Leadership blog 2: The challenges of managing a diverse team.

“I believe in the essential unity of all that lives. Therefore, I believe that if one person gains spiritually, the whole world gains, and that if one person falls, the whole world falls to that extent.”

–  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

It is almost inevitable for us all, that at some point of time in our lives we meet people from a different background, culture or from another country altogether. I speak for most people when I say this that those were some of the most interesting conversations or experiences with some of the most interesting people we have met in our lifetime. In some cases those people have directly influenced our way of thinking and our personalities, they might have even helped as us grow as human beings and the way we look at the things present all around us.

Now lets try and look at this from an academic point of view. Geert Hofstede, who is a world renowned social psychologist, has created a framework to help us better understand diversity. This framework is called Hofstede’s 5 cultural dimensions.

8561247818_34eee70f95

This framework is very well structured and helps us easily understand the different dimensions into which all our cultural differences fit into. If we were to look at power distance, this dimension can be explained as the degree to which people are comfortable with influencing others, Masculinity-Feminity is explained as a masculine society has different rules for men and women, this is less so in feminine societies. Individualistic/Collective, this dimension talks about the needs and wants of the individual vs the needs and wants of the group/organization. Time orientation tells us about short term planning for goals, perseverance values and long term planning of goals. Uncertainty avoidance can be explained as how willing people are to change from an environment where they know everything and are comfortable with vs changing to a completely new one.

As for my chosen industry which is E-commerce, I would like to point out that as of today Yahoo has the most diverse team of employees, with almost half the company being migrant working professionals from mostly Asia. The company’s diverse work environment has proven to be one of the contributing factors towards the company’s overall success with its ability to appeal to the masses with its offered products and services. That being said they can work towards employing more women.

yahoo-diversity-report

I speak for my self, when I say that when I given the task of managing multi-cultural team for the first time, it had to be one of the most difficult situations in my life I have had to deal with, thats because at first I thought that we had nothing in common and hows’s this going to work. At first I tried to get the team to do things my way as that’s what I knew best and as I slowly began to find out that my way wasn’t going to work, as it was only a one way channel of communication, I was able to quickly identify my mistake. So I decided that It was better if we first get to know each other and break the barriers to effective communication. As we were introducing ourselves, I was able to identify each team members strengths, weaknesses and most importantly what motivated them to do work in an efficient manner. As per what I had learnt from our little introduction session, I was able to communicate better with my colleagues, as I was hearing what they had to say as well as give them my thoughts on it as well. This lead to me being able to assign the right job roles to them and have the entire group be more productive. Another positive outcome was that I was now able to look at any situation from multiple perspectives.

References.

Pinterest. (2016). Hofstede. [online] Available at: https://www.pinterest.com/arno007/hofstede/ [Accessed 22 Jun. 2016].

Geert-hofstede.com. (2016). Dimensions – Geert Hofstede. [online] Available at: https://geert-hofstede.com/national-culture.html [Accessed 22 Jun. 2016].

Levy, K. (2016). Yahoo’s Diversity Numbers Are Just As Terrible As The Rest Of The Tech Industry’s. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/yahoo-workplace-diversity-numbers-2014-6?IR=T [Accessed 22 Jun. 2016].

 

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Leadership blog 2: The challenges of managing a diverse team.

  1. It is very interesting from start till end. It gives a lot of information for a manager to consider while managing a multicultural team. Well done.

    Like

  2. Your approach to the problem was very good. Breaking the barriers is one of the most important thing to do when dealing with a diverse group.
    Well written and interesting blog. Well done!

    Like

  3. Love the way you clarify the diversity. Your article is perfectly well organised to read and also you make me and others understand clearly how diversity play in our life and workplace in this present..

    Like

  4. when people from all different countries and have different religions, they have to share their ideas to the whole team, it’s going to be better for team work.

    Like

  5. It is structured in superb way giving the reader a complete clarity and points about breaking the barrier are well explained.

    Like

  6. Well-done with the content structuring ! It was easy to read and understand. I was able to identify ways to overcome some challenges I face working with my team which is very diverse. I look forward to your next blog.

    Like

  7. Hi Pratham, It was very interesting reading your blog, I like how you’ve started with a quote to get the reader thinking, it was good touch to the blog. Great job with designing your page too !

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s