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Helping an International Friend Develop as Team Leader

Diane E. Pavia

Dr. Laura Poluka

MGT 550 Leadership Strategies

30 August 2015

Helping an International Friend Develop as Team Leader


Leadership in the contemporary workplace requires proper understanding of culture and its impact. Leaders should understand the cultural differences and dynamics in different countries and regions. In addition, they should focus on different aspects of the leadership spectrum, especially when working in a foreign country. In order to understand these issues, the current paper focuses on different problems that a foreign leader faces in a new country. It analyzes the challenges that an expatriate leader may encounter and suggests various solutions to these problems.

Recommend whether or not your friend should insert herself as a coach from the beginning. Provide a rationale for your response.

Team management is a role that requires proper understanding of all the individuals within the team. It involves their likes and dislikes as well as their strengths and weaknesses (Cromar, 2013). After joining the team, she should not start coaching from the beginning. Initially, she should take time to understand the environment and engage with other people within the company in order to understand them. It is also the best time to adjust to the new role, which is essential in learning the differences that it has from her earlier role, and the challenges that may be present. In addition, identifying the challenges will also give her an opportunity to deal with them or find a way of maximizing her success. She should take this time to develop relationships with all the relevant people with whom she has to interact. It is an opportunity for her to build rapport and trust with the team. Once she has taken time to examine the environment, company structure, culture, and the way people behave within the company, she will be in a position to start coaching the team. She will know the roles that the team members can execute efficiently and other important issues regarding the team.

Determine two (2) conflicts that could possibly arise as a result of asking people to work on days of religious significance. Propose concrete solutions for these two (2) possible conflicts.

Conflicts in the workplace may arise due to a number of reasons. The infringement of an individuals religious beliefs is among them. For instance, conflicts may arise if people are asked to work on days of religious significance. Here are two possible conflicts of such nature.

It may occur that the employer may alienate the employees who view the given day as religious, which could result in the employees leaving the company as they feel left-out. In addition, a manager who issues such instructions also risks losing his or her job. Furthermore, the problem of increased employee turnover can have an adverse impact on the companys performance. The solution to this problem is respecting the religious and cultural views of others, and making consultations with the employees prior to sending instructions.

The second conflict that may occur due to such issue could relate to other areas within the company as well as outside the company and include potential employees, other companies, government agencies, and religious institutions. Since different countries have different perspectives on religious topics, and religion is of high importance to some nations, the disregard of necessary repercussions could be disastrous to the company. It could lead to a situation where the company is not in working terms with the government and other authorities. As a result, it may severely affect the operations of the organization. Solving such issue requires proper understanding of the laws and religious canons of a country or people. A leader has to make sure that their operations take into account these personal aspects.

Determine whether or not cultural quirks could restrain the foreign manager from expressing his or her ideas readily. Provide a rationale for your response.

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It is possible for cultural quirks to restrain and obstruct the efforts of a foreign manager. They are seen as some diverse and unique cultural attributes of the people from a given area (Schyns, 2015). Every nation has different cultural norms but there are some instances when these differences may be extreme. In such cases, it is possible for an expatriate to experience problems with the new and sometimes weird cultural practices. As a foreign manager, one relies on what they know, which may not work, or it may be against the cultural quirks of the foreign country. It is essential for a foreign manager to familiarize him or herself with the local culture by taking some lessons that will make the interaction with the employees and local people peaceable. It also enables them to understand some of the issues that local people find repulsive in a foreign culture; thus, the manager may avoid them.

Determine two (2) actions that you can take in order to prepare yourself and your friend to become multicultural leaders. Provide two (2) examples to support your response.

Leadership in the modern working environment has evolved significantly, which can be attributed to the globalization and ease of movement. Consequently, most workplaces are comprised of multicultural employees (Morden, 2013). Therefore, leaders have to be prepared in a way that they can lead comfortably in such environments. As a leader, one should begin by assessing their ability to interact with a multicultural team. A good leader ought to have the ability to communicate with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and should also make it possible for other people to adapt their ideals and culture (Chin, J. L., & Trimble, 2015).

Such interactions ease the association with employees from diverse cultural backgrounds. For example, when one starts working with a group of people from different cultural backgrounds, including Japanese, Chinese and English, it is important to learn what each of the people have in their culture that may impact on their ability to work. For instance, Japanese people are often hardworking and polite. This should be noted when working with them. In preparation towards becoming a multicultural leader, it is also vital to understand the dominant perspectives of the culture within which a person lives. A leader should also learn to accept and work with people who have different cultural perceptions as opposed to tolerating them. For example, if a person has a given cultural behavior that may be causing a public nuisance, it is advisable to find a proper way of addressing them regarding this issue.

Predict two (2) major conflicts that may arise out of nonverbal communication misunderstandings (e.g., words misinterpreted, hand gestures, looks, shoulder shrugs, names of objects, etc.). Suggest two (2) actions that your friend could take in order to diffuse these types of misunderstandings and thus make the workplace more harmonious. Justify your response.

Learning about the culture of other people is essential to avoid conflicts that may arise during nonverbal communication. For instance, some gestures may be polite to use in one culture but they may be perceived as offensive in another country or culture (Guffey, M. E., & Loewy, 2010). For instance, in the USA people use handshakes that are bold, strong-gripped with multiple pumps. However, it may differ from French people who will use a quick and light handshake that does not involve pumping up and down. Therefore, it may be uncomfortable for a French person when greeted in the American way. In another scenario, a conflict may arise if one stares at an American as it can be considered rude. To avoid the occurrence of such inconveniences, it is important for a person to make sure that they understand the different ways in which nonverbal communication may create conflicts in the new cultural surrounding. Moreover, a person should also realize how their nonverbal culture may be conflicting with that of the new culture and avoid misunderstandings where necessary. In addition, they should inform what they are not comfortable with, although it may be seen as a way of disapproving the other culture.

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