Tips for working efficiently in a multicultural team
March 1, 2016
If you have ever lived abroad, you may have experienced that communication can be different from one country to the another. Even a simple chat in your day-to-day life can be stressful if you don’t know the social rules. Now imagine the stress that working in a multicultural environment can cause.
If you work for an international corporation, the team members might come from several different countries, which makes the teamwork even more complex. Although if you follow some basic rules, you will find that you will soon like and enjoy your intercultural work experience.
This is the most important rule for any multicultural situation. Try to get to know people before you start working and try to find out more about each other’s person culture. Don’t expect your team to work efficiently since the first day; it will take some time for everyone to get used to the team and to the new situation.
Be flexible with the deadlines
Meeting deadlines and sticking to a schedule is not equally important in all cultures. Plan some extra time to avoid the stress of last-minute meetings. Don’t stress if your employees seem to work at a slow pace; they just have another way of organizing their time and will eventually finish their tasks on time.
If you are not sure what another person wants to explain, be sure to confirm that you and all the team members have understood the information properly. Confusions may arise from difficulties with the language as well as from different concepts of how a task is approached.
Don’t blame others for their cultural differences
Take into consideration that you have all have been educated differently and that having a different culture does not mean being wrong. Don’t blame others for their cultural differences and respect everyone.
Be aware of your own cultural background
Try to think at your own culture from the perspective of an outsider. Being aware of one’s own cultural background is an important step to realizing how much we all depend on our culture when we try to face problems.
Working with people from different nationalities is a fascinating and rewarding experience, and it has been proved that many multicultural teams show more potential for innovations than teams from the same nationality.