ai:sight Annual Volume 2023

What are the benefits for companies that successfully break down global business barriers? I often encounter whether it is more effective for leaders to be authentic or flexible when working globally. The truth is that successful global leaders embody both qualities. They deeply understand their leadership style and what makes them effective. They can discern the aspects of their leadership that are influenced by their cultural background. They also possess the humility and curiosity to learn and continuously adapt their approach to different cultures. By embracing authenticity and flexibility, these leaders have a choice. It does not mean they must conform to a specific cultural way of leading in each country they operate in. Instead, they recognize the underlying business dynamics within a particular cultural context, enabling them to make informed decisions about adapting their leadership style accordingly when they deem it useful. This ability to navigate cultural nuances is crucial for success. Companies led by individuals who are authentic but lack flexibility often face challenges. Their employees and teams may feel demotivated and struggle to understand how to collaborate effectively. Moreover, engaging clients and working harmoniously with suppliers becomes a significant hurdle. The multicultural setting in which organizations operate is of utmost importance, and leaders must be attuned to this reality. Can you share a real-life story from one of the businesses you have worked with to address cultural differences? Let me share an illustrative example related to the Trusting scale on my Culture Map framework. This dimension explores how trust is built, encompassing two types: Authentic and flexible leaders possess a valuable combination of self-awareness and adaptability. They understand the strengths of their leadership style while remaining open to learning from different cultural perspectives. This allows them to build bridges, foster collaboration, and create a work environment where diverse teams can thrive. Ultimately, embracing authenticity and flexibility enables leaders to navigate the complexities of global business with cultural intelligence and achieve remarkable outcomes. cognitive trust and affective trust. Cognitive trust is trust from my head: you are reliable, on time, and good at your j ob ; therefore, I trust you. Affective trust is trust from your heart: I have an emotional bond with you, I've spent time getting to know you, I've seen who you are below your professional persona, and I trust you.

R ecently, I had the opportunity to work with a company based in Australia that was navigating negotiations with a Chinese counterpart amidst the challenges of the CO V ID-1 9 pandemic. The Australian contact expressed frustration, perceiving the Chinese team as difficult to work with, confrontational, and experiencing a lack of progress. However, after reading my book and delving into relationship orientation, she realized that the issue might be insufficient attention to building relationships. G iven the travel restrictions, she devised a creative approach to bridge the cultural divide. She visited Chinatown in Sydney and purchased cartons full of Chinese snacks. Then she sent a package containing these snacks alongside typical Australian snacks to their counterparts in Shanghai. During the next meeting, they set aside ten minutes to open the boxes and share their snacks. In this simple act, something remarkable happened. The Chinese team members enthusiastically explained when and how each Chinese snack is eaten, and the Australians reciprocated equally. Suddenly, everything changed. A sense of friendship and camaraderie emerged, leading to the establishment of affective trust. This example highlights the power of investing effort in building relationships across borders. The Australian contact fostered a connection that transcended cultural differences by demonstrating genuine interest and making thoughtful gestures. This shift in relationship orientation had a transformative impact on the dynamics of the negotiation process. It serves as a compelling reminder that when we take the time to understand and appreciate the cultural values and norms of others and when we actively engage in relationship-building efforts, we can cultivate a sense of trust and camaraderie that fuels collaboration and success. These small gestures of cultural intelligence can bridge gaps and transform interactions, enabling effective communication and cooperation even in complex cross-cultural settings.

E xplore the intriguing global business and cultural dynamics world by reading E rin Meyer's book, " The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of G lobal Business. " G ain valuable insights, practical frameworks, and strategies for navigating cultural differences, building effective relationships, and becoming a successful global leader. E nhance your cultural intelligence and thrive in diverse environments.

1 8

Made with FlippingBook - PDF hosting