Leadership skills are very important. A leader can have the technical knowledge on how to lead an organisation but may sometimes still fall short. He or she may find that some are easy to lead, while others are not. Some employees are more than willing to meet halfway, but others may require a bit more effort to reach. There are a lot of reasons why this can happen and one of them is cultural differences.
Is learning about other cultures important for my organisation?
Cultural norms are deeply ingrained in our personalities, whether we notice them or not. Our cultural background can have a profound effect on our relationship with others, including in the workplace. To be an effective leader, he or she should have a clear understanding of other cultures or a level of cultural competence. Here are 4 reasons why a leader should start learning about other cultures.
It can unlock your employees’ full potential
As mentioned, one’s background has a profound effect on our relationship with others. It may not be immediately obvious but these differences may hamper your company’s growth. However, by understanding that working with these cultural differences can you truly unlock the potential of your employees. To be able to do this effectively, it requires a leader to be humble enough to recognise the need for understanding and diplomacy.
Understanding others should be a way of life
Developing and practising cultural competence is not just about understanding other cultures and learning how to control them using a set of strategies. Rather, it is a way of life wherein your deep respect for others as an individual drive you to adjust and understand them. At the end of the day, it is not the strategies that matter. It is suspending judgement of others when opinions differ. It is also asking questions to understand, rather than asking questions with the purpose of winning an argument or proving your point.
It motivates others
Having a leader who truly understands and appreciates your uniqueness as an individual will be a great motivation for your employees. When employees feel recognised and valued in an organisation, it will ignite a strong sense of loyalty. It will push the employees to always give their very best in their job and ultimately contributes to the company’s growth as a whole. It helps build teams that create synergy and cooperation.
A healthy workplace translates to an excellent customer experience
Some leaders may think that driving cultural competence does not have an immediate impact on their client base. However, experts say that having a culturally diverse organisation can help broaden the customer base in a very competitive environment. Organisations who make conscious efforts to become an inclusive workplace will attract diverse clients as well. Clients will feel welcomed and unthreatened no matter what their cultural background is.
Indeed, developing cultural competence starts with good leadership. Leaders should be good role models of understanding and respecting other cultures. Doing so requires having a different mindset and acquiring it as a way of life.
Be confident to talk about culture and tackle cultural differences, if you need any help, then get in touch with me today.