Building Effective Cross-Cultural Teams

@emmawedekind

Hi, I'm Emma

  • Software Engineer @ LogMeIn
  • Based in Karlsruhe, Germany
  • Born & raised in Upstate New York
  • Ladybug Podcast co-host
  • JS Party Panelist
  • Instructor at Egghead.io, Frontend Masters, Lynda.com
  • Message me @emmawedekind

2018

@emmawedekind

Hungary

Croatia

Belgium

Germany

America

France

@emmawedekind

Everything we do governs the efficacy of our teams.

@emmawedekind

@emmawedekind

1. Communication

@emmawedekind

2. Evaluating

3. Deciding

4. Trusting

5. Scheduling

Doesn't speaking about culture cause us to stereotype?

@emmawedekind

When we don't consider the impact of culture on an individual, we falsely view every interaction through our own cultural lens.

@emmawedekind

The culture we're raised in impacts the ways in which we collaborate & communicate.

@emmawedekind

1. Communication

@emmawedekind

Low-context communication

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Messages are expressed clearly and taken at face value.

High-context communication

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Messages are implied but not explicitly spoken.

What you consider good communication isn't necessarily what another culture considers good communication.

@emmawedekind

History impacts the communication-style of a culture.

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English: 505,000 words

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French: 135,000 words

You may be a great communicator in your home culture,

@emmawedekind

but that might not

translate onto a multi-cultural team.

Email etiquette

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Not all cultures communicate in the same way we do.

@emmawedekind

Communication isn't just about speaking...

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Working with high-context cultures

it's also about listening.

People communicate in the manner in which they're accustomed to.

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Working with high-context cultures

Be explicit, transparent, and redundant.

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Working with low-context cultures

High-context works seamlessly between members of the same culture

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Working with a multi-cultural team

between members of two separate high-context cultures.

but breaks down

Multi-cultural teams need low-context communication processes.

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2. Evaluation

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What  is viewed as "constructive" changes across cultures.

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Direct negative feedback

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Feedback is provided at face value.

Upgraders

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Direct feedback cultures

(Absolutely, totally, strongly)

Indirect negative feedback

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Feedback is provided subtly, wrapping the negative message in a positive one.

Downgraders

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Indirect feedback cultures

(Kind of, sort of, a little bit)

Anglo-Dutch Translation Guide

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"Very interesting"

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What the British say:

"I don't like it"

What the British mean:

"She's impressed"

What the Dutch think they mean:

"This is an original point of view"

@emmawedekind

What the British say:

"Your idea is stupid"

What the British mean:

"She likes my idea!"

What the Dutch think they mean:

Low-context & direct negative feedback

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High-context & direct negative feedback

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Low-context & indirect negative feedback

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High-context & indirect negative feedback

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3. Deciding

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4. Trusting

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Cognitive trust

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Rooted in the confidence you have in another person's ability to get a job done.

Affective trust

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Rooted in the emotional closeness you obtain from developing a personal friendship or relationship with another person.

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Task-based trust

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Built through professional activities and work relationships are built and forgotten easily.

Relationship-based trust

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Built through sharing meals and evening drinks.

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Be your authentic self.

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In many cultures, the relationship you have with another person is your contract.

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5. Scheduling

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Monochronic Time

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Time is tangible and concrete.

Polychronic Time

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Time is flexible.

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Communicating

Evaluating

Deciding

Trusting

Persuading

Scheduling

Leading

Disagreeing

We're all motivated by the same fundamental needs.

@emmawedekind

Not every culture experiences life the same way we do.

@emmawedekind

Thank you

@emmawedekind

Building High-Performing Cross-Cultural Teams

By Emma Wedekind

Building High-Performing Cross-Cultural Teams

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