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  • Writer's pictureYssine Matola

Cultural intelligence is THE core skill to cultivate in your cross-country organisation

Most of us like to think that we treat others with consideration, demonstrate common sense and that we communicate effectively. However, without understanding others' cultural filters, we would very likely appear inconsiderate, incompetent and/or untrustworthy to people in other countries.

Our cultural perspective is a filter through which we see the world, and Erin Meyer's Culture Maps is the most useful framework we've come across so far to understand the norms in other countries.

🗣 Communication: how explicit or subtle do you need to be and how much understanding of the context is needed to get by?

⚖️ Evaluation: how direct or indirect do you need to be when providing feedback in order to be understood but not come across as insulting?

🧐 Persuasion: in order to be convinced, do people need to understand the principles and the reference frame first or should you go straight to the point?

🧑‍💼 Leadership: how much distance between a manager and their team is the norm, and how important are status and hierarchy?

🕸 Decision-making: how much consensus should be sought before making a decision, and are decisions taken by the boss only?

💞 Trust: do you need to build cognitive trust (task-based, by achieving work together) or affective trust (relationship-based, by sharing personal time)?

🤨 Disagreement: are open confrontation and debates expected and seen positively or are they inappropriate and a danger to relationships?

⏳ Time: Is the approach to time linear (time-bound, on-schedule) or flexible (fluid and adaptable)?

Cultural intelligence is THE core skill to cultivate in your organisation if you're growing your team across countries!

Let us know if we can help!


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