Achieving a world class leadershipBY CHRIS MEAD
Even the most globetrotting manager cannot be everywhere at once. That’s why there is a growing importance placed on a leader’s communication skills in order to tackle the challenge of international people management.
But how can managers develop the right mindset where they are attuned to the different cultural and societal expectations of multi-lingual and multi-cultural global teams, located across different time zones and markets?
The main key to success is to have regular contact with the team, keeping in mind regional sensitivities and market differences.
The world of work is increasingly complex and in our experience of recruiting world-class leaders, strong communication skills are vitally important in a successful leader. They allow a leader to remain attuned to the different cultural and societal expectations of global teams through regular contact, while keeping in mind regional sensitivities and market differences.
This includes being aware of how what you are saying is perceived by others, especially if English is not their first language.
There has been some debate about whether such skills can be taught. Certainly it requires multiple interventions over a period of time. It’s also about bringing people together – networks are hugely important to learning, while ongoing leadership and talent development are also critical.
Leaders can develop the skills and qualities necessary to build, engage and foster team spirit across different time zones and geographies. Many organisations run their own diversity and inclusion training programmes for managers, with extra programmes offered for those likely to work with staff across geographies.
This includes managing different ways of working, such as differing leadership and cultural styles.
Coaching and training in effective communication techniques, such as the danger of ambiguity, the need for clarity and the benefits of picking up the phone or even getting on a plane, are also essential. How you communicate is vital.
For example, at Hays we run a global leadership development programme for top managers. This programme combines classroom study with executive coaching and virtual learning.
We also warn against relying on technology alone for communication. Although technology plays an important role, both in training and day-to-day communications, it should not be used as a substitute for personal relationships.
Chris Mead, Regional Director, Hays in South East Asia
To read more about the growing importance of communication in international people management, see our latest Hays Journal: www.hays-journal.com
Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.