Many, if not most of us, work and live in globally interconnected ways. Our businesses employ diverse people, often from different locations and cultures. We manage and lead teams across borders and have team members who do not share the same office or who are not even in the same country or time zone. Political, institutional, legal and economic differences between countries may directly affect your business. Global uncertainty and disruption of the status quo are turning many long-held beliefs on their heads.
To what extent are you aware of cultural differences and how they might play in your business? How global is your mindset? To what extent can you move fluidly across cultures?
The Najafi Global Mindset Institute of the Thunderbird Business School in Arizona has developed an interesting approach to define, measure and develop Global Mindset.
To develop a truly global mindset, three areas need attention: psychological, intellectual and social capital. The model shows the areas where we need to become proficient if we are to effectively lead, motivate and influence people from different socio-cultural backgrounds.
Westminster Coaching can measure to what extent you have a global mindset, and pinpoint the specific areas that may need to be further developed. You can broaden your intercultural effectiveness by actively engaging in culturally diverse activities, reading and travelling broadly, and asking for feedback from colleagues or acquaintances from different cultures about how effective they perceive your interactions with them to be.
Some ideas to help you to develop a global mindset:
- When you come across something done differently by a colleague from another culture, challenge yourself to think “this is interesting and different, I’d like to learn about and understand this”, rather than think “that’s not how you do/say that”
- Learn about the cultures of the countries you do business with
- Explore differences actively and ask friends or colleagues about how they do things differently and why
- Travel to a country you have not visited before and immerse yourself in the culture. Read about it, ask about it and try some culturally specific experiences
- Challenge yourself to read a book, watch a film, eat a dish, or have an experience from another country with some regularity.
- Learn how to cook your favourite foreign dish and go shopping for all the ingredients. Most cities have a variety of ingredients to be found in ethnic shops
- Most of all, develop the mindset of being curious, rather than judgemental about differences