May 24, 2016

    Be sensitive to how staff in other countries act

    IN A globalised world, people work in many groups across cities and cultures.

    To get things done as a leader, you have to learn the art of cultural cooperation.

    Cultural influences have a big impact on practical issues, such as how employees perceive assignments and deadlines, interact with team members, respond to feedback, adjust to managerial relationships, and so on.

    Know and understand the needs and nuances of each market, and adapt to them.

    For instance, asking a colleague to submit a paper during an important holiday in his country is insensitive.

    Certain words are taboo in some markets. Keep in mind to avoid using those words when communicating with a co-worker who may find the language offensive.

    Work ethos also differs from country to country. While some co-workers apply a live-to-work attitude, others see work as a means to an end, for example, to spend time with family and friends.

    Expecting a fellow colleague to be on call when you are is unreasonable.

    In some cultures, niceties are dispensed with and people get right down to business in a conference call, for instance.

    However, in other countries, small talk - "how are you?" or "how is your family?" - eases the entry into the business

    at hand.