How To Make Multicultural Project Teams Effective
The best way to make a multicultural team effective is by respecting other peoples culture and being aware of it. This will make it easy for group member to co-exist since they will always respect other people’s diversity and learn as much as possible to avoid offending their colleagues by acting insensitive. The team manager should establish a common ground especially in serious project operation to avoid conflict related to business time for instance some culture being intolerance to delays while others taking delays casually. The project manager can create a common ground where all members can be comfortable. The team can be governed by time management, and communication rules which should be followed by all. A team culture should be developed which will make it easy to unify the group.
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While doing so, the team manager should consider the values, beliefs and culture of all team members. This will eliminate the diversity aspect and enhance togetherness. The other recommendation is taking advantage of the diversity to enhance team functionality and effectiveness. A diverse team can enhance the aspect of problem solving since members have different experience and life perception. When integrated, these ideas can amount to a unique problem solution. Thus an open communication channel can be enhanced to promote ideas sharing and raising questions. With cultural respect, this can easily enhance understanding, learning and growth of the team, which eventually promotes success.
Group Decision-Making Challenges Faced By Multicultural Project Teams And How To Overcome Them
One of the main challenges is be communication. Multicultural team may include people who cannot speak the same language. This will make it hard for them to discuss an issue to a point of making decision. Another major challenge is diversity in life challenges, experiences, value and expectations. The fact that every person has different beliefs and values from each other may cause chaos and huge conflict in the group discussions, making it hard for the group to make decisions. Variation in perceptions of various aspects in life, business, and in problem solving are also likely to create conflict in discussions leading to decision making (Gobbo, 2008). The team may experience huge conflicts based on members’ high level of cultural, regional, beliefs, norms and values diversity. The best way to handle this would be using a define strategy to arrive to the final decision. The first step should be identifying the problem. The all members should be given a chance to make a contribution on possible solutions. Solutions should be listed as they are proposes. Each solution should then be analyzed, noting cons and pros, and then ranked, and he best choice will be selected. To ensure full participation, without discrimination or stereotyping, to ensure all members take part and contributes effectively including introverts and shy members. This will help in eliminating conflicts and other decision making challenges (Behfar, Kern & Brett, 2006).
Overcoming Multicultural Project Teams Problems
Multicultural team experiences a number of challenges which include communication problems, different expectations, and different values. The communication problematic context in multicultural project teams initiates questions as to how clients, project managers and team members can overcome the cultural and structural constraints and conditions that define the team operations so as to create an infrastructure which facilitates effective communication. The best way to handle this is by defining the possible common language for all. If this is not possible, the project manager should define a communication platform where effective translation of the message can be done. All members should consider using simple language to avoid serious distortion of the message during translation. Members who understand more than one language can also assist in translation. Communication will also be enhanced by learning basic of body languages in other cultures. This will eliminate misinterpretation of any body language from a member of different culture (Ochieng & Price, 2009).
Different values and expectations are other challenges that are likely to be experienced in a multicultural environment. The values and expectations challenges can be overcome by defining clear team or project expectations and values. Creating clear and well defined team values and expectations will eliminate the diversity aspect and unify the team. Having the same level of expectation makes it easy for the team member to play their respectful roles to meet the team expectation. The team leader should also be determined to meet the members’ expectation of him or her. It is also important to note that multicultural team members have different values. The team leader will ensure that all team members are involved in defining the new team values which will mostly focus on the team main objectives and goal. This will eliminate the chance for imposition of personal values in the team operations and hence enhance focus and collaboration among the team members.