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Caroline Osinski

Caroline works in the Intercultural Training department at Kwintessential. She has always been interested in different people and cultures growing up as a ‘Third Culture Kid’. Throughout her degrees at university and previous jobs in tourism and the third sector, she has always kept cross-cultural issues close at heart.

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10 Facts Every Manager of a Multicultural Team Should Remember

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As a team manager leading a multicultural team, you go through the stages of team development perhaps a bit longer than when working with most monocultural teams. When you feel you’ve had enough of battling the cultural differences, and that you just want to call it a day, don’t despair – keep in mind that due to the diversity, the ups and downs feel extreme however in the end, there is simply much more to gain.

So when you are feeling down, just read these 10 facts about multicultural teams to boost your self-esteem as a manager.

Remember, there is much to be gained from cultural diversity:

1.    Members of multicultural teams are much more likely to have high problem-solving skills. As people from different cultures work together, team members learn how to creatively look at opportunities and challenges.

2.    Working within a multicultural team can improve your communication skills. When working with colleagues from different cultures you become aware of your own communication style and hence adjust accordingly to make yourself understood.

3.    As a team becomes culturally diverse, more creativity is injected even in the more mundane assignments, which actually leads to higher job satisfaction and a better environment in the workplace.

4.    Leading a multicultural team requires a different skill set than leading monocultural teams. Being aware of this fact and adapting your leadership style accordingly is the key to success.

5.    Being able to manage a multicultural team successfully can lead to 'thinking out of the box' as different cultural backgrounds offer a variety of viewpoints on projects and internal team processes. In the long run this is likely to increase your team's overall performance.

6.    Becoming a leader of a multicultural team requires an understanding of what motivates people in different cultures, this allows one to tap into each individuals’ full potential when facing challenging situations at work.

7.    As a leader of a multicultural team, you are required to demonstrate higher levels of emotional intelligence which may have benefits outside of your work life too.

8.    A highly communicative multicultural team is one where a sound trust basis has been established.

9.    Working in a multicultural teams means better active listening skills as you become more in-tune to different verbal and non-verbal communication styles.

10.    Diplomacy and conflict resolution techniques have also been named as true gains from working in a multicultural team.  

Finally, the key to a happy and productive multicultural team is in your hands. It is the leader’s ability to manage cultural diversity which brings smooth sailing.

:: Interested in formal training? Check out our Managing Multicultural Teams course which we run in London and Somerset or contact me about your training requirements.

Caroline Osinski is Global Training Manager at Kwintessential. She has always been interested in different people and cultures growing up as a ‘Third Culture Kid’. Throughout her degrees at university and previous jobs in tourism and the third sector, she has always kept cross-cultural issues close at heart.