Whether helming a team of 5 or 500, a good leader needs to exhibit certain qualities and skills to manage, support and guide her team forward. Leaders are expected to be focused, driven, decisive and good communicators.
A good leader, however, can become a great one by improving his or her Cultural Intelligence (CQ). CQ is the ability to work effectively across cultures and has now become a key skill in navigating one’s team in the midst of an increasingly competitive global economy.
Consider these three ways you can hone your CQ skills and positively impact on your team and company.
Start by building strong interpersonal relationships with team members. Initiate informal meetings to get to know your people by finding out about their motivations, focus and passion. Avoid generalising different cultural backgrounds and instead seek to understand the individual person. Knowing what drives them can help you implement a shared vision and focus for the way forward.
Listen and Learn
Listen to various voices and perspectives regardless of their roles within the team. Every employee has a unique voice, perspective and insight that he or she brings to the table. When you actively encourage differing viewpoints and ideas, innovative solutions can emerge.
Build A Shared Culture
In a diverse team, there is a risk that underrepresented members feel they need to adapt to the more dominant culture to be “a part of the team.” Therefore, it becomes important to implement inclusive team building programmes to create a shared workplace culture. When employees feel they are an integral part of the team irrespective of their backgrounds, they can focus fully on working together as one team instead of seeking ways to ‘fit in’.
Find out more about assessing your CQ skills here.