Different cultures, different ways of resolving conflicts

Recently a friend of mine was telling me how in the company she previously worked for, ‘Asians were literally abused, because they are so quiet’. Meaning, an incredibly heavy work-load was distributed to them, failure of projects was blamed on them etc. That’s not only sad to hear, but it’s also interesting how people attribute ‘quietness’ to their Asian colleagues. Yes,…

Influence people across cultures

Most of us will have come across this at one point of our lives: the law of reciprocity. It is part of human nature – you give me something, and I return your favour by giving something back. If our goal is to influence people across cultures, the same law applies. Give, give, give, and do it genuinely. Sooner or later life…

Leadership & Managing Meaning Across Cultures

One of the sources of power in the repertoire of a leader is that she is able to frame situations in a way that assigns a particular meaning to them. An example for that would be how you frame overtime: is it something to be proud of? Should you aspire to be the one who stays in office the longest? Or is…

3 Ideas on how to avoid being a micromanager

We all know these bosses – they need to know every detail of what is happening, they need to have the final say on just about everything. Unfortunately chances are that you and me are the same. Trusting in your team, and letting them find the solutions, can be extremely difficult. Especially if it is your own business that we are…

Creating a culture of trust within culturally diverse teams

In their book “The agile culture“, Pixton, Gibson, and Nickolaisen pose an interesting dilemma: while leaders believe that their followers needed guidance was what their subordinates needed the most, subordinates generally said what they most wanted from their leaders was trust. Their argument is that we have to move away from a culture of command-and-control, towards a culture of providing our…

Top 3 Cultural Challenges in Virtual Teams

Cultural challenges are one of the five major issues when working in virtual teams as identified by Sebastian Baileys on Forbes. When expatriates come to a different country, they face rough challenges in terms of communicating with local co-workers. In virtual teams, the situation is far more difficult than that. Team members are not even able to experience the different cultural…

Not all people can adapt, but you can!

Recently I talked to a friend of mine who manages teams of engineers. We came to have a chat about foreign engineers and their challenges in terms of working in a team in the Australian context. One of these challenges, he said, is that they are sometimes not able to adapt to the local work environment. He used the example…