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Topics: Career Development, Communications Management, Leadership
Bridging High Context & Low Context Cultural gaps- How to be an effective PM in a cross cultural project environment?

bridge gaps between implicit and explicit communications..
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You need to understand misunderstandings will occur. It is how those misunderstandings are handled is what makes all the difference. Foster a sense of trust and comradery and work will become a lot easier.

In a cross cultural context , Explicit communications should be the way to go .
State very clearly what is expected from the team , stress on priorities, deadlines, tasks.
Focus on the end goal and project tasks , not on the individual

Be mindful of religious observances . e.g. periods when a team member may not be available due to their religious traditions. Plan around religious holidays.

For anything communicated, double check that the user has received and understood the content and context and encourage them to ask more questions.

Try to acquaint yourself with the local cultures and traditions of the people in your team if they are different from your own.

Pay special attention when a team member says or writes ...." in our country/place/culture we do it this way....."

Come up with a communication model which suits your context and covers both formal and informal channels. Also, stakeholders mapping is a useful exercise to perform at this stage.

There is another thing that I realized and would like to add to your points, which is spending more time with my international team(Networking, Team building). But I hardly have had time to do that. we only have couple of working hours overlap within our time-zones. And that time will be spent with updates & other project related discussions.

One of the key reasons for why I wanted to have a personal connection with my international team is that they are not opening up with me. treat me like their internal client and keep me at a distance.

How do I bridge this gap of personal connection with my own international team when our time-zones are far apart?

more communication, asking for approval, double check the important thing are the key factors in such an environment.

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