How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Part 2 Cross Cultural Management

When working with international teams there are going to be multiple levels of issues and concerns to navigate consciously and subconsciously.  When discussing this topic (and it is one of my favorites) I love to reference my favorite text on the subject, Understanding Cross Cultural Management by By Browaeys and Price. (Everything below is based on their work).

According to Michael Browne, “[g]lobalization means that modern teams and companies are increasingly staffed by qualified people from around the world. In order to create a harmonic working environment while maximizing team efficiency, it is necessary to understand how different cultures approach things such as meeting deadlines, direct or indirect communication or project mentality”.

Individuals who master the ability to operate and navigate international teams with success and results are people high in demand.  You can too by studying the following aspects of cross-cultural diversity.

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Personal Branding Rules | Social Networking Do’s and Don’ts

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Think of the internet as that gossipy girl in high school and imagine that there’s no secret she won’t spill.  You wouldn’t willingly help that gossip ruin your reputation.  However,  you have without knowing it by allowing your private shenanigans to infiltrate your personal brand.  I challenge you to Google yourself and see if you’re truly happy with the results.

Moving on,  I would think that I wouldn’t have to write this post but I do.  There are still stories about people getting fired for posting something inappropriate or having something from years earlier reappear to wreak havoc on their lives, and we never think it will be us on the other end of that story.  Your personal brand is a sacred and precious thing which is the culmination of everything you are.  When you damage that it can be very hard to recover; just look at Mitt Romney’s Presidential race.

For the love of God, lets use our powers for propriety instead of stupidity!

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How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Part 9 Listening

active listening personal branding career development

Listening is something that many of us take for granted.  We confuse listening with hearing when the two are widely different.  Being able to truly listen to your co-workers, colleagues, and managers takes more than just hearing what they’ve said,  it takes real listening skills.  In the following video Julian Treasure talks about five ways to listen better.

Julian Treasure’s Three Listening Positions:

Active/Passive Listening

Active listening is a communication technique which requires the listener to feed back what they hear to the speaker, by way of re-stating or paraphrasing what they have heard in their own words, to confirm what they have heard and moreover, to confirm the understanding of both parties.

Passive listening is when you focus on what you’re listening to, but aren’t doing anything apart from listening. Thus, it is much more active and requires time of a different quality than background listening.

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How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Part 3 Communication

international team communication

…Make it safe for people—especially those with less power—to speak openly about what’s on their mind….

Communication can go two ways; good or bad.  When speaking to another person it is always best if you DON’T follow the hilarious suggestions provided in the following video…and you’re welcome.

No, seriously communication is important.  Without it nothing would get accomplished in a timely, professional, and thorough manner which pleases, satisfies, and/or satiates the company overlords.  If my job is dependent on some small function of your job then we have to be able to properly function and communicate wants, needs, timing, directions, instructions, etc.

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How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Part 5 Mediation

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No matter where you work, there will be some form of conflict among your team or co-workers.  If you’re working in an international team then you can pretty much guarantee that the company has a Mediation department to handle any issues.  However,  knowing the basics can save the day when minor conflicts occur.  Conflict in the workplace, groups, and teams is to be expected and accepted.  However,  when a minor conflict begins to grow and escalate its in everyone’s best interest to take proper notice before there’s a full-blown meltdown.  When negative conflict happens its handy to have someone on the team who can reign in on the madness without having to involve management or the HR department, and the skills to know when its time to call them in.

Mediation

Allowing a neutral third party to intervene between people in a dispute in order to bring about an agreement or reconciliation.

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How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Part 4 Decision Making

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There are many different types of decision-making styles and processes for one to choose from.  To have the ability to make proper decisions one needs to understanding their own natural tendencies and the processes involved in the choices made while having the knowledge of other decision-making tools better which may be better suited to the situation at hand.

The rational decision maker follows these procedural steps:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Generate multiple possible solutions for the problem
  3. Select the solution deemed most likely to solve the problem
  4. Implement the solution and evaluate its effectiveness

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How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Career Development

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As I continue to study, read, and assimilate the vast knowledge of “businessy things” available I inevitably create links and make lists as to what skills and traits are needed for individuals to flourish as team members and to function at their highest level.   As I tend to focus on the more serious topics of management, leadership and winning, I also try to make it entertaining and short to keep your attention.

On that note, this post is an amalgamation of  topics which when combined create a powerful understanding of how to be indispensable to international teams.  This 20-something guide was inspired by many of my fellow students who are or have just graduated.  Going into the world of international business isn’t going to be difficult for some of the international students, but for the others who stumble upon great opportunities, this guide is for them and for you.

Consider this your 20-something, 101 guide to working in or with international teams.

The series includes the following:

 

How to be Indispensable to International Teams | Pt. 1 Creative Problem Solving

CreativeCritical thinking

The ability to use logical judgement in addition to creative and critical thinking skills are some of the most useful and transferable skills that one can posses.  Many of these skills are ingrained in us, but many can be learned.  The goal is to learn and assimilate new ways of processing information in a way that makes sense to you.  This will allow you to be the agent of change as opposed to the guy who’s stuck thinking inside the box.

When facing a problem or an issue, making the right decision is a fundamental task. Critical thinking helps us to understand the pros and cons of every possible outcome and to value them according to the goal we want to achieve. Improving its utilization in all aspects of your life can results in better decisions, fewer mistakes and in a significant improvement in the collaboration and success between people.

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Top 10 Career Mistakes Twentysomethings Should Avoid | GEN Y GIRL

top 10 career mistakes twentysomethings should avoid

  • Believing that once you’ve got a job, you’re done learning.
  • Thinking there’s nothing you can learn from someone who can be your grandpa.
  • Turning down networking opportunities to go drinking with your friends.
  • Thinking that the tasks asked of you at work are somehow beneath you.
  • Engaging in negative office gossip.
  • Staying at a job you hate way too long without actively looking for other opportunities.
  • Not being honest with yourself about your likes and dislikes when it comes to your career.
  • Not taking the time to fully understand your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Making enemies at work for stupid reasons.
  • Compromising your morals and beliefs because you feel pressured to be liked.