Multicultural & Virtual Team Coaching

Team diversity

Do you manage, or are you a member of, a multicultural group of people?

Today a significant part of worldwide business is carried out by international teams. They may be temporary or permanent and tackle different tasks: product launches, setting up joint ventures, devising new strategies in sales and marketing, establishing new HR processes globally. International teams may be characterized by considerable cultural diversity – national, professional, corporate. Though this diversity may be a source of strength, the team will need to find solutions to the challenges of internal integration before it can solve ones of external adaptation – which may involve collaborating with other teams.

For teams working in or with international operations, it is essential that managers and employees have knowledge of different nationalities’ attitudes and values ​​and can handle cultural business-related reactions and behaviors. The same is true of the team created through a merger, where different corporate cultures and leadership styles must be rapidly assimilated. Studies show that companies focusing on intangible “due diligence” values in their cross-cultural employee training have more than twice as much chance of success as companies that do not. Research on “team performance” also shows that multicultural and complex teams that manage to protect and identify their potential strengths perform significantly better than homogeneous teams. The worst performing teams are multicultural teams that ignore differences or allow them to become an obstacle.

Richard Lewis Communications PLC and Talent Sweden AB have jointly developed a concept that combines team coaching and cross-culture training in a 6-12 month needs-based process. The focus here is on positivity and productivity factors proven to be critical success criteria for multicultural and complex teams.

How does it work?

During an initial working meeting, we identify and establish company-specific needs and primary needs. We then perform a customized mapping and detailed situation analysis of the current team, using a Team Diagnostic Assessment ™ and a Culture Active Assessment, to get a picture of participant profiles in “the Lewis Model”. During an intensive workshop we go through the team‘s TDA & CAA results, working with practical exercises and formulating goals and concrete action plans. This is followed by monthly meetings, where the team works together with two coaches who coach, support, train and provide feedback. This is team coaching interspersed with needs-based cross-culture training and lectures. It is all followed up with a new TDA analysis and final workshop to evaluate the team‘s development and future.
Our workshop looks at the different types of international teams, the relative weaknesses and strengths of mono-cultural and multicultural teams, and the interplay between different nationalities and cultural categories. You will learn how to create a winning multicultural team.

Sample contents:

• Diversity and compatibility – the three major cultural categories
• Diversity – bonus or drawback?
• Interactive exercises in teams, highlighting different styles
• National strengths, weaknesses, insights, blind spots
• The language factor
• Leading the team
• Motivating people
• Speech styles, meeting procedures
• Communicating in English
• Humor
• Decision-making, compromise and conflict avoidance
• Challenge and change
• Trust in the team