Set Ground Rules for Your Global Team

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Managers of global teams need to make special considerations to ensure everyone is able to contribute, regardless of their culture or location. Here’s how:

  • Make the team norms explicit. People can bring different and potentially conflicting communication approaches to the table. It’s critical to discuss how those will influence the standards and expectations of your team.
  • Create an inclusive team environment. Some individuals can feel intense social pressure around people from other cultures, especially when other non-natives seem to be doing “just fine.” Work hard to create a “safe” atmosphere so members are able to express their concerns.
  • Give everyone the right skills. If your team’s culture is essentially Western and you speak English, dedicate time and resources to making sure everyone has the skills in these areas necessary to contribute to their fullest.

Adapted from “Leveling the Playing Field on Cross-Cultural Teams” by Andy Molinsky.

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