speak from my own experience (unless members of the team weigh in by adding comments), I feel a strong bond with and connection to the team. I love the way our secret group allows us to share wins, to vent, and to approximate the experience of being in an office together. I love that staying connected through our Facebook group helps us build a sense of togetherness and collaboration.

Tell me something! How do you build community on your team? What is the secret to community on your team?

This week we are celebrating the relaunch of Mark Miller’s book, The Secret of Teams. I hope you’ll check out the book and buy a copy, if you don’t have one already. The proceeds of this book, as all of Mark’s book, benefit charity. You can buy on Amazon here.