Global collaboration and approaching leadership scenarios through an inclusive lens are essential facets in today’s globalized environment. In today’s society, we are communicating with others from different cultures more than ever. Leaders must develop skills that allow them to effectively lead teams of incredibly diverse individuals from a variety of backgrounds. Without these skills, their tactics can come off as offensive and discourage certain members from participating. To maximize productivity, a global viewpoint is essential.
Leaders must learn about the specific cultures, backgrounds, and personalities of all of their team members in order to increase engagement. One of the major methods of researching this concept, shown through the information we learned in class, is to actually read novels and watch films/TV shows produced in foreign countries. These pieces of media can give great insight into mannerisms, traditions, and customs in each country. Research is incredibly important and should be emphasized as a large component of a leader’s role.
I believe the main three lessons that I took away from today’s session were the importance of background research for a specific culture (highlighted by our discussion of different traditions in meetings), scheduling in terms of both parties, and avoiding the language barrier by asking for the opinions of non-native speakers. As I mentioned above, background research is the foundation for cross-culture collaboration. It is essential for creating an inclusive environment and not offending others. Scheduling events to convenience/inconvenience both parties is also a major aspect of leadership, especially in the work place. Meetings should not be scheduled based on the availability of a group in a certain country, even if numbers are greater. Each group, regardless of size, should receive the same treatment in order to foster an inclusive environment. My parents, as they work with many people from India, do this very often. They schedule meetings based on the terms of the Indian employees, trying to convenience them in order to ensure their cooperation and support. Additionally, it was very interesting to learn about strategies for overcoming the language barrier. This was one of the obstacles that I wanted to focus on before starting this course and I am glad we addressed it. The reading recommended that non-native speakers should be encouraged to provide their opinions and general sheets regarding native jargon should be given to them in order to ensure comprehension and, thus, inclusion.
Another important aspect that was focused on was the concept of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism relies on understanding and immersion. Those who are multicultural are able to completely understand the culture of another country. I would consider myself to be very immersed in Indian culture and, while never working in the professional field with other Indian individuals, I have grown up surrounded by parents who have taught me the correct behavior around professionals of Indian descent. I can speak the most common language in India, Hindi, and understand the culture well as I have grown up in it. I hope to continue learning about Indian culture and possibly expand to other countries as well, most likely through research and future travel.
The last major topic that was focused on is very similar to multiculturalism: global competence. Highlighted through our discussion of Cultural Map / Erin Meyer, it is essential to engage in thoughtful discussions, practice appropriate behavior, and appreciate the world views of people from different cultures. This allows for cross-cultural collaboration and communication. Leaders must focus on building global competence or a team that is able to collaborate with others from different countries/