Ten Key Cross-Cultural Management Skills
Unlike technical knowledge, intercultural awareness and skill are not something you can achieve just by reading a "how-to" manual or learning a simple formula.
How people's cultural backgrounds play themselves out is obvious in some ways and quite subtle in others. Appearance, names, language, accents, artifacts and shared worlds of reference are visible at once. Intangibles, however - attitudes towards time, commitments, success, status, authority, accountability, planning, negotiation, rewards, teamwork, personal boundaries and social interactions - are not immediately apparent.
To be effective as a global IT manager, you need to be aware of the major underlying cultural values that have implications for business relations and organizational functioning. The skills you need are those "soft" skills, which are, in fact, considerably harder to acquire than the "hard" technical skills.
Some managers are fortunate to have innate strength in these areas, most need education and training, a few are so inept that it would be better to keep them out of crucial global management responsibilities.
Do you want to assess your ability to succeed in global management? Are you are looking to appoint someone to a key position? Are you seeking to make your multicultural teams more effective? Are you trying to define an appropriate management style for your global company?
If so, pay close attention to developing the ten winning skills for managing in a culturally diverse environment:
©2000 Karine Schomer. All Rights Reserved. Originally published in Siliconindia, January 2000.
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