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The challenge of managing multicultural teams

Global companies are characterized by multicultural teams, and they need managers with a high capacity to understand the cultural, individual and collective features of the organization. Nowadays, cultural competencies are as necessary and valuable as technical competences. 

When a manager assumes the responsibility of leading teams in a new country, or when he or she oversees a team consisting of professionals of different nationalities, one of his or her priorities must be to identify and use codes of conduct and communication properly. It is key to understand each other to build relationships of respect and mutual trust. 

The same words have different meanings in different cultures. The same applies to tone of voice or non-verbal language. But also, hierarchy, authority, values, criticism or recognition are expressed differently, depending on the cultural context. 

Knowing the particularities of each culture is an immersive process

Sensitivity, curiosity, respect and the ability to adapt are fundamental qualities to face the main difficulties when promoting cultural competences. 

Multiculturalism and diversity bring benefits to companies in all areas, and, in particular, impacts the bottom line positively. This new reality is driving large organizations around the world to develop Strategic Programs of Cultural Intelligence. 

Zara English Janmohamed

Partner at Loftus Bradford Group, a boutique Executive Search firm, serving our clients globally by attracting top, international, diverse talent in General Management, Sales, Marketing, Big Data, E-Commerce, Retail, Strategic Planning, Finance, Supply Chain, Manufacturing and Procurement. Leading and developing our Diversity Practice across sectors and functions.

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