Have you ever dealt with a colleague who has a very different work style than you?

Or one who is driven by different motivations?

How did you resolve these conflicts in approach and perspective?

Whatever skills you’ve used to confront any collaborative issues you’ve had with your colleagues are likely to pay off in a global virtual team environment.

As we’ve discussed over the past two weeks, cross-cultural remote teams come with their own unique challenges.

Some of them are familiar; some are completely foreign.

I’ve outlined a few below.

Motivating Factors

While we are all motivated by different things – be it money, accolades, achievement, etc. – culture often factors into our motivations.

That’s because different cultures have different values

And values are what often drive motivation.

Some cultures emphasize tangible things; thus, bonuses or other such benefits would be motivators for these team members.

Other cultures value work/life balance, so job satisfaction and time off might be a motivating factor in this case.

Knowing where your team members come from and what they value will help you motivate each member in an individualized way.

Work Style

Often, different work styles are common amongst different cultures.

This often has to do with how the culture views workplace hierarchies.

Are your team members from a culture that demands a strict hierarchy and a top-down approach to management?

Or are they from a culture with a flatter more egalitarian team approach?

On a cross-cultural team, members will have different managerial needs due to their backgrounds, so understanding their work style – whether they need more hands-on or hands-off guidance – will help you better lead them.

Information Gaps

Information gaps on a global virtual team can impact everything from data flows to communication to processing.

Giving all team members access to the right resources for your project goals will ensure that no one falls through the gap.

Doing so will also improve collaboration, as everyone will be working with the same information.

These are just a few challenges that managers face while working with global virtual teams, specifically in a cross-cultural context.

Next week, we’ll talk about challenges that have to do with the virtual environment itself.

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