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Archive for the ‘Collaboration’ Category

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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Influencing with impact

In Collaboration, Communication, Development, Effectiveness, influencing, Leadership, Networking on April 27, 2017 at 6:09 am

Consider someone you know who is an influencer or who has, what you believe to be, effective influencing skills. What is it about them that gets you interested, motivated, or even inspired? Are they passionate and dynamic? Perhaps. Confident? Most definitely. Knowledgeable? Certainly.

Are they a leader?

Not necessarily.

According to John Maxwell, in his book, ‘The 360-Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization’,

“leadership is a choice you make, not a place you sit. Anyone can choose to become a leader wherever he is. You can make a difference no matter where you are… You may be able to grant someone a position, but you cannot grant him real leadership. Influence must be earned.”

So how do you acquire those admirable influencing traits?

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Three ways to manage nerves in a feedback conversation

In Collaboration, Communication, Inspire, Leadership, Performance Management on May 31, 2016 at 1:42 am

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Let’s face it. There are aspects about our jobs that we love and then there are aspects about our jobs that we don’t. Any job. Things we look forward to. And things we don’t.

Like feedback conversations. Nobody looks forward to those. Whether you’re a manager, leader, or coach who has to deliver the feedback, or whether you’re the one who is on the receiving end.

But what is it about feedback conversations that make us uncomfortable? Is it the thought of having to deliver news to someone about what they did that sounds like you’re telling them off, as if they are a child who did something wrong?

Or is it the nerves that hit you just before you’re about to have the conversation that suddenly render you incompetent and fighting to find the right words, or to fill the space when you are met with silence from the receiver that causes you to fumble over more words and approach the situation with verbal vomit?

Feedback conversations don’t necessarily need to be uncomfortable experiences. Nor do they necessarily need to be filled with awkward silence.

But how do you start to deal with your nerves and the emotions that manifest as a result of those nerves? Let’s look at three very basic but powerful ways you can manage nerves and emotion.

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Design Thinking: The future of thinking

In Collaboration, Content, Creative, Design, Development, Effectiveness, Inspire, Instructional Design, Leadership, Learning, Philosophy, Strategy on March 8, 2016 at 11:15 am

Did you know that HR organizations are incorporating Design Thinking into their approach to managing, supporting, and training people? Instead of building ‘programs’ and ‘processes’, they are studying people to aid in the development of interventions, apps, and tools to help make employees less stressed and more productive. This was as reported in Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016.

According to the report, it was also stated that HR needs to upgrade its skills to include design thinking, people analytics, and behavioral economics.

Design Thinking is not a new concept. Giants such as Lego and Google have been practicing this for years. But why are we suddenly sitting up to join the club?

Because when the client or customer can literally take or leave at the touch of a button, loyalty has never been so coveted. And user experience has become gospel truth.

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Networking for leadership enterprise

In Branding, Collaboration, Development, Networking, Personal Branding on December 13, 2015 at 10:52 pm

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Enterprise leadership is the art of encouraging leaders to focus on organizational outcomes and working on behalf of the firm as a whole, as opposed to placing a focus only on their own team. This holistic approach compels consideration at a more strategic level. In other words, working for the greater good.

So as a leader, when you’re invited to events, it’s a good idea to bear this in mind and consider how to leverage from these events to make potential new connections, build on existing relationships and even open up opportunities for the business you represent. It’s not simply about being present at these events, but about strategic networking. So let’s look at some strategies.

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Seven networking strategies even a wallflower can master

In Branding, Collaboration, Communication, Inspire, Marketing, Networking, Personal Branding on December 8, 2015 at 5:02 am

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For anyone who’s done the DiSC® personal assessment tool, I’ve been diagnosed as a high I for Influencer. This means that I am a person who places emphasis on influencing or persuading others, on openness, and on relationships. It also means that I never shy away from a good party, social, or networking event.

But socializing and partying aside, it’s important also to know how to make the most of such events. We’re coming to the end of another year and as we approach the last quarter, it’s about this time that we send out and receive the invitations to Christmas and other end-of-year social parties and events. So as we start to wind down and celebrate the year gone, and think about the fun we can have and the outfit to wear to some of those potentially themed parties, we should also consider the strategic aspect to attending these events.

Indeed, we should think about how to leverage from these events to make potential new connections, build on existing relationships, and even open up opportunities for the New Year.

It’s not enough simply to attend these events, but about strategic networking.

So let’s look at some strategies that should work even if you’re a wallflower.

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Six ways to foster collaboration in the workplace

In Collaboration, Communication, Development, Effectiveness, Leadership, Performance Management, Team on September 15, 2015 at 2:59 am

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There’s a saying that goes: “Competition makes us faster. Collaboration makes us better.”

To attain and maintain a high performing team, sure, it’s important to feel an edge of competition. After all, a healthy amount of competition means you work extra hard to stay ahead of the game.

But competition breeds individualism.

And individualism is the opposite of collaboration.

And where competition encourages silos; collaboration breaks them down.

But we could learn a thing or two from the positive practice of a multi-active culture; a focus on people, connection, and relationships, even in business.

So it seems the focus has shifted. Where once it was about being the fastest in the industry and who could shine the brightest in the team; these days, it’s about putting all our strengths and talents into a collective pool and working together as a team for exceptional results.

Using the metaphor of the shining star, after all, one star can only shine so bright, but a collection of stars, well, you get the gist.

So we’ve come to realise that as a united front, a team can deliver so much more than just one individual.

And perhaps we’ve always realised it – we’ve only just started living and breathing it.

Collaboration. When did it get so popular? Or did it always exist under the pseudonym ‘teamwork’? And has it always been an utopian state most organisations and teams strive for but only a few succeed?

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