The challenges of working with cross-cultural teams

February 7th 2023

Today I want to talk to you about cross-cultural teams, but before we can delve into the challenges of working in cross-cultural teams, it is necessary to define it.

A cross-cultural team is a task-oriented collective group whose members have different nationalities and diverse cultural backgrounds (Early and Gibson, 2002). That is, the members of these teams have spent a significant part of their training in different countries and have consequently learned different values and behaviours.

Today we live in a globalised world, so these teams are a palpable reality in companies.

Being surrounded by people from different cultures and, therefore, different backgrounds, implies different challenges for the people who make up these working groups.

The different members of these teams have to develop a wide range of skills such as empathy to respect and understand different cultures, which means that we learn to communicate in a more effective and appropriate way to be able to coexist within this diversity.

Flexibility towards different working styles, communication, motivational factors, etc., is also indispensable. This capacity enables us to adapt to different realities and ways of understanding the world, thus developing our soft skills. In addition, all this multiculturalism gives us the ability to analyse different perspectives on life, and provides us with an enormous legacy of experience and knowledge that allows us to empower ourselves, not only on a professional level, but also on a personal level.

It also helps us to increase creativity and dynamism among the members, and especially in the results, as the variety of views and ideas "allows" for a variety of perspectives in problem solving, as well as in the results.

Personally, I believe that interculturality enriches us, helps us to enhance our soft skills and learn from different backgrounds. These working groups are powerful because they are full of diversity, which is the best opportunity to innovate new solutions.

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