Blogs for Culture Vultures

The 5 Pillars of High Performing Multicultural Teams


Working in culturally diverse teams is becoming more common.

Communicating and collaborating across time zones, languages and cultures can be challenging.

However, when multicultural teams are managed with purpose, they can perform incredibly well.

Leveraging differences, especially cultural, produces teams that offer creativity, innovation and better overall ROI.

So, what can be done to get the best out of a multicultural team?

Well, here’s 5 fundamental principles that offer a solid foundation from which to start.

1. Shared Team Goals

Teams need to know their collective purpose.

Without a common course of action, it’s normal for multicultural teams to fragment and become ineffective.

Unity is essential in a structure that is naturally disparate, making it all the more crucial for team members to understand their contributions to an overall objective.

A team with clarity of purpose is one that manages differences.


2. Complementary Skills

Teams need to have a wide range of skills and personality types.

To achieve their goals, teams need people with experience as well as those with fresh eyes; they need practical skills as well as academic skills; they need organisers as well as dreamers.

Multicultural teams working in the global marketplace also need collaborative skills, whether speaking foreign languages or being able to negotiate around the world.

A team with a complementary skill set is a competitive team.


3. Clear Responsibilities

Teams need clear guidance as to where accountability resides.

Cultural differences around the role of a boss and where the lines of liability are drawn can cause confusion in multicultural teams.

Teams need explicit guidance as to what the differing roles within a team do, and what they are ultimately each responsible for.

A team with clear responsibilities is one that collaborates more effectively.


4. Collaborative Technology

Teams need a technological framework in which to work with one another.

Multicultural teams will naturally have differences within them in how people like to get their work done, share information and create consensus.

Offering teams various technologies can help its members work more collaboratively as well as overcoming the barriers of time and space.

A team with strong technological support is more connected.


5. Cultural Competence

Teams need to understand the rules that define them.

Working with people from other cultures requires an awareness of cultural differences and the competence to manage them in the workplace.

Teams that demonstrate cultural adaptability, find it quicker and easier to establish their own ‘team culture’.

A team that is culturally competence is better suited to succeeding in the global marketplace.

Team Building Training via Webinar

online lesson

 We work with multicultural teams around the world.

Our job, as trainers, is to help teams improve performance – whether that be improving team collaboration or learning to work more effectively in another country.

If you have a team that could benefit from some training, then have a look at our webinars for multicultural teams.

These are customised courses delivered online to your teams.

eLearning Course on Cultural Competence


 We also offer a ready-to-go eLearning course for professionals working in multicultural teams.

Our Cultural Competence Course is available for teams to use as a stand-alone training solution or as part of blended learning.

The course covers the 3 key areas of communication, team-work and leadership and is perfect for those working with colleagues from different cultures.


Blog image by fauxels from Pexels

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