Getting a book of local courtesies and customs might do well for someone who doesn’t want to offend their new international team, but it won’t go very far to help you run a more successful international project. In this blog post by Samad Aidane, essential leadership skills for global project managers are discussed and shared. While Aidane notes that the qualities which made you successful in your own country are likely to carry over to other countries, there are three key skills and mindsets needed to excel when managing abroad. These are:
- A deep appreciation for diversity
- A diagnosis mindset
These three are the culmination of an overall theme: acceptance and the use of logic. They help promote the endurance and flexibility required to manage people from entirely different cultures. The three build on each other in a way: with an appreciation of diversity you help show that you’re interested in the thoughts and differences between yourself and your team, which helps promote engagement. This then leads to the next mindset, diagnosis: A diagnosis mindset: You are not going to know the answer or the solution to every problem you will face on a global project. A diagnostic mindset will help you look at situations from a “researcher” lens to try to determine the factors at play so you can experiment with different solutions or interventions. You will try something and it may or may not work. You then diagnose the situation and see what else you can try. This is an iterative process. Finally, mindfulness in this case means being aware of how you are thinking and reacting to the situations that arise. It’s easy to go on autopilot, Aidane explains, and that limits how much you can observe how your people are responding the challenges and stress.