How to Lead a Multicultural Team
Leaders today need to have the ability to manage differences within multicultural teams. Managers must be able to work with both international and cross-cultural environments. They are required to deal with challenges, friction, and misunderstanding from intercultural communication differences. Successful management is derived from cross-cultural competency, and it takes a very distinct skill set to efficiently manage multicultural teams. By being open-minded and modifying your leadership style, you will be successful.
Here are 10 great tips to keep in mind:
1. Face Time:
Communicate with your team face-to-face as much as you can. By communicating face-to-face more often it will help to read body languages, and how to understand and build relationships.
2. Be Clear:
About your own cultural profile. When you share your cultural profile to your colleges it will help to influence your work, your communication style, feelings and actions and how you will direct your team. This approach will help improve performance for you and your workforce.
3. Less is More:
Cultural differences can create obstacles to effective teamwork. The best way to deal with these types of challenges successfully is to identify the original cultural cause of conflict. Only intervene when necessary so you can get your team back on track by enabling and empowering them to deal with future challenges on their own.
4. Encourage Time:
Encouraging dialogue and communication with your team is key. This requires time and it is highly recommended that you invest this time into finding out more about your team members and how their national culture influences their behavior and values.
Building trust with your team may take some time. Make sure you are accountable for your actions and upfront in your dealings with others. If you don’t speak up it has the potential to destroy trust and credibility.
6. Take A Step:
As a leader, you need to be able to understand your team’s perspective. Check in with your team members and listen to see what is happening with them, their assignment and development.
7. Rules of the Game:
As a team leader you will have rules and roles for everyone so they understand what they need to do. The rules of the game can be negotiated and people need to be comfortable with their own roles. Make sure you are approachable so that if your team has any questions or issues they feel comfortable coming to you.
8. Be Aware of Crisis:
For effective team management, you must develop a team identity, which will help with clarity and shared expectations. The team leader will make sure their team understands what is going on so that overall objectives aren’t forgotten.
9. Acknowledge your Team:
The team leader should ask lots of questions to get to know their team better. This will help with accumulating more knowledge from your team to help them succeed in their role.
10. Cultural Shock:
Invest in a tailor-made coaching program with an experienced cross-cultural coach. You will get a deeper insight into the respective cultures and it will help to ensure that there is clear understanding of the individual and collective values of a multicultural team.
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