Recipe for a Successful Global Team - Igor Poza

Igor Poza

Multi Culturally Diverse teams lead to higher success. The entire team’s thought processes are challenged and therefore sharpened. From my experience, it might take more time to make sure that we hear everybody’s voice and our messages are understood. The more we promote that, the more we open up the space to generate new ideas and richer options to progress on any decision the Group needs to make.

This, of course, is if the team has guidance on collaboration techniques. Managing a global team is not easy, but when done right, can prove to be highly profitable. So, how does one manage a global team successfully?

I have previously written on some of the key components of creating an inclusive work culture with a global team:

Ensure Social Capital

Make sure your employees feel connected and supported in the team and the organization. It is critical to ensure that all employees not only have a sense of shared purpose in the company but also build fulfilling relationships within the organization. You can accomplish this through intentional actions such as providing cross-functional learning opportunities and creating time for team-building opportunities.

Education

Multicultural work and the diverse business and human interactions you will have will equip you with strategic agility and managerial courage. But, you must first educate yourself in all of the cultures of your team, so you can approach your workers with respect, and are able to guide coworker relations. It is necessary to be able to act as a cultural translator among your team. Sensitize yourself to the cultural differences and the specificities regarding social behavior and communication in the work environment.

Communication Style

Different countries use different styles of communication. This is critical because something that is rude in one country, maybe normal in another. You have to know how to speak to your employees in a way that is effective and respectful. Understand the differences of low vs high-context communications and be selective in when you use each style, as they both have their pros and cons. The most effective thing you can do as a leader is to find the perfect medium of the two.

Take things from each culture that work. Choose the best parts of the team’s cultures and mix them together to create a world-class team. This creates a win-win scenario and ensures maximum efficiency that speaks to everyone; in work and in communication. The best recipe creates an environment that is culturally sensitive, but straightforward.

Throughout my experiences, I have found the best recipe is using more Western communication for project management. This allows for rational thinking and clear directions. For general communication, a more Eastern ideology of indirect and sensitive encounters works better. This way of communicating allows best for building meaningful relationships among coworkers, which then amplifies your work.

Ultimately, it comes down to cultural sensitivity and knowledge. Global teams face many differences but as a leader, you need to know how to lead your employees in a way that allows everyone to feel comfortable and valued. Empathy is critical in such a position, as cultural differences are sensitive matters, and should be treated as such.

Rich results come from ensuring each individual is empowered to generate ideas, as her/his voice is heard and expected. An additional takeaway for me is that as a leader in a multicultural team we need a strong balance in managing how we encourage discussion and how we facilitate everyone's participation to ensure we are giving the space for diverse voices to express their points of view. We need to figure out a way to always balance both. With team members coming from low context cultures utilizing indirect communication, I had the opportunity to check individually to encourage participation asking them to be prepared on a specific topic on which I will be asking him/her. This approach made them very comfortable and reassured they would contribute to the discussion especially at the warm-up stage or start of any Global Task Force.

About Igor Poza: Igor is a Global Brand and Team builder in Luxury Leather Goods and Cosmetics with 25+ years of comprehensive experience, both in headquarters and subsidiaries of Multi-billion Fortune 500, Family-owned businesses and private equity-owned startups. He has expertise in multi-channel retail and multicultural management. His cultural intelligence allows him to bring people together and transform businesses. He currently serves as the Chief Commercial Officer at Mansur Gavriel.

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