How to develop your cultural intelligence when working in a global village
If you’re working in a multinational company, chances are that you received at least one e-mail wishing you “Happy Diwali” last week – am I right? Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, was celebrated on the 19th October this year. What used to be a nation’s (India) holiday, became a world event with UK’s London Eye being specially lit up to mark its celebration for the first time, or with LinkedIn being flooded by messages of “light and prosperity”.
Not Diwali is our main topic here, though, but the “borderless” world created sometimes by our professional environment. When one is part of a multi-cultural team and interacts with multiple nationalities on a daily basis, the world suddenly looks and feels like a global village.
Companies in Outsourcing are a very good example of ‘global villages’. These businesses are usually headquartered in one location, have offices in several other cities, most of the times on different continents and have Shared Service Centres in some other locations. In these cases, people from different countries come together to work as a team and are expected to perform, achieve goals and produce results. But how? Working in a multicultural environment shouldn’t be taken lightly – it implies following a set of rules (sometimes unspoken rules) and adopting certain behaviours; in other words, improving one’s “cultural intelligence”.
Cultural intelligence can make the difference between a winning team and an underperforming one. If you are a manager, you have an important role to play in ensuring your team is prepared to succed in a multicultural or remote environment. Improving your team’s cultural intelligence is not that difficult – start with yourself first! Make sure you understand your working style, but also the style of your team members. Identify possible pitfalls generated by cultural gaps and be ready to address them. Build strategies to improve communication and interactions between colleagues from different countries. Use your team’s differences as a competitive advantage. Create a sense of awareness and transparency.
We appreciate that the working environment in an Outsourcing company can be a continuous series of changes and that professionals need to keep the pace with its ever growing cultural aspects. That’s why we have created „Global Village: Working in a multicultural environment” – the only development program in Romania dedicated to managers who are working with multicultural or remote teams. This 2-days interactive training session is packed with information about cultural typologies and values, tools that managers can use to avoid conflicts or aspects that need to be considered when dealing with different cultures. More than finding out important information, the programme is a great opportunity to see some of the newly aquired skills at work as part of the multiple activities included in the training.
Be informed. Be connected. Be powerful. Start today!