Expert Panel

Focus on these things to succeed in International Management

Valuable Tips for Managers Who Lead an International Team


20170605131642_TipsforInternationalManagers.pngOne of the main challenges of managing an international team is achieving unity and group cohesion in an environment that is cross-cultural. Add this to the constant pressure and frustration of leading a team and keeping everything in order, and you know how difficult it can be to achieve and maintain success. 


Knowing how to adjust your style according to the person you're talking to and being considerate towards their beliefs and heritage is not easy. So, here are some tips that will make you a better leader.


1.     Take the Time to Know Your Team

We live in a multi-cultural world where people within the same organization come from various backgrounds and most probably have a different system of belief than yours. One of the first things you should do as a leader is to get familiar with their values and the little things that influence their behavior.


Make it a habit of talking with team members on a personal level, and seeing them as individuals, not just mere employees. This approach will encourage open dialogues, which can lead to better cooperation.


2.     Focus on Unifying the Team

A good manager does not only know his team members but also ensures that regardless of their differences, they work together to achieve a common objective.


That is one of the reasons some teams work like a well-oiled machine while others can’t seem to agree even on the smallest things. If you manage to keep your team united, then team members will be more likely to discuss and solve their problems in a professional manner.


3.     Don't Let Language Be a Barrier

In a business environment where multiple cultures meet, it’s not uncommon for language barriers to arise. To avoid miscommunications or to make one of your employees feel left out, try to opt for bilingual employees.


If not everybody speaks the same language and your organization feels like the tower of Babel, consider deciding upon one main language for all of your business needs. However, make sure to offer your employees the chance to perfect it.

4.     Be Open about Your Cultural Profile

As long as you are open and honest about your values, the rest of the team will also feel that it's okay to discuss their cultural profile.


Improving the performance of your team is key, so lead by example and make everyone feel included. Don't forget that your employees need a push in the right direction, so don't discriminate and always take an interest in their cultures.


5.     Applaud Innovative Ideas

The best part about managing an international team is that people come from different backgrounds and have different ways of interpreting the world around them. In other words, they will come with surprising solutions to the most common problems.


Allow your people to be creative and find new, innovative ways to solve problems. Take risks, have confidence in your team, and encourage them to voice their ideas.


6.     Be Flexible and Understanding

Each of us has a personal style, a way to solve things, a particular way of thinking and so on. Some employees can come up with a solution in minutes while others require some thinking time.


So, let people deal with tasks in their way. Try to understand their style and don't try to make them into someone they're not.


As a manager of an international team, you need to find ways that allow members to work well together while accepting that they come from different cultures. Communication and acceptance are, thus, key in this equation.


Have you ever made assumptions based on your own culture that led to embarrassing moments overseas?