Module 3 SLP Essay.
Module 3 SLP
Leaders and Leadership
Most of what is written about leadership has been written by western scholars and practitioners—mostly from the United States. Thus, what we have studied in this module so far reflects western assumptions and values about how to improve leadership performance.
But leadership quality, we know, is mostly about perception. If the followers perceive that a person is a leader, that person will be treated with respect and the followers will grant him the power and authority to guide their actions. These perceptions can vary across cultures, and successful global leaders know that leadership is viewed differently in different cultures and modify their behaviors to align with culturally diverse expectations. This is what is called Cultural Intelligence.
(If this is a topic that particularly interests you and you would like to increase your capacity for cultural intelligence, you are encouraged to enroll in LED520: Cross-Cultural Communication and Leadership. This course can serve as an elective in several degree programs.)
The following reading discusses the importance of cultural awareness in increasing organizational effectiveness:
O’Reilly, C. (2013). Why is cultural intelligence important? Retrieved from http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/topic/soft-skills/why-cultuiral-intelligence-important/181942
In this exercise, there are two sets of quizzes (A & B) that you will participate in.
- Select either the Cross Cultural Work Scenarios or Working Globally Across Cultures quiz from http://www.commisceo-global.com/quizzes/cultural-awareness-quizzes?view=qcategory&cat_id=39
- Choose any one of the country quizzes at http://www.commisceo-global.com/quizzes/cultural-awareness-quizzes?view=qcategory&cat_id=41 that looks interesting to you.
After completing the quizzes, address the following questions in a 2- to 3-page essay:
- Which quizzes did you take?
- Include your actual results in an Appendix at the end of your paper.
- Were you surprised at your score?
- What strengths do you think you have in the area of inter-cultural awareness?
- What weaknesses are you able to identify?
- If there were gaps between your assessment results and your own thoughts about your level of cultural awareness, why do these gaps exist?
- Create a plan of specific, concrete actions you can take to build on your strengths and improve areas of weakness so that you improve your cultural awareness.
- Why is it important for managers to increase their levels of cultural awareness?
Module 3 SLP Essay.
I took the Working Globally Across Cultures quiz, and in the country section, I selected China. I was surprised by the questions in the quiz since they involve the simple activities that one may assume about a foreign culture. I was surprised at my score especially in the country quiz where I scored poorly due to a lack of proper knowledge of the Chinese culture.
I do not think I possess any particular strengths in the area of inter-cultural awareness and I need to study much more about other cultures. However, I was good with the questions revolving general ethics behaviour.
I noticed a significant weakness in job relations and negotiation protocols to observe when interacting on a business level. The Asian countries, especially, have some behaviours to look out for when negotiating. I did not understand most of the requirements when dealing with these cultures.
Some gaps existed between my results and my thought on my level of cultural awareness. It became evident that I knew very little regarding the cultures to which I was responding. Some of the responses that made sense to me were wrong, and it showed the vast difference between beliefs and ways of life across cultures.
Multinationals have spread business locations around the world, and some people will have to work outside the confines of their national borders (Notredameonline.com, 2017). It is vital to learn more about the cultures of others to enable one to work and coordinate effortlessly with colleagues in another country. Improving the cultural awareness is more than learning to speak the language of the new country. It means understanding the verbal and non-verbal communication (Culturaldiversity.com.au, 2015). My plan involves the use of various strategies to understand the local culture:
Appreciate the differences- the first step is to acknowledge the different culture and set a task of learning the subtleties in behaviour and their history to know them better.
Asking questions- many people are scared of appearing stupid, but it is good to engage the people and ask some questions regarding the culture. It is okay to admit when you do not know and ask the residents.
Observation- sometimes, it’s nice to sit back and let everything soak in as I watch the daily interactions and job relations involving the people of a particular culture. Talking less and listening more is a good way to understand the culture effectively (O’Reilly, 2013).
Engaging in intercultural training programs is a faster method than the rest. The method allows the learner to understand various aspects of the culture relevant to the job environment. It is a valuable asset for the workers in a foreign country.
It is important for managers to learn about other cultures where they operate. In fact, when companies relocate or open new markets in other countries, the priority goes to people that understand the culture (Maclachla, 2010). Managers have realised that it increases efficiency in productivity since individuals who understand the local climate can coordinate with the other locals. Cultural awareness is not an optional asset, but it has become a necessity for workers who operate in foreign countries.
awareness is a crucial tool that could mean the difference between making a
successful deal or ending up in failed negotiations (O’Reilly,
2013). Cultural awareness could be developed at social and
professional levels and enable employees to function better in foreign
countries. A lack of cultural awareness could lead to misunderstandings when
people assume that everyone is alike and fail to observe minute details like
handshakes and eye contact among others. Blunders like these could sever ties
with acquaintances and colleagues who might consider it a lack of respect.
Culturally aware managers will have more success working with the people than
those who are not.
Culturaldiversity.com.au. (2015). Cultural Awareness. Culturaldiversity.com.au. Retrieved 4 May 2017, from http://www.culturaldiversity.com.au/resources/practice-guides/cultural-awareness
Maclachlan, M. (2010). Importance of Cultural Awareness Skills for an International Workforce. Communicaid.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017, from https://www.communicaid.com/cross-cultural-training/blog/cultural-awareness-training/
Notredameonline.com. (2017). Developing Your Cultural Awareness. Notredameonline.com. Retrieved 4 May 2017, from https://www.notredameonline.com/resources/intercultural-management/developing-your-cultural-awareness/#.WQrjuVWGOiM
O’Reilly, C. (2013). Why is cultural intelligence important?. TrainingZone. Retrieved 4 May 2017, from http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/develop/talent/why-is-cultural-intelligence-important