WLP138 - Cultural Differences in Global Teams

In this episode Pilar talks to Nancy Settle-Murphy about the challenges of working with people based in other countries.


In the introduction, Pilar shares the different reasons why people might not be acting on feedback, or asking for clarification:

Avoiding losing face
Seeking harmony
Unconditional respect for authority
Lack of trust

She mentions this previous episode with Hugo Messer on working in global teams: https://www.virtualnotdistant.com/podcasts/across-continents

You can also listen to Nancy and Pilar’s previous conversation on “Facilitating Virtual Meetings”, https://www.virtualnotdistant.com/podcasts/facilitating-virtual-meetings

A hierarchical view of the world: My way is the only way. How much is Headquarters imposing a way of working?

“Assumptions in a way are shortcuts to finding a solution.”

Should we be making generalisations and assumptions about how people work because they belong to one culture? Maybe it’s our best first guess…

What areas of working life might be affected by geographical cultures?

Decision-making; how trust is built.

Hierarchy and decision making. It’s not as simple as it looks.

We talk about this article by Erin Meyer, on the HBR July 2017 issue:

In podcast form: https://hbr.org/ideacast/2017/07/how-authority-and-decision-making-differ-across-cultures.html

Nancy recommends Erin Meyer’s “The Culture Map”
(affiliate link)

Tool confusion even in the same company.

How different people give feedback.

Not your way, or my way, but a third way, that is beneficial to the end client/user/product.

What happens when the people who we expect to change their ways, actually change their behaviour?

The importance of informal communication to get used to people who exhibit emotions. How do different people like to interact informally?

How ready are people to talk about their personal life at work? Be aware of questions that could be seen as intrusive.

Cultural differences are worth talking about.

Connect with Nancy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/nsettlemurphy

And check out her website: https://www.guidedinsights.com/