One of the talents that leaders need today is the ability to handle and leverage cultural differences. In today’s scenario managers are supposed to work in both international cross-cultural environments.
As a result, managers are required to handle the challenges, misunderstandings and friction cropping from cultural differences. Thus, successful management in a modern business environment asks for cross-cultural competency.
In this article, Mr. Atul Mahajan, Director, Trendsetters Facilities & Technical Services (TFTS) India’s leading payroll and manpower outsourcing company, shares tips for managers to lead a multicultural team.
Have Time For Face To Face Communication
Managers must try and communicate with their team face-to-face as much as they can. Nothing is better than face-to-face communication, as it allows you to observe body language, assess levels of understanding, and develop relationships.
Always be clear about your own cultural profile. When you are clear about your cultural profile and how it impacts your work, your communication style, feelings, and actions, you can direct your team. This genuine approach to your own cultural identity can help better performance for you and your team.
Less Is More
Cultural differences can create hurdles to effective teamwork, particularly with multicultural teams. The challenge in dealing with these teams successfully are to identify the actual cultural causes of conflict. Intervene only when required, get the team back on track, enable and empower them to deal with further challenges on their own.
Building trust takes time which comes with every act. Make sure you are accountable for your actions and transparent in your dealings with others. Always do what you say, not the other way around. Non-delivery will damage trust and credibility every time.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
As a good manager, you need to be able to really understand your team’s perspective. So consistently check in with your team members, listen and see what is happening with them, their assignment and their progress.
Developing a team identity is key. To ensure proper team management, the manager must make sure that there is clarity and shared expectations. Always ensure that they understand what is going on so that the team’s objectives aren’t put on the shelve.
Be The Cultural Shock Absorber
It is better to invest in a custom-made coaching program with an experienced cross-cultural coach. Get a deeper insight into the respective cultures at hand to ensure that there is a good understanding of the individual and collective values, as this is important when working with a multicultural team.