Due to the fast growing International Business market, International business managers are forced to grow and improve their International communication skills, not only with their International customers but managers are required to run teams made of professionals from different countries, with different business perspectives, team values, management expectations and different attitudes.
Although this diversity in a team can bring so much objectivity and benefit to a team, it can also have catastrophic impact on a team and maybe the whole business if the manager takes things for granted and was not wise enough to establish a cultural and geographical understanding for each and every professional and member of his team.
International team managers almost always make this simple mistake!
Rushing to build a team before getting a clear and deep understanding of what the task requirements involve is a big mistake!
Each task needs the right person (personality, professional experience and knowledge, and more importantly attitude). Therefore it is essential for managers to study the job before they rush into building an International team, which can bring more damage to the job if extra help was not needed.
Another important aspect of running an International team that managers need to be aware of is the Business law in the country that his employees are in.
Team leaders are required to be on top on top of the laws and legislations and be mindful of the local HR policies in the country some of his employees are based at.
International Teams are not an easy task any person with limited management skills can lead!
• Culture Differences are the first and hardest challenge a team leader has to tackle. As a manger you need to act wisely and take into care the conflicts that can arise between your team members. Most of the cultural challenges that your International team will face will most certainly be one or more of the following: language differences, business practices, attitude towards authority and rank can also create interpersonal conflict and resentment within the International team. So putting all this together spells COMMUNICATION.
Team Leader needs to test his team members understanding and encourage input from everyone within the team. It is also a good idea to try to test and find out what are the strengths and weakness of your team members. You'll be relieved from many problems later on, having the right person in the right place.
Face to Face team leaders should not under estimate the importance of face to face meetings with his employees from time to time. Be mindful of that when putting your budget plan.
Also another important communication tool is videoconference. Allowing you and your employees to communicate face to face and discuss things as a team could be very beneficial to avoid many cultural and communication problems that can arise between your team members. Always insure minutes of the meeting are taken and distributed and the videoconference is recorded so members of your team who were unable to attend can go through it later and be up to date with what is going on.
A clear communication protocol is one of the key points for good communication between you and your employees. You need to set up a good communication protocol and make sure all your employees follow and respect it. Team leaders/managers are required to be on top of the task you and your team are doing. Your team performance is a reflection of your own failure or success as good team leader!
- Make sure your entire employee understand and respect the sharing of information, reporting to you any risen emergencies.
- Discuss with you and be clear about their intent and purpose.
- Understand the importance of maintaining rapport and continuity.
Our growing International Business market makes it almost vital for most the International businesses to consider employing people from and in other countries, therefore managers who are faced with running and managing such teams need to plan their management structure very carefully. And although it is very tricky to manage such teams and would need a committed attitude to the team and not to forget extra effort, it can also be very rewarding to achieve successfully running a team who understand and respect their own responsibilities as well as the other team members, understand, feel and be part of the task. And more importantly achieving an exceptional communication method with your team, which gives you the over look of what is going on.
Dear International Manager, there are many books and websites that can give you ideas about how to run your International team, however I would like to turn your attention to a very important fact. The different and unique personality of your team members, their language, culture, skills and of course the task they need to perform can only determine what plan structure you need to follow. Many brilliant ideas you read on paper or told to you by others who experienced it are almost impossible to adopt, unless it was suitable for you personally as a manager and your team.
Three advices I will give you:
1. Develop your observation skills.
2. Be flexible and prepared to change a plan if it fails, and always have a backup plan should things fail.
A Golden Advice
If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high. Look it squarely in the eye, and say, “I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.
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