Written on: January 22, 2018
by Elisa Coleclough
Multicultural Teams – How to build them.
It is the XXI century and multicultural teams are still rare but an asset indeed. The way you can profit from them is vast.
How can you, the leader, build up a multicultural competent team? It all starts with fostering your team members to engage in activities and/or projects that require interactions with people from different countries or regions. Whether you lead a team of juniors or seniors, change and maturity will spread among them.
It is essential that you as leader become a facilitator and an enabler to acquire necessary skills. You need to lead them, manage them and coach them to achieve successful endeavors.
♣“ The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people” – Unknown♣
How can you do that? Here is are some steps that will help you:
- Build rapport with your team
- Organize monthly brainstorm meetings
- Cultivate relationship with your peers across the organization. Both your example will inspire your team members and your network will become stronger. It will foster your team members participate in special projects, and get involved with people from different departments. Thus your team will profit from working with people from different backgrounds, departments, etc.
- Motivate people do the extra mile. It is true that we all like to stand out and be recognized. If you set a healthy pace in your team, so can all show results, share best practices and work collaboratively. They will want to do the extra mile and engage in projects.
- Foster feedback. Someone who is open to constructive criticism is more likely to work on their areas of opportunity and increase their self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
- Set clear guidelines to give and receive candid feedback among your team, with respect and coaching tools you can engage team members, erase the lower loop and/or gossip and foster a communicative healthy respectful environment.
- Integrate best skills and abilities of generations among your team. Millennials are the future, and the more senior generations need to integrate thus shift their mindset. Set them to work collaboratively together at their prime.
- “People do what people see”, as John Maxwell says, you need to bring about in your meetings the advantages of multigenerational teams, so the generation gaps are viewed as competitive advantage. Well used they are indeed gold to your organization.
- Likelihood is that people open to working with diverse people namely generations or backgrounds are more likely to succeed in multicultural reams. That is why you need to start coaching on your team
- Coach your team to leverage their differences as advantages and be open to new ideas and ways of communication with different cultures
◊“Strength lies in differences not in similarities” – Stephen Covey◊
- Whenever possible, set your team members in projects across the organization (this is especially useful in multinational companies)
- Bring on board foreign team members, members from different regions within the same country or from different countries will foster diversity and will be culturally enriching
- Coach your new members with cultural awareness tips and coach your already existing team to be open and receptive to new members
- Be clear in your communication and identify any communication gaps, whether verbal or non-verbal, so that team members increase awareness and get to learn while integrating more between them
- Multicultural team members are more likely to think outside the box
Most important. remember that if someone is resistant it is because you, as head and enabler have not been able to build rapport. I will address in the next blog tips and tricks to build rapport with your audience.
Bear in mind that as a leader you are in charge of the strategy or operational and economic resources, being humans the most underrated and overlooked asset that you need to boost to achieve quality results.
Whether you work for multinational companies or national enterprises, having flexibility to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and origin will bring you incredible benefits. In case you have not read my blog on flexibility read here.
Thank you for reading, looking forward to your comments below.
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Have a great week/day, Eli