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How To Lead A Culturally Diverse Team

1579 words - 6 pages

How to Lead a Culturally Diverse Team:
R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr. once said, “Creating and managing a diverse workforce is a process, not a destination” (Alyn). Diversity is something that we come across everyday of our lives. Leading a culturally diverse team should be done carefully, not to discriminate or show bias for one decision making style verses another (Laroche, 2003).
The Fusion Approach:
The fusion approach is based on coexistence of differences and meaningful participation. These two elements of collaboration ensure reachable goals effectively and creatively. In North America, company’s face diverse situations daily. The fusion approach has the basic goal of allowing each member to make his or her own contribution to achieve the team’s goal. Fusion teamwork allows differences to coexist and be talked about (Gwynne, 2009).

Traditional Collaboration:
There are two traditional ways to lead a diverse group. In a more dominant model, specific team members direct the teams by collecting information. These specific individuals are in charge of decision-making. These individuals also tend to disregard differences that are not in line with theirs, and overpower other members’ viewpoints. This approach creates a less culturally intelligent team model because it discourages expressive contribution from other team members and their decision-making (Gwynne, 2009).
Rather than the prior dominant model, a harmonizing model would be the integration, or identity model. This model entails all of the team members to direct their cultural identifies to the entire team in order to find common interests and goals. This advantage boosts every team members’ participation. However, there are two risks that could occur when using this model. While this model incorporates unity in the decision-making process, the team members may suppress their cultural identities in order to think as one. Another risk is that the energy to include every member in the decision-making process could cause the team to function at the level of its least-creative member or take too long to make a critical decision (Gwynne, 2009).
It is important for every team member to contribute, and one way to get people to contribute is by making team groups smaller. If there is a large group, it is best to split members up and conquer a task in which each group is responsible for one part of the task. Leaders can assign team members to specific groups to work on different tasks, then talk about their ideas as a whole group. In order to keep everyone contributing smoothly, the leader should change the small groups frequently. A leader can also choose to place seeded member into the group. A seeded member is an individual who knows what each member can bring to the team, including his or her strengths and knowledge. A seeded member can also encourage the least participating individuals in the team opportunities to speak up and contribute his or her...

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