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Intercultural leadership

Published on Thursday, 10 Nov 2011
Illustration: Bay Leung

Today, there is a greater need to adapt to working with people from different cultures. So how do you improve on your intercultural leadership qualities?  

Know what the differences are

Ask for help in trying to understand a different culture or go online. There are many resources on the internet about the cultures of people you work with. Try to attend events where you are exposed to different cultures, and even tuck into the food of other places.  

Facilitate communication  

Understand that people's differences require different styles of communication, management, engagement and motivation. Empathetic listening and staying open to different views help to reinforce tolerance and engender approachability. Try to learn some linguistic expressions in the languages of your colleagues. Avoid using slang and idioms in your own language that may cause confusion.  

Be prepared to invest energy  

Find out about intercultural leadership training and enrol on the better programmes. Such training will help you to understand cultural differences and manage differences. The journey towards effective intercultural leadership is long - though easy, if one is willing to invest the energy.

Christine Sim, general manager, Links Recruitment  

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