- Professionals need to be able to function and communicate effectively as a member of a team of individuals from diverse backgrounds. What are some of the challenges involved in establishing and maintaining effective communication on this type of cross-cultural team?
One of the hardest challenges to face working in a cross-cultural environment as a Colombian in my opinion is to accurately understand when native english speakers talk. Although I regard myself as having a pretty good English level, for me is easier to understand a lecture or a presentation when just one person is talking about a given topic or idea than in group sessions when people of different accents might use a variety of idioms/expressions and speak in a less organized way as is common in a brainstorming activity, for instance. To be honest, that is the toughest challenge I could think about.
There are other less difficult challenges such as identify people’s talents to assign roles or set a schedule for meetings that fits into everyone’s agenda but in my opinion the understanding of the language in informal situations is the hardest part.
- What new perspectives are you learning about global business?
- Early in the program, I realized the importance of being able to bear with change and being willing to adapt myself to whatever new challenge that might come. Particularly I’m talking about the moment I discovered that the project was gonna be about the implementation of software for a health care company specializing in the elderly, ‘cause until then I didn’t know anything about the technology industry, let alone the elderly care one. So I’ve been adapting myself for this new task since then.
- I also noticed the wide variety of topics that get interlinked in the business field; a corporate issue has implications in the law, marketing, and even technology field, just to name some.
- Lastly, thanks to this experience I’ve been enhancing my active listening skills, because I came to realize the importance of deep understanding the ideas that people (in this case the client) try to express; not just superficially get the words, but truly get the message out of the sentences.