How to Run a Meeting of People from Different Cultures

Posted: December 16, 2015 in College and Career Readiness, communication
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Multicultural meetings can be tricky to lead. “People bring their cultural baggage with them wherever they go—and that includes the workplace,” says Jeanne M. Brett, professor of dispute resolution and negotiations at Kellogg School of Management. Communication styles vary from culture to culture as do notions of authority and hierarchy, which only heightens the potential for misunderstanding and hard feelings. “If you don’t prepare for cultural differences and anticipate them at the front end, they’re a lot harder to deal with after the fact,” she says. It’s daunting but you needn’t feel overwhelmed, says Erin Meyer, a professor at INSEAD and the author of The Culture Maps. Approach your cross-cultural meeting with an open mind. And, have faith in your abilities because “you likely have more experience than you know,” adds Andy Molinsky, professor of organizational behavior at Brandeis University International Business School and the author of the book Global Dexterity. “You’ve probably run meetings where there was quite a lot of diversity, be it gender diversity, functional diversity, seniority diversity, or just different personalities—culture is one more element,” he says. Here are some ideas to help ensure that your multicultural meetings go smoothly.

Source: How to Run a Meeting of People from Different Cultures


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