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Best Practices to Engage with Cross-Cultural Teams

small worldAs the world moves from teams in the same building towards teams scattered across the world, it becomes important to learn how to properly engage your team members. Different cultural attitudes, customs and even just accents can lead to devastating consequences in both an HR and productivity. Saira Karim presents three tips that should be considered if you're team is scattered over the planet. One great tip provided by Karim centers around the danger in politeness: 

In fact, politeness prevented people from telling me truthfully that they didn't understand what I was saying. Though English is spoken around the world, it is still a second or third language for others. Allow time for others to process what is being said. 

Additionally, the word “no” does not exist in some cultures. These cultures breed an optimistic disposition, and the answer to everything is a nod of the head, whether it's impossible deadlines or difficult requirements. If left unchecked, the end results will lead to frustration, misunderstandings and differences in quality expectations. Karim then lists several tips gathered through years of experience with remote teams, including not expressing frustration, asking for clarification when needed, and asking for (while also providing) constant feedback.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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