How to manage a global team

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

Teams are often spread across the globe, working remotely across countries and time zones, creating both benefits and challenges for leaders and organisations.

Global teams grapple with language barriers, cultural differences and communication issues but there are simple, familiar solutions to these problems.

In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks with business consultant and cross-cultural expert Yvonne Burton about how to set yourself up for success when working with a global team.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • There are four main reasons global teams fail: failure to build trust, communication issues, unclear goals, and a misalignment between individual goals and team goals.
  • Establishing relationships between team members and setting shared team values, goals and boundaries is crucial.
  • One location can become more powerful than others if control is not shared across borders. The whole team’s performance should be tied together.
  • Differences in culture can mean divides in values, lifestyles, political views, and education levels but this can be overcome with curiosity and mutual respect.
  • The team leader should have the skills to handle the different personalities of team members as well as strong problem solving and communication skills. They must create an environment that engages people and makes them feel valued and heard.
  • Global teams can struggle with vast differences in communication skills and language abilities.
  • Establishing clear lines of communication and expectation for what should be communicated is important.
  • The team goals should be made clear to all team members from the outset, with context of how the goals fit into the larger project or organisation.
  • Each team member should also know how their individual role and responsibilities fit into the goals of the project. 
  • Creating agreements about how the team will work together will make the team more effective and efficient.
  • Leaders should keep feedback constructive and remember to give praise when warranted.

About Yvonne:

Yvonne Burton combines technology expertise, Japanese cross-cultural experience, communication skills and business analysis methodologies to provide consulting, coaching, and facilitation services that empower and guide individuals and global teams to new levels of success. 

Whether supporting global technology projects, virtualizing services, or helping to improve business communications, Yvonne troubleshoots issues, and designs custom ‘curriculums’ for Japanese and global clients that provide strategies and tools to create dynamic outcomes. 

You can connect with Yvonne on LinkedIn.