How to Successfully Lead a Diverse Team


In today’s changing global work environment, many employees speak a variety of languages. And they often have different customs and values. Leaders need to shift their managerial style if they wish to successfully lead a  multicultural team.

One of the biggest challenges facing many managers today is the cultural differences. What works in one country does not necessarily work effectively in another. And a lack of proper communication style can often lead to greater misunderstandings.

For example, to execute a business plan in Germany requires the management team to check every fine detail to make sure there are no flaws in the plan. And for instance in Japan, it could be that relationships are at the forefront before any business decision is to be executed..

In Canada and the United States, in many cases, once the concept or an idea is conceptualized, then the next question is how fast the project can get off the ground.

Here are just three key points any manager or supervisor needs to keep in mind when leading a multicultural team.

Adaptability:  It is critical that the manager be open minded about the ideas and concepts from various groups. Everyone on the team will have a different take and see which is the best approach.

Physical Involvement: In some parts of the world women in higher positions is not accepted or respected. Be careful that women are not put in an awkward position where they are unlikely to succeed.

Relationships: This is a universal rule where building trust and relationships should be at the forefront. Because without it very little will be accomplished.

Despite the challenges, leading a multicultural team can be fun, energetic and innovative. Bringing people together from diverse backgrounds and cultures brings greater productivity and profitability.