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Managing in the Global Environment

Essay by   •  August 22, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  1,130 Words (5 Pages)  •  619 Views

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Intercultural communication is highly complex and requires people to assess their environment and context in which they are working in to be culturally sensitive; to adjust their communication style accordingly (Deresky 2014). It is a concept I engage with on a daily basis but was unfamiliar with its importance and nuances until I studied this unit. Working in a multicultural has enabled me to uncover competencies and approaches paramount in the success of a global manager.

During the beginning of the semester, our class had to arrange in groups consisting of students from varying cultures – mine consisted of two Australians, one Sri-Lankan, one Chinese and me from the Philippines. As our class engaged in group exercises, I was quick to recognise a parallel between the environment of the classroom and my own place of work.

After the completion of my comparative analysis, I have discovered that the Philippines is a high-context leaning culture where feelings and thoughts are not explicitly expressed (Ocampo 2014). A high-context background coupled with an introverted personality has led for my participation to the group to be relatively shallow and has hindered my ability to communicate and negotiate with my peers; especially those who are extroverted (often those from a low-context culture). As a future global manager, Schneider and Barsoux (2014) suggests that an extrovert personality trait is a competency related to effective management. Furthermore, the development of personal self-esteem and self-confidence is paramount for a future global manager. Not only does this boost my ability to maintain interpersonal relationships but will further my engagement with people from other cultures; gain the confidence in speaking to groups of people, those in power and from different backgrounds.

Our group discussions were sometimes met with myself disagreeing with my peers. Whether it had been miscommunication between me and other group members or having to negotiate on who would have to present their findings to the class. I felt frustrated because I was adamant that my findings were correct or having to present to the class consecutively despite agreeing we would all take turns. Instead of speaking my mind I would remain silent because I wanted to preserve interpersonal relationships and not escalate into conflict. Additionally, I was able to draw the same traits with other members of my group. Peers from China and Sri-Lanka belong to a high-context society and were very reserved, leaving the in-class participation to myself or my Australian peers who are of low-context culture (Jayatilleke and Gunawardena 2016).

While I engage with people of different backgrounds all the time; whether it be from university or work, I have discovered from that my communication skills are not up to the standard of a leader – one who motivates and guides the team. As such, I will need to be culturally sensitive and employ active listening when communicating with those from all backgrounds particularly those from a high-context culture. Moreover, practicing empathy and open-mindedness. These techniques will not only allow me to understand different points of view and overcome misunderstanding when working in groups but enhance my ability to listen and contextualise other opinions, rather than simply disregarding what others might say (Deresky 2014). Schneider and Barsoux (2014) suggest that open-mindedness is a competency that allows managers to be “astute and continually aware… on what influences different political and economic events” that may happen on a business. As such, reinforcing the attributes of an “international manager”; one that has a global mindset to better communicate with all stakeholders and understand the range of business context in which it operates (Schneider and Barsoux 2014).

Additionally, understanding the nature and theories of motivation is paramount for a future manager. While it is clear motivation for each week’s group activity was low the inability to motivate my peers to engage with each other and the entire class is frustrating. With reference to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, many people seem to believe that it is very Western in its approach (Deresky 2014). According to Gambrel and Cianci (2013), an Eastern perspective for the Hierarchy of Needs is suggested alongside the original approach to align with all backgrounds. The lack of motivation or participation expressed by my Chinese and Sri-Lankan peers was expressed simply due to the lack of communication from myself. An Eastern approach places more value on self-actualisation in service of society and security as intrinsic needs (Deresky 2014). In future I shall take the time to understand each intrinsic needs to inspire motivation, rather than remaining quiet or unsuccessfully attempting to delegate tasks. Upon reflection, it is clear other members of my group share the same intrinsic motivation of doing well in class. However, a good manager will understand that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is not only required but can vary from culture to culture. As I develop my managerial competencies, both perspectives of the Hierarchy of Needs will be instrumental when communicating, negotiating and motivating my peers and future employees.

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