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Do All Teams Need a Leader

In: Business and Management

Submitted By viktoriaa
Words 1555
Pages 7
International Teams: Beyond Cultural Differences

Multicultural teams are different. In addition to culture the team needs to consider: * the purpose for its existence, - the influence of personality differences, - the impact of cultural and professional identities, - the importance of emotional intelligence, - the vital role of adequate support systems.

Team leaders need updated global competencies which they may not have learned in business school.

Multicultural Teams are Complex

Cross-cultural knowledge is an obvious pre-requisite for working with any team whose members come from different cultures. We acquire this knowledge from our reading, from our studies, from company-sponsored seminars and most importantly by maintaining a very high level of self-awareness when we step outside our own cultural boundaries. However managing cross-culturally is complex because real business issues are complex and often require more than a linear solution. So, how do we avoid the trap of over-simplifying the complexity of the issues faced by international teams?
Let’s agree that there is more to understanding an international team than being aware of the diversity of national cultures represented by the members. We know from experience that there are key differences found on any team which may include gender, race, individual personality, cognitive and emotional intelligence, educational, and occupational backgrounds. Consulting to international teams and executives has taught me that over-emphasizing the national cultural differences found in a team can sometimes be too one sided. Understanding cultural difference is key but, alone, is not sufficient to achieve a highly performing team. Other factors include: the purpose for the team’s existence, the influence of personality differences, the impact of culture, professional identities, the level of...

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