Global tech teams often overlook the importance of building skills to enhance their geographically dispersed teams. The common assumption made is technology speaks its own language, generally, in Coding language. But more realistically. when globally dispersed team members from diverse national cultures work together, the common language of codes and business English becomes unsuccessful, especially for problem-solving and decision making.
Recently, I worked with a technology expert from a Fortune 100 company who was looking to develop his cross-cultural competency to better understand his associates who were working in India.
We started our engagement with a strategy meeting where he shared his experience of working with the Indian team. The stories indicated that there was a miscommunication which was mostly due to the communication styles, the American direct low context communication vs the Indian indirect and high context communication. We then used the Culture Active® assessment for further understanding the client’s cultural profile which provided information on his typical behavior style. Let’s take a look at the profile.
The black dot on the plot (at the bottom) shows the client’s position. He is placed in the Linear type culture. Additionally, you can see that India is placed in the continuum between Multi-Active and Reactive cultures. So, it was obvious that there were many aspects of communication that fell in the cultural blind spots for my client.
The coaching goals were set which included practicing communication styles and cultural understanding. It was fun to roleplay negotiation and disagreement with my client.
The client could identify with the cultural faux pas that he was unconsciously making with his Indian associates. The client stated that “he was assuming that they were understanding what he meant”. The learning engagement made him feel empowered that he was not hesitant of making any mistakes and even if he did, he had the tools to fix them.
It brings me immense pride to empower my clients with global culture mindset tools so that they can adapt, act and, avoid falling into a cultural black hole.
So, what is stopping you? Let’s chat.