Its blessing to work with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds. Sometimes these differences can bring some unwanted issues in the teams. Being a team leader, you got to be very sensitive about it as it can lead to some conflict; result definitely is low team morale, low productivity and lack of team work.
Team leader has to make an effort that such issues do not arise and keep the good teamwork going.
- Communication – Some individuals may have trouble communicating the point and are isolated in group; team members should listen patiently and speak slowly as this individual is trying his or her best to explain.
- Groupism – Team members form their groups based on their backgrounds, spoken language, or other differences; team members should enjoy the differences by learning words of other languages, different type of foods, etc.
- Skills – Sometime experienced or too technical individual discount new comer or individual with skills not considered ‘hot’ in the group; every one possesses some kind of speciality, learn from each other.
- Gender – If a team is male dominated, female team member is often discounted and opposite is also true; respect the differences.
- Age – Sometimes young technical people think their older team members are far behind in technology or bringing old concepts OR the other way older team members feel generation Y team member does not know much about workplace.
We have to remember that people with different age, background, culture bring different perspective to team. When diverse people work together, they generate excellent and creative ideas, work products and also complement each other. Team leader has to help diverse team acknowledge their differences and sort out any issues in a positive manner.