Leading a Multicultural Team
One size does not always fit all. As a manager leading a multicultural team, you are required to deal with all the challenges, conflicts and misunderstandings stemming from the multicultural differences. Getting to know the people that you work with and learn to absorb the local knowledge to your team’s advantage. Today’s manager need to couple the ability to manage and leverage multicultural differences in order to get the best out of the team.
Face to Face Communication
Face to Face Communication allows you to read body language and assess the level of understanding within the team. The differences of culture should not be the reason for communication gap. Using face-to-face communication helps people express their feelings and ideas much better.And it can also help to foster a strong working relationship.
Develop Understanding of Different Culture
Respect the differences of different cultures, values and religions. The commonly used OK gesture would offend a Brazilian therefore it does not necessarily mean ‘okay’. As a team member, you should not look down on anyone who does not conform to your beliefs. Instead learn to embrace the differences. Flexibility is the key to working in a multicultural environment. Managers and colleagues should not judge one another by the colour of their skin but by their personal and work qualities.
As an effective manager, you need to stay true to your team goals. Everyone in the team need to understand their roles and responsibilities in order to achieve team cohesion and shared vision. Cultural differences can create obstacles. Identifying the original causes of conflicts and intervene when necessary will get the team back on track. Allowing opportunity and empower them to deal with it will help them handle future challenges.
Periodic Work Review
Periodic work review can be helpful in finding out if there’s any problems or issues that your team members are facing. A simple questionnaire or survey can help the management to gauge if they are forming a positive and diverse work environment. By creating an open environment, team members are encourage to share information and accept feedbacks. This helps to generate a collaborative environment and energise a multicultural positive team.