A big part of being a successful leader is learning how to get the best out of all the people who work for you. Often, this involves adapting the way you manage individual members of your workforce, altering your approach to suit the person or the situation you’re dealing with.
Leadership and management skills for cultural differences
When people come from other cultures, this can be complicated. Often, people from other countries have different ideas about how things should be done. As leader, it’s your job to take these ideas on board while ensuring everyone’s voice is heard and that the results benefit your business.
Do your homework
In order to deal with cultural difference effectively, you need to have a basic understanding of the different nationalities that work in your company. Try to find out as much as you can about the working cultures of these employees. Find out how business is done in their home countries, what they expect from their employers and how they’re likely to relate to their colleagues. The more you know and understand about the various cultures present in your workplace, the easier it will be for you to deal with them effectively and productively as leader. As an example Eastern block countries generally expect a directive approach to leadership, whereas generally Western culture prefers an inclusive approach.
Communication is key to managing employees from diverse cultures. They need to know that they can talk to you if there are situations they’re not comfortable with and that they can ask you to explain working practices they’re not familiar with. Listening to colleagues and employees will also help you to find effective solutions if problems ever do crop up in your workplace.
As well as ensuring employees talk to you, it’s important to encourage communication between staff members. If they can discuss cultural difference before they cause tensions or issues between colleagues, it will help your office to run more smoothly and more efficiently.
Make your expectations clear
Though it’s important to be respectful of all the various cultures present in your office, it’s equally important to make clear exactly what you expect from your employees. They need to know and to understand your values and the core values of your company. It’s also important to ensure that everyone in the workplace is respectful of each other’s cultures as well as of the working culture you want to promote within the office.
Share your company’s Vision with the team as this provides not only foresight and direction but also a common goal/purpose.
By keeping lines of communication open, creating a tolerant and accepting environment and making your expectations clear, you can help to build a productive and open atmosphere and bring out the best from all of the cultures represented within your workplace. To learn more about successful leadership and management skills explore our site or contact a member of our team.