03 Jan Facing Diversity: The Art Of Intercultural Leadership
There is power in leadership, especially intercultural leadership, but many have no idea of what it means. Many believe that the power is equal to money and feeling or being significant. They think that someone with authority is a great leader. There are a lot of people with money and power but it doesn’t mean that they are great leaders. Some have just made their way into a good position and built a business that is successful staying in the background. They simply rely on great leaders whom they hired to support team diversity and inclusion.
Supervisors face leadership challenges every day. Leadership is hard when you lead people who think and act differently than you. This can be particularly challenging or overwhelming because you can’t understand the cultural differences among your employees. Indeed, intercultural leadership is a true art.
However, an experienced leader will learn to understand all the cultural laws of all team members taking this as an advantage. Culture has a remarkable ability to the way you see things the world offers us. Even if two people share the same experience, culture can greatly affect how each person sees things. And as we know, the best innovations were created by the people who approached things from various perspectives. Therefore, diversity is crucial for company growth and success. And it is important to have leaders with strong intercultural leadership skills.
Understanding how culture brings in the experience of people in the world would allow a skilled manager to adapt and take advantage of the cultural context of her employees, instead of being frustrated by the differences that inevitably arise as companies expand worldwide.
Learn How To Balance Between Cultures
Humble leaders seek information from others to make sure that all the facts and decisions they make are in the best interest of the team. No one has answers to all questions, especially in the intercultural context. If you think you do, then it’s probably time to reconsider.
Another thing leaders have to take note is the first impression they make towards their employees at first. For instance, the first impression you make to your employee in the morning will determine the behavior of the employee for the rest of the day. This is the phenomenon of the “contagious leader” – you can make or break someone’s day. So it is important for you as a leader to give your employees a positive impression when you see them. Especially in the morning. This will not only make them more positive, but it will also motivate them to work more. And thus will lead to an increase in company productivity.
People want to work for people who value their knowledge, culture and opinions, and not ignore or deny them of their rights. Indeed, humble leaders are comfortable searching for ways of inclusion of all team members into team processes. It is so important to apply intercultural leadership skills!
If you give your employees a sympathetic ear at the time of decision-making and try to balance the cultural policies of each employee, then you will help them unfold their creative potential. Find a golden middle and take into account the cultural rules of your employees by listening to their opinions.
Be Tolerant With Your Employees: Apply Your Intercultural Leadership Skills!
Tolerance helps employees build bridges and capitalize on the differences present in the workplace. In particular, those differences relating to diverse cultural backgrounds. Lack of tolerance gives fertile ground for misunderstandings and unethical behavior. And thus it slows the progression of the team and the company. For any business, tolerance is essential to work on goals and develop creative solutions for a wide range of challenges in the workplace. Demonstration of tolerance in the workplace requires a concerted effort to develop an understanding of the background, experiences and beliefs of others.
The proper way to handle a tolerance for failure is to use criteria that put demands where people can create the biggest impact for the organisation and performance.
You as a leader have to be tolerant with your employees if they fail to do something correctly. Especially when they fail to attend a meeting on time. It is known that people from different countries have a different time perception. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of diversity in the workplace and use its benefits.
One of the best tools you can use in a diverse team is the Productivity Booster Tool. It is a unique online productivity wizard that will help you understand how your co-workers perceive time. Thus you will save up to 30% of time you are currently wasting in a team due to diversity.
Use The Benefits Of Diversity
The workplace is a real melting pot, including culture, race, and gender. A diverse workplace combines the advantages of all to achieve higher productivity together. This gives a strong team that makes decisions from the ideas and perspectives presented by people of different culture. Diversity encourages corporate culture and helps generate new ideas that provide innovative solutions.
One other benefit of diversity is to get employees to understand each other’s culture.
The most important way to promote understanding of each other’s culture is to plan activities that will enable everyone to talk to each other in an informal setting. Make your employees talk to each other about their cultural lifestyle by planning different activities. It can be a lunch party, pool party, team BBQ or company anniversary to name a few.
At lunch, personnel from various traditions can easily discuss and tell experiences relating to their personal life. You can even have a separate room for each culture represented in your workplace. Consuming food together and discussing details about various cultures results in recognition and friendship.
Diversity and Innovation
Diversity at work adds new ideas and creates an interesting and exciting atmosphere. Since people from different cultures come to work with different perspectives, they can add to innovation, solve different problems and creativity in a special way. So, cultural diversity should be celebrated, not just tolerated.
Help employees value the differences of others. This will make your employees more acceptable to each other and create a less stressful environment. Eventually they will all agree to a decision in terms of decision making. Besides, making an effort to create a good relationship with the employees in a diverse workplace will help you become a better leader in the workplace.
As a leader, if you follow these tips, you will be able to attain intercultural leadership. You will understand the culture, behavior as well as lifestyle of your employees which will enable you to communicate with your employees effectively. This will also lead to great team dynamics and high employee satisfaction.