Managing Teams Of Staff From Different Cultural Backgrounds Management Essay

This report is about the cross cultural communication and it will be focusing specially about how to manage a team where their members are from different cultural background. This report will talk about the history of the cross cultural communication and when did they became important. Also it will cover the main obstacles and the barriers which the manager or the team leader might face during the work and how to counter these obstacles. It’s has been found that communication became very important factor and the educational sector start to consider it as a main subject for their study. The government started to found many programs which intend to train their employees to be prepared for the international posts.

Managing a team from different cultural background it’s not an easy task where there are many obstacles such as: language, social habits, religious believe … etc. and on the other hand there are many things the manages could do to overcome these barriers such: read about other cultures, be an open minded person and many more. Knowing cross cultural communication is very important aspect where it will lead to successful relationship whether its business wise or personal wise.


Nowadays the world became like a small village where everything is connected with each other and the technology has revolutionized which makes all this possible. Communication is one of the most important skills that everyone needs in nowadays in day to day activities and thanks to the modern technology the communication channels became available on different shapes. The communication between the east and the west become much easier but the only barrier which stands between them is the background culture where each side needs to consider the differences between them. This report will be focusing on the Cross-cultural communication and especially on how the manager should deal with his staffs from different cultural background. This report also will focus on the origin of the cross cultural communication, the barrier which occurred between the manger/team leader and his team and the solution and advices which are recommended to avoid these barriers.


What is Culture?

A group or community where they share a common believes, value and experience that visualizes the way to understand the world.

What is Cross-cultural communication?

It’s an area of study where it focused on people from different culture background how they interact and communicate among themselves and what are the ways and the methods they are using to approach a successful communication channel.

History of cross cultural communication

Language training was established by the organizations after the cold war and the organizations discovered that their employees were poorly prepared to work overseas in the global market. Many programs were inducted and founded to teach the employees how to survive onboard which resulted in development of a program called Foreign Service Institute or FSI. Foreign Service Institute is a training and development program for the employees to be prepared for the overseas posts. The main purpose for the government and the business was to expand globally so as a result a study about cross-cultural communication was founded.

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Today the education became a very important and critical factor in communication where thousand of students went onboard for study. This big challenge for the universities and the collages to adjust their environment so everyone can fit in. The university has to make sure that all the subjects in their curriculum was modified so that the student from different cultural wont feel offended if any subject raised. Today every university and every collage are teaching at least one subject which is related to cultural communication where it teaches the student how to react and response to his colleagues who came overseas to study and also will help him to understand other cultures and how to build a successful relation ship with others.

Every organization has its own culture, structure and environment whether it’s locally or internationally. Locally doesn’t mean that he has to be from different country but it might be from different local area for example people from the major cities and the towns interacting with other people from the other side of the country.

It’s very important to understand what is culture where it will help you to build an efficiency communication channels with others specially whiten your group where it help you to understand and to get the maximum output from them. A successful team leader/manager is the one who can understand and adjust his behavior based on his team members cultural back ground. So let give some example on cultural behavior where some might sound funny to us but it’s a very serious matter to them for e.g.: eye contact where in some culture when you speak to the person and look him straight in the eyes it’s a sign of honestly and that you have been straight forward with him but on the other hand some other cultures considered as a challenge and a rude sign for example in Japan when you speak with someone who has a higher status than yours you shouldn’t look him in the eyes and keep your head down.

So the main question now is how a manager would react if he has to work in a project with a people from different cultural background?

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Cross Cultural Communication Barriers

The first barrier which the manager or the team leader might face is the language and this is the most important factor which the success of the project is based on it. If there is no common language or communication method, than it’s a really huge crises for the team to fulfill their tasks. Sometimes the language might be the same but the speaking is fluent for example the team members might have different accent which might affect the progress of the task. The other factor where the manager or the team leader has to be aware off is on how to establish a trust among the team member so everyone can feel the fairness and they are equal. During the presentation the manger should be aware about the team member cultural background because every culture has its own body language for example some sign means excellence in some cultures but at the time it means curses and threat in others. The most important factors are to respect the religious beliefs. Each culture has its own religious believes for example most of the people who are from east of Asia are Buddha but in middle east the majority are Muslims and on the other hand in the west it has many different religious but the major of people are Christian. Sometimes because of religions background some issues might appear where the team member don’t want to interact with other members who are from different religious which will result in poor progress, lose of trust and weak communications channels among the team members. At last but not least that each culture has its own social habits where its play a big impact on the communication channels specially if its for establishing a relationship with a foreign organization for example some culture when they speak they keep a huge personal area between them but on the other hands some does the opposite where the personal area is almost close as toe to toe. Another example is the meal timing and the number of meals they have per day some of them might have lunch at 12 PM afternoon but some of them might have it 5 PM at noon. Some cultures they are used to have 2 – 3 meals per day but some are used to have almost 5 meals a day. These are briefly the main barrier which might occur within the team members from different background.


After going through the barriers and the obstacles which the manage or the team leader might face, lets cover the solutions and the recommended behavior which will counter the barriers and will help you to avoid embarrassment and unpleasant event which might occur because of cultural differences. First of all the team leader or the manager should be aware of his team member background and where they are from. The manger should set a fix communication channel where everyone is familiar with so they can interact with each other successfully for example set and speak a common language between the team members. Sometimes the team member has a different accent and slang for the same language so he has to be careful regarding this matter. One of the most important things the manager should never do is to pick any member as his favorite because it will create jealousy between the team members so he must treat them as an equal. Divide the task among your team member so you can gain their trust and to encourage them. The leader should read about different culture behavior and body language so he can avoid any offended sign. Respecting other religious believes is very important if the team member having a religious conflict with each other better to solve it at the earliest or to isolate them from each other because it will have a huge impact on the progress of the work. Finally the manager should read about other cultures and try to understand their habits and social behavior so every can feel comfortable while working. A successful manager is the one who is reading and able to create a clear communication channels with his team member

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In conclusion understanding other cultures is very important to have a successful relation with others. The education sector is focusing a lot on the cross culture communications field where they start teaching it as main subject in their curriculum. After the cold war the business started to identify it as a main factor to expand so they have developed many courses and training to prepare their employees for overseas posts. Every organization has its own culture whether it’s locally or internationally. Sometimes the business need to form a team where its member are from different background even though some obstacles and barriers are appearing but on the hands many solutions an advices are there so they have to co-exist to complete their tasks. It’s recommended that the team leader or the manager to do some reading regarding cultural differences where it will come in handy when it’s required.

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