Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 46

G L O B A L
O U T LO O K

HOW TO BE AUTHENTIC WHEN COLLABORATING
ON MULTICULTURAL VIRTUAL TEAMS
BY CHARLENE SOLOMON

Imagine this: You're on a team with
people from Germany, Italy and Japan.
The German team member is quite
direct in communication style, the
Italian teammate is loquacious and
animated, and the Japanese colleague
tends to be quiet and circumspect
in communicating. Setting aside the
language challenges, how do you
authentically collaborate with these
three people?
The term "authentic" is defined as, "not
false or copied; being genuine and real."
If you think about that definition and
envision yourself on this multicultural
team with people who have significantly
different styles and expectations of
behavior, you realize how complicated and
challenging it can be to retain authenticity
while adapting your style to the different
cultures present on your team. How can
you collaborate effectively?
Do you insist on retaining your unique
communication style? Do you adapt to
any one or all of your colleagues' styles?
Do you try to mirror the style of your
teammates? The challenge is to learn to
flex your style while remaining authentic.
WHAT IS AUTHENTICITY IN A
MULTICULTURAL, VIRTUAL SITUATION?
You probably know people who act
genuinely no matter the circumstance.
They're trusted by colleagues and are
able to collaborate well because they
don't sacrifice their authenticity when
placed in situations that require them to
honor the different cultures present.

| 46

How can you maintain your authenticity
and gain the confidence of your
colleagues to enhance your ability to
collaborate effectively? The secret to
effective collaboration on intercultural
virtual teams is to understand
how culture impacts behavior and
communication and find a way to bridge
those differences while remaining
authentic. What does this require?

It's not easy to do. However, these
skills can be learned, and you can gain
confidence through practice. The more
you practice, the more effective you
become. At the same time, these skills
need to be honed before your first
encounter with your multicultural team
in order to begin gaining the trust of
your teammates.
STEP 1: LEARNING ABOUT
CULTURE'S IMPACT

LEARN TO FLEX YOUR
COMMUNICATION STYLE
WHILE REMAINING
AUTHENTIC.

We think of it as a three-fold process
that continues and builds over time (see
Figure 1 on page 47):
* First, it requires an understanding of
culture - especially the cultures on
your team - and an understanding of
culture's impact on behavior.
* Second, it necessitates self-awareness
and an understanding of your personal
history and culture's impact on your
behavior and collaboration preferences.
* Third, it requires you to flex your own
style to bridge the cultural differences
on your team with confidence, so you
can maintain your authenticity.

Every team member needs to understand
the cultures present on their team and
how they might impact each person's
expectations and actions.
You
cannot
overemphasize
the
importance of making sure that every
member of the team is aware of the
different behavioral styles associated
with their teammates. This ensures that
all teammates recognize the power
of culture and the impact various
cultural norms may have on the team.
Additionally, teammates will feel more
comfortable knowing that others are
acquainted with their background
and culture.
In other words, as every member of the
team becomes aware of how culture
impacts their behavior, it becomes
easier to understand one another. For
example, teammates will understand
why their Japanese colleague may need
to seek greater consensus, or why their
Italian teammate may need more time to
build a relationship and establish trust
with others.



Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019

Thinking More Broadly About How Adults Learn
Table of Contents
Mentoring: 4 Keys To Making it a Meaningful Learning Experience
Formalizing Informal Learning: Tinker Dabble Doodle Try
The Accidental Learner
Percolating Builds Depth
Coaching is a Cop-Out
Close More Deals With Story Selling
Partnering for the Power of Knowledge: How Can Knowledge Sharing Foster Collaboration Among L&D and Employees?
Organizational Resiliency: a Function of Leader Adaptability and Versatility
Rules of Engagement for by Laura Francis Mentoring Reverse
Steps to Formally Make The Informal Part of Your Content Strategy
The Play's the Thing': The Power of Story-Based Learning
Fujitsu’s Experiment With Peer Coaching Pays Off
How to be Authentic When Collaborating on Multicultural Virtual Teams
Making the Case for Informal Learning at Work
Formalizing Informal Learning to Improve Performance
Making Learning Fun Again
Investing in the Future of the Worker, Not Just the Future of Work
Company News
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Cover1
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 2
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Thinking More Broadly About How Adults Learn
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Table of Contents
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 5
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 6
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 7
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 8
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Mentoring: 4 Keys To Making it a Meaningful Learning Experience
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 10
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Formalizing Informal Learning: Tinker Dabble Doodle Try
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 12
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - The Accidental Learner
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 14
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Percolating Builds Depth
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Coaching is a Cop-Out
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 17
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 18
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 19
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Close More Deals With Story Selling
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 21
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 22
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 23
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Partnering for the Power of Knowledge: How Can Knowledge Sharing Foster Collaboration Among L&D and Employees?
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 25
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 26
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 27
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 28
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Organizational Resiliency: a Function of Leader Adaptability and Versatility
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 30
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 31
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Rules of Engagement for by Laura Francis Mentoring Reverse
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 33
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 34
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 35
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Steps to Formally Make The Informal Part of Your Content Strategy
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 37
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 38
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 39
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - The Play's the Thing': The Power of Story-Based Learning
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 41
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 42
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 43
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Fujitsu’s Experiment With Peer Coaching Pays Off
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 45
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - How to be Authentic When Collaborating on Multicultural Virtual Teams
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 47
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 48
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 49
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 50
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Making the Case for Informal Learning at Work
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 52
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Formalizing Informal Learning to Improve Performance
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - 54
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Making Learning Fun Again
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Investing in the Future of the Worker, Not Just the Future of Work
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Company News
Training Industry Magazine - September/October 2019 - Cover4
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