Dealing with other races, ethnicities, ages, sexes and sexualities can be a minefield if you haven’t thought about. Hofstede studied 165 counties for several criteria. Diversity can be an opportunity or a threat, it makes for better results but can take longer to achieve them. Managing teams without face to face contact, whether virtual or global requires extra attention. In this course you will discover techniques to improve your awareness and overcome challenges in dealing with other cultures and groups.
Contracts are lost by failure to understand culture and inappropriate behaviour in other countries. With the increase in mindfulness, people are much more observant, so knowing about etiquette in host countries and the general international British style is essential.
With increasing globalisation, many organisations face tougher competition; at the same time they are working in a more complex environment, needing to co-ordinate geographically dispersed operations and a cross-cultural workforce.
This leads to diverse teams becoming more common at all levels of the organisation. Diversity can be based on various characteristics such as gender, age, nationality, ethnic and/ or cultural group, or on indicators of cognitive diversity such as international experience, education, industry and work experience that can all lead to different perspectives.
Research shows that diversity results in better performance on complex decisions and problems, just the type of challenges that face global firms. Also, diversity has a bigger impact on organisations with greater managerial discretion such as the high-tech sector, or when undertaking new initiatives.
Diverse teams can also experience their differences as barriers to communication, so that reaching a common understanding or outcome takes more time and effort, and raises the transaction costs of teamwork.
Whatever your organisational, individual, leadership or team needs are, have Smart Coaching & Training be your first call. Starting with a free strategy session we will discuss your needs and create a proposal to suit you.
Our building blocks
Diversity Equity/Equality Inclusion Belonging
Great strides have been made in some countries to ensure women are included in diversity. In fewer countries strides have been made to ensure that those with fluid gender and those with different sexuality are included. Race or nationality can operate in different ways. In the Middle East there are the locals (the indigenous) and the expats. For the expats your race/nationality determines your salary.
The law in the UK states that everyone be treated equally. That those born to privilege are treated in Law. the same way as those not.
In the USA Equity is the key where allowance is made about your background and circumstance to enable you to work on a level playing field.
Inclusion and Belonging.
Diversity is being asked to the dance, Inclusion is being asked to dance. Belonging refers to an individual’s sense of acceptance. Belonging is usually the result of the level of inclusion an individual feels in their environment, where they can be themselves and be part of the team.
For example; If you have a woman on an all-male board and all they are asked to deal with is ‘women’s issues’ or maybe ‘soft skills’ such as HR then that is not inclusion. Same applies to LGBT community. It’s about being included and belong to every day decisions. The same can apply to many other diversity categories such as age, education, culture. Having to code-switch to be included may be necessary – as speaking the same language can help
Issues can occur in an international organisation where the culture of the Organisation is at odds with the culture of the country.
Thinking and behaving differently
It is possible to have a Team/Board which fulfils many of the aspects of diversity such as age, culture, race, religion, gender, sexuality and still have a board which is exactly like you. Cognitive Bias will ensure you recruit people like you as you will be better able to get on with them. These people will therefore attract customers like them and thus exclude most of the potential .
If all your team thinks the same as you, then the likelihood is you will target the 25% of your potential market. Your team might tick all the boxes regarding race, sex, age, sexuality, religion etc but if you all think the same way you are missing out on maybe 75% of sales.
It is a recognised fact that diverse teams get better results, but only if the team is properly diverse and the individuals properly belong. A board full of the male pale and stale and the token woman only deals with ‘women’s issues’ is not a diverse board. If the male, pale and stale think differently then they may be a more diverse board than if it’s made up of a people which are “technically” diverse. And the same goes for your teams. (of course the same applies to a Board of young women with the token old ,man)
How do you know whether your team is truly diverse?
A truly diverse team consists of introverts and extroverts , those who think big picture and those who need detail, those who are outgoing and those who are quiet, those who are logical and those who are emotional, fast decision makers and those who take time to decide. That’s cognitive diversity. To understand your team and build true diversity use colour profiling and team wheels. All the rest – age, sex, sexuality, race, education pale into insignificance.
Recruiting a team or board which is cognitively diverse is the best chance of success. How would you know? By using profiling tools to assess your current team and the kind of persons you would want to complete your team or board. We recommend using colour profiling assessments and team wheels. For more information look at this page
Relating to many different others at the same time
Interculturality is about developing skills and behaviours enable you to integrate with any nationality to achieve success ,wherever you are and with whomever you are with, by learning the skills to integrate while still being yourself. It draws on different disciplines to review mindset and behaviours and create new ways of being effective, managing challenge and opportunity and creating outcomes and plans for a fulfilled and rewarding personal and professional life.
Eating and Drinking
One of the most interculturally difficult areas is food and drink. A truly intercultural person knows their way around menus, knows how and at what time people eat. They eat and drink everything host puts in front of them (subject to religious constraints), knows how to indicate when they had enough, and entertain knowing those constraints.
Interculturality is not just about countries
Interculturality is not just about countries. One of the most interculturally difficult areas is accent and local culture within the same country. In the UK for example, where their claims to be multiculturalism, getting on in the workplace generally requires behaving with a certain culture (restrained English) where being loud and direct is frowned upon, and where speaking with the correct accent is important. Code switching is where you behave and speak differently at work than with family. Not only do Black and ethnic minorities have to do it, anyone with a Birmingham or Northern accent has to change how they speak to get on in London. It’s not as bad as it was, but is still there. What time ‘dinner’ is , is significant and many class criteria apply in UK.
Other significant types of Diversity
Neurodiversity and Three Colours Worldview
As stated, there are over 50 types of diversity of which very few are actively promoted. Still, you may get on better with people of the same class, culture, education, but these similarities are another set of reasons why you wont get a diverse team.
Signiificant and often overlooked types of diversity are Neurodiversity and Three Colours Worldview
“Neurodiversity” is a word used to explain the unique ways people’s brains work. While everyone’s brain develops similarly, no two brains function just alike. Being neurodivergent means having a brain that works differently from the average or “neurotypical” person.
Neurodivergent people can be great on a team because they are differently creative and can challenge assumptions made by everyone else.
Three Colours Worldview
The Three Colors of Worldview can be visualized as three colored lenses – formed of the basic beliefs and assumptions underlying behavior and culture. People take in the world and make decisions on how to act through the filter of these lenses. For example, is being seen as honorable more important than being seen as right? Or is maintaining positional power more important than being shamed? To communicate effectively in a cross-cultural situation, you need to know what mix of lenses you have on in the way you see the world, and how to evaluate the lenses of the people with whom you are communicating. When we understand our own self-culture, we can begin to understand what drives others. These are what we look at first when we encounter a new situation, as they influence so many other cultural factors.
In an Innocence/Guilt focused culture, schools focus on deductive reasoning, cause and effect, good questions, and process. Issues are often seen as black and white. Written contracts are paramount. Communication is direct, and can be blunt.
Societies with a predominantly Honor/Shame worldview teach children to make honorable choices according to the situations they find themselves in. Communication, interpersonal interaction, and business dealings are very relationship-driven, with every interaction having an effect on the honor/shame status of the participants.
Societies with a predominantly Power/Fear worldview raise children to assess where they fit into the pecking order of every situation they are in and behave accordingly. As they grow up, they learn how to align themselves with the right people to gain more power.
ason If you are well, both mentally and physically you will achieve more. Being in the right job in the right place will increase satisfaction. We run coaching, individual on-line training and group workshops in Wellness, to help you gain better understanding of the problem areas you may have in your life and begin to alleviate stress, tension and anxiety so you can live life happier, with more freedom and peace of mind, and achieve your career goals.