The Elements of Multicultural Team Success

Performance and effectiveness in teams can be challenged by decision making and cooperation if the organizational processes are not clearly known and understood by each individual. Although team members are willing to cooperate and work together, they might unintentionally encounter some difficulties due to the lack of understanding of those processes. These issues can be even more challenging if the members of the team are located in distant geographical areas.

Performance and effectiveness

Let’s observe why is important for multicultural teams to have clear organizational processes and which global leader’s competencies can make it happen.

The decision-making process and cooperation among team members will greatly be affected if there’s no clear understanding of the organization’s mission, vision, key metrics, and reward systems.

For multicultural teams, an extra layer of complexity is added, especially if they are located in distant geographical locations. Then, how can we assure that organizational processes are not challenging multicultural team success?

In order to avoid such pitfalls, the team will need to establish effective methods for shared learning and discover various ways of making decisions. These methods are particularly critical for virtual and remote teams.

There is no doubt that diversity among team members can help improve the success level of a project, as well as productivity and effectiveness. But, it’s critical for all members to consider their varied resources and perspectives.

To successfully lead a multicultural team, especially virtual or remote teams, you will require competencies that are beyond the usual leadership skills and technical knowledge. For instance, a global leader must be able, among others, to:

  • Adjust his/her leadership style,
  • Listen without stereotypes,
  • Develop strategies towards bridging the differences,
  • Define and prioritize goals aligning organizational processes,
  • Identify the team’s challenges and environmental conditions,
  • Create contingency plans,

To help with the team processes, it is important for leaders to set process expectations. And although a team will work together to attain a specific goal, each person should know their specific role in that team. This can help avoid role confusion among members. By having a clear understanding of their specific roles and expectations from their performance, team members can develop cohesiveness and become a well-functioning unit.

Leading diverse teams is increasingly becoming an important skill in the international marketplace today. Thus, developing sensitivity to different cultures and work-styles could help organizations better promote cooperation in their teams regardless of the distance between them.

In the end, when leading effectively, global teams when lead effectively utilizing the correct team processes will bring unique perspectives and unparalleled innovation to organizational challenges in today’s globalized world.

The team process is one of the 7 elements that have proven to be a key factor when working with multicultural teams. Find more about the Global Team Effectiveness Model ®. If you and your team are ready to improve their performance and effectiveness we can help you!

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