“You need to know what it is that you don’t know. You have to open your mind to accept other cultures. When you work with virtual teams, you realize that the global challenges are here to stay. You can deny it, but it exists just the same, and my job is to get my people to realize that.”
Today, even if you manage locally, you are always dealing with multicultural elements. To do this successfully means working effectively across diverse communication styles and cultural backgrounds. What does working effectively mean on a practical level? It means actively understanding people to influence and motivate them to achieve business results.
Reflect back to the Think-Points for each of the five L E A R N strategies for working across cultures. Working through these activities will point the way to assess team members, and will encourage you to initiate specific actions. Integrating the L E A R N strategies on the preceding pages into your own cross-cultural communications helps you drive confidently down this highway, accomplishing peak performance along the way.
Below is a table to help you quickly review which L E A R N strategy will work best with specific challenges within your team. Populate each column with key information about each member. For Column 3 please refer to the components of the five L E A R N strategies on the preceding pages (see prior blog posts) and choose the component which presents the greatest challenge for that individual.
When you have completed this team grid, ask yourself four key questions:
1. How can I engage my team to effectively communicate across cultures?
2. What strengths exist on my team?
3. What areas for improvement exist on my team?
4. How can I build greater interaction and help members gain greater appreciation of each other?
You now have the information you need to create your team cross-cultural grid. Remember that every individual brings a unique point of view to a shared experience. Even though facts may stand on their own, our perspectives differ.
Enjoy the ride! Yael Zofi
For more information and specifics, check the 2nd Edition Communicating Through a Global Lens booklet.