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  • Writer's pictureSANDRINE GELIN G&L SHIFT

Managing in a multicultural context, Learnings from our exclusive Webinar

La Peña Business Club and Forces Françaises de l'Industrie

International companies, and particularly those in cities as attractive on the world stage as Barcelona, have teams made up of talents from all over the world. This multicultural mix can be a huge strength, but is sometimes a real challenge to manage.

On March 18, I had the pleasure of talking with Arnaud SLIWA-BISET, CEO of Wegrow, about managing in a multicultural context, during an exclusive webinar for LBPC. During this interactive session, we shared thoughts, approaches and tools drawn from our cross-border experiences in as many as fifteen countries as diverse as Brazil, Turkey, Japan, Morocco, Spain, the USA, Switzerland, the UK and Germany.

Here are some of our best practices for managing multi-cultural teams:

✅ Exploring what's at play beneath the visible surface of culture - ultimate purpose, world view, values, beliefs, etc - enables teams to connect different cultures by building bridges between them, and to leverage cultural diversity to create synergies and new possibilities.

✅ For leaders, the attitudes that facilitate these new perspectives are: curiosity, open-mindedness, the ability to suspend judgement, questioning and listening, acceptance that one's own approach is neither the only one possible, nor the only one right, nor the only one true, nor the "best" one.

✅ Adopting a cultural navigation system - mapping your 20 cultural preferences and those of your team - enables you to recognize, appreciate and positively exploit cultural differences within your team.

✅ Preferences in terms of communication (6 cultural dimensions) and time management (3 cultural dimensions) can be direct sources of conflict within teams or with corporate partners. They require managers to develop Adaptive Leadership to make the most of the needs and expectations of their team members from diverse cultural backgrounds.

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