Trust is the glueKleber; hier: Bindegliedglue that keeps global teams together. This means that technology is your enemy, not your friend. Technology to ensure sth.etw. sicherstellenensures that we communicate more than ever but understand each other as little as ever. Good communication builds trust; poor communication destroys it.
Even in a domesticinländisch; hier: mit nur einer Nationalitätdomestic team, misunderstandings arise. Noise to garble sth.etw. verzerrengarbles the message between the sender and the receiver. In a global team, the noise is far greater. Language and culture get in the way (of sb./sth.)(jmdm./etw.) im Weg stehen; hier: sich erschwerend (für jmdn./ etw.) auswirkenget in the way. Native English speakers are impossible to understand because they use idiom(idiomatische) Redewendungidioms, cultural references and complex language. But even the simplest words to mislead (sb.)(jmdn.) in die Irre führen; (für jmdn.) missverständlich seinmislead. In Japanese hai can mean “yes”. But it can also mean “I understand (but disagree)”, “what?” or “excuse me”.
Most of the time, you cannot see your team members, and being in different time zones means you have limited opportunities to speak with them. That means that misunderstandings to flourishgedeihen; hier: leicht entstehenflourish. In the office, you can see when someone is not happy or disagrees, and it is easy to walk to their desk and clear things up. Walking 5,000 km to your global colleague’s desk is not a realistic option.
Your job is not to change the cultures of the world, but to make the most of them as they are
The solution is simple: buy a ticket and visit your team. Social time is as important as business time. You have to invest in building both professional and personal trust. to eat outessen gehenEating out is not a waste of time: it is how you can build the basis of effective communication when time and culture separate you. Recognize that your way is not the only way or always the best way. Different cultures work in different ways: your job is not to change the cultures of the world, but to make the most of them as they are.
Leading a global team is an extreme form of leadership. It means making things happen through people who are not like you, who you may not control completely, who think and act differently from you and who you do not see day-to-daytagtäglichday-to-day. Global leadership is the perfect training for leaders of the future. If you can lead a global team, you can lead any team.
Jo Owen is the award-winning author of the book Global Teams, published by the Financial Times. He is the founderGründer(in)founder of eight charitykaritative Organisationcharities with a yearly turnoverUmsatzturnover of more than $100 million. He has started a bank, was a partner at Accenture and has worked with over 100 firms in more than 50 countries. Find out more: www.ilead.guru