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Why Cultural Agility Is a Competitive Advantage for Leaders

Why Cultural Agility Is a Competitive Advantage for Leaders



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Different Cultures, Same Workplace

 In most Asian cultures, hierarchies are respected. Workers rarely confront or question their superiors. People are also group-oriented and socialized to maintain harmony in relationships rather than cause conflict.  

As the leader of a global team, one has to comprehend cultural agili...

Step 1: Self-Awareness

We don't often "see" our own culture and tend to assume everyone else is just like us and speaks the same language, laughs at the same jokes, and understands the same idioms and slang terms. To build awareness, get off autopilot and think of communicating cross-culturally as driving in a foreign ...

Working With Different Cultures

For today's global organizations, cultural agility is the new competitive edge. Leaders who understand cultural differences and nuances are more adaptable and inclusive. They can more successfully navigate the complex dynamics of global, multicultural teams -- and clients.

Step 2: Understand that Culture Is Complex

We often think of culture in terms of the things we can hear and see, like language, clothing, music, food, and behaviours. But much of what makes up culture lies below the waterline, if we are to think of culture as an iceberg. Some of the most impactful elements are things we can't see, like pe...

Culture also goes beyond nationality. There can be cultural differences among identity groups, geographic regions, even within departments of an organization. Cultural agility is a useful skill for anyone leading people different from themselves. As you learn about these differences, seek to unde...

After you've built self-awareness and understood the cultures of the people you work with, it's time to bridge differences by adopting new behaviours.

Leaders who develop their cultural agility can effectively navigate multiple sets of cultural norms and build positive relationships.

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