Working together inter-culturally on international projects
Each and every project calls for change. Not only in terms of processes and structures, but also with people, due to the fact that their work will often have to change as a result of the project. For this reason, the success of any project requires that precisely these individuals are willing to work in a constructive manner and grasp the project as something positive that they will actively support.
To the project management team, the people who participate in the project represent a key success factor for the project itself. How the members of the project team make decisions, act and communicate is of immense importance.
Whenever an international team works together to realize a project, this represents a unique challenge. Often differences in values, norms, thinking patterns and behavior can lead to either open or hidden conflicts that are destructive in any case. Getting into guessing games to learn whether the other person actually means what he is saying only serves to complicate matters even more.
Here, even minor issues can disturb the flow of communication in a big way and put an end to constructive discussions.
Communication is much more than merely verbal language. Studies have shown that we react to non-verbal signals, such as mimics and gestures, 55% of the time, inflection and the speed of speech 38% of the time and content only about 7% of the time. However, mimics, gestures, inflection and the speed of speech is highly dependent upon someone’s cultural upbringing.
What would project-related communication involving European, Asian and American team members look like? Perhaps you’re already sensing how much need there will be to coordinate efforts and how much inter-cultural know how is required in order for an international project to be executed successfully.
The failure of international projects is often attributed to cultural differences. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. PROLOGIS offers you years of experience in the area of successfully managing international projects.