agent of arcadia

The three parts to effectively managing up

In Collaboration, Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Leadership, Performance Management, Team, teamwork on August 28, 2017 at 5:05 am

One of the most important elements to working well in a team is about being able to collaborate and work well with your team mates. The other most important element is about being able to work well with, well, your manager. This means having the ability to manage up.

But when it comes to managing up, what comes to mind?

Let’s first get this straight. Managing up is not sucking up to or manipulating the boss or the manager. It’s about being able to support your manager and enhance their role so that you make a formidable team. This means flexing your professional muscles to go above and beyond your job scope so that you can do this. This serves both your manager and your own professional growth.

Managing up doesn’t have to be challenging. The key to managing up is about effectively managing the relationship. And that starts with understanding, and then supporting, the relationship.

There are three parts to managing up. None of these three parts exist without the other. And none of these exist as a first, second or third step; they are each important and yet, dependable on the other. They are altogether equally vital.


How to successfully communicate cross culturally

In Collaboration, Communication, culture, Development, Effectiveness, Language, Leadership, Strategy, Team, teamwork on July 3, 2017 at 6:07 am

Once upon a time, some 100,000 years ago, language was born when a human uttered the first word to another human.

Fast forward to the modern day and language is only a part of how we communicate these days as we navigate our way through other communication complexities such as technology, virtual reality and multiculturism.

As we move swiftly forward in a global entrepreneurial world, multicultural teams become more and more prevalent, and having the ability to break down any communication barriers is vital to ensuring that collaboration and productivity stays at a high.

For as if it’s not hard enough to communicate with someone when you don’t even know their preferred communication style, default behaviors, or conflict preferences, or worse, when you can’t even see their visual cues and body language, as in the case of a remote team, add in time difference, distance and cultural differences, and you won’t be blamed if you sometimes feel as if you might as well throw in the towel. What’s more, all of this can occur even if you’re speaking the same language!

Such triggers can frustrate and give rise to conflict.

Not all is lost though. The very crux of communication is about ownership of the message you send as much as the message received. After all, how can you expect someone to understand you when you can’t even understand yourself? There are some things you can do to strengthen and grow your communication toolkit. And its roots come from more than speaking the same language, indeed, more than what you say or the words you use.

So how do multicultural teams successfully deal with multicultural challenges? One of the most successful ways is to recognize complexities and adapt accordingly. Acknowledge the diversity and rather than focusing on this as a barrier, learn to celebrate this. Identify cultural gaps openly and work around them.

Diplomat and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan once said:

“Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where people are becoming more and more closely interconnected.”

He is not wrong. Successful cross cultural communication stems from cultural intelligence, the success of which depends on three pillars.

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