Cross-cultural Leadership Style is difficult. Everyone who has attempted to manage a varied group of individuals can attest to this. This might include individuals from various departments, professions, age groups, countries, and so forth. We’ve been dealing with all kinds of cross-cultural leadership difficulties since we founded Gugin in 2001, so in this brief piece, I’ll attempt to summarize some of the key, general challenges we’ve encountered.
Definition of Cross-cultural Leadership Style
There are many definitions of cross-cultural leadership if you Google it. This is the definition we choose.
We don’t want to go into a protracted debate about the distinctions between leadership and management.
Unpredictable conduct in Cross-cultural Leadership Style
We all have various values, objectives in life, and interpretations of what each term signifies. Quality, for example, is by some individuals linked with delivering on time, while others identify it with being flawless, attractive, or sturdy. We often state that we want the greatest quality delivered on schedule, but we all know that reality is frequently very different. We must reach an agreement. We must either produce an 80% solution on time or give up on meeting deadlines. The Cross-cultural Leadership Style difficulty is that we have varied choices for what is important.
Here are some main Challenges in Cross-cultural Leadership Style;
1. Organizational Efficiency
As an example, consider IT outsourcing.
We’ve worked with a number of customers who were dissatisfied with the businesses to whom they had outsourced their IT development projects. The irritation associated with Cross-cultural Leadership Style arises when the organization prioritizes on-time delivery but the company to whom they have outsourced prioritizes excellence above on-time delivery.
Both values are vital, but if you can’t attain both, you must choose one. From a cross-cultural leadership standpoint, this is quite tough. We believe we all prioritize in the same manner, comprehend terms like “quality,” and communicate in the same way. Nevertheless, we do not.
So we suddenly see other individuals act and prioritize in ways we don’t comprehend. When we are unfamiliar with these cross-cultural problems, we get annoyed, if not enraged. If we have a higher degree of cultural intelligence, we will examine the disparities in underlying values and strive to reconcile these differences in order to create a solution that benefits from having diverse value systems in play.
2. Values Compromise
Our actions are directly related to our underlying beliefs and conventions. Because of cultural variations, we have various standards and values, which results in diverse behaviors. We always act right, according to ourselves, since our behavior always represents our own ideals – even when we do something nasty.
Cultural confrontations occur when the behavior of others violates our own ideals. That occurs often. You may have a value about giving up your seat on the bus to an old guy, but others might not share that value. When an old person boards a bus and no one offers him a seat, you will be outraged because your principles have been violated.
The following are some examples of what you could encounter. When I used to walk the dog in the morning, I would stop at the same café for a coffee. First, I noted that the regulars received a tiny Pain Au Chocolat with their coffee, but I just received the coffee. I could be insulted. Why are they treated better than I am – we are all equal. At least, that is how Danish cultural standards are. Everyone is treated the same way, and no one should assume he is unique.
It’s different in France, which is one of the reasons I like living here. By returning to the same café regularly, you establish a connection and demonstrate loyalty. That devotion is rewarded with a small Pain Au Chocolat with your coffee. I could have created a scene if I hadn’t been aware of the distinctions in the fundamental values ( what some tourists do sometimes). Many civilizations have distinct values, and we are not to determine which ones are correct. Then then, who doesn’t?
Dealing with compromised ideals is a crucial challenge to resolve in business. As I have said, standards and values are inextricably linked to culture. The norms and values you have in your company support your corporate culture, therefore when you engage new employees, outsource to external organizations, or hire in-house subcontractors you have to make sure that they share your norms and values.
3. How Do You Determine Norms And Values?
First and foremost, you must be acutely aware of your own culture. Gugin refers to this as cultural DNA, and we define it via our Cultural Due Diligence Method, which goes through all the parts of your culture and makes the ethereal word “culture” more concrete by examining all the quantifiable factors in the cultural DNA.
4. It Is Tough To Be A Manager
Many of the executives we speak with find the Cross-cultural Leadership Style to be both unpleasant and demanding. Managing culturally diverse groups is difficult because decision-making takes significantly longer, you must explain everything, and you never know what will happen. Managers do not react in this manner because they are narrow-minded or do not recognize that we live in a globalized society.
People behave in this manner because they find it difficult to function successfully as a manager in such a setting due to a lack of Cross-cultural Leadership Style abilities and experience. Managers must fulfill deadlines and offer high-quality results while staying within budget. They can only do so in a multicultural setting if they understand how to manage, inspire, encourage, and communicate with a diverse group of individuals. As a result, building cultural intelligence is critical for the majority of organizations.
Leading a multicultural team is like eating with a knife and fork. There are two of them.
very different equipment, but since you have the cultural knowledge to use the knife one way and the fork another – at the same moment – you can consume a wide range of foods.
Also read: What Are the Main Leadership Style Differences Between America and Asia?