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Managing Multicultural Teams

Many people assume that multicultural teams face challenges working together primarily because their communication styles differ, but that’s only partially correct.
According to the authors of “Managing Multicultural Teams” from HBR’s 10 Must Reads series, several factors typically create challenges for multicultural teams that leaders and managers need to help address.
First, it’s important to consider whether differing attitudes toward hierarchy and authority are causing any friction.
Team members may also have conflicting norms for decision-making that interrupt the team’s work flow.
And finally, yes, team members may struggle not only with communication patterns such as direct versus indirect communication, but also with understanding each others’ accents, limited language fluency, and cultural fluency.
All of these things are important to consider while managing a multicultural team.
To learn more, check out “Managing Multicultural Teams” by Jeanne Brett, Kristin Behfar, and Mary C. Kern, from Harvard Business Review’s 10 Must Reads On Teams.
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