Technology has made it easier for organizations to operate with team members scattered across the world. As global teams become the norm, leaders need to know how to manage and collaborate with team members that may be working in other countries or time zones. Here are a few tips for managing a global team.
- Be flexible
Compromise is necessary for all work, especially for international teams. As a leader, it’s important to listen and take into account how your team members prefer to work, which may be different than if everyone is working from one location.
Another tip for managing a global team is to be flexible and sympathetic when it comes to time zones. When possible, using video is a great way to feel closer to your team members. Eye contact is crucial for trust and can help your team feel more connected.
- Learn a language
Did you know that speaking another language can enhance your global leadership skills? Learning a new language can improve a range of skills necessary to manage the diverse needs of an international team. Not only can it help you ease communication about tasks or projects, but it can also help you understand the context of situations on the ground where your team members are located.
With that said, it’s always good to have a non-native English reader look over any global communications before they are sent out. Certain phrases or sayings can create confusion where clarity is required.
- Be involved in the day-to-day
The higher you climb in the ranks, the more difficult it is to stay involved in the day-to-day operations of your organization. However, it’s important to show your team that you support them and can provide guidance and motivation even when you’re not on the front lines.
A good way to stay involved with the day-to-day operations is to ask to sit in on online meetings with your local staff. In other words, be a fly on the wall, and whenever it’s possible, try to be there in person, as well.
- Use the right collaboration tools
In order to brainstorm and innovate with people with diverse backgrounds in faraway places, it’s important to implement the right collaboration tools. Applications like Slack and 15Five are a great example. Not only can these tools help your global team stay in touch, but they can also be used to encourage and build company culture.
As a leader of a global organization, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to grow a team spread across multiple countries successfully. Hopefully these tips will help your team tackle your objectives with ease too.