In this episode Harriet L. Russell, Intercultural Facilitator, Author, And Language Specialist shares 3 Essential Tips That Managers and Multicultural Teams Should Know!

After the tips, we go backstage where Harriet shares: A Nonverbal Story, Her Cultural Fascination, How She traveled the World on a Dollar a Day Budget and more!


My name is Harriet Russell. I’m the director of Business Ease Overseas. Today I’m going to share with you 3 Essential Tips that Managers and Multicultural Teams Should Know!

There are so many tips I could share with you, but let’s start with three today.

My first tip is know the culture’s values. Is the culture you’re working with or the cultures that you are working with more collective where the group is more important than the individual? Is the culture one where the hierarchy is highly respected, or is it more egalitarian where all the team members have the same level of decision making invoice? Is it more important, the relationship between the people, or is it more important to get things done? How are you going to find this out?

One thing you can do right in your local community is to visit a cultural center of that country. Another thing you can do is find someone from that culture that lives in your neighborhood and strike up a conversation. Everyone wants to share about their culture. You can also, of course, go to your library and use resources that are published. I caution you against Googling because you never know what you’re going to find out there. Use valued and trusted resources for your research.

My second tip is know how they communicate in that culture. Is it an informal or a formal culture? Are rituals of introducing oneself with a business card or a handshake important? How do people perceive nonverbal communication, like touch and eye contact? This varies between different cultures. Cultures differ in how people accept and give feedback. Is criticism to be done in front of the group or not at all? How about praise? In some cultures, praise is not considered positive because it singles a person out from the collective team and unit, and their identity is more with the team rather than themselves, so be observant and understand how people relate to what you say, how you say it, and also know that silence sometimes is golden.

My third tip is know yourself. Respect and trust and know yourself means that you are directly honest with how you know that you are inside yourself. When you are able to understand what are your trigger points, what’s your personality like, are you patient or not patient, then you’re able to recognize that in the face of a group of people. Accepting, respecting and knowing yourself comes first. Then seeing how you see others through an open channel of honesty allows you to relax, let go, and be more present in the moment as you communicate with your team across cultures.

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About the Grow Your Business Cleveland video series:
GYB CLE is an original web video series featuring real CLE business experts sharing their own nuggets of tips, tricks, and approaches to succeeding in careers, becoming more profitable, and living better lives. Co-producing and appearing in the GYB CLE series are NEO Interns who get hands-on experience and earn much needed credentials that will provide an early boost in their careers. Videos will be distributed via multiple GYB CLE channels, contributors channels, and on-line audience sharing.