We learned an interesting lesson today while discussing “Cultural Intelligence”. It reminded me of the many interactions with different employees over the years whose origins covered all corners of the World.

I always thought that being direct and unequivocal was a positive approach until the day I was perceived to be too direct. What happened, I have acted like this dozens of times and have received positive feedback for being transparent and for saying  things the way they are.

What I learned that day many years ago that a single approach doesn’t work especially not in a multi-cultural environment where someone from Asia, South-America or even the Bronx might react very differently from each other.

Therefor, we need to adjust to the individual we are trying to communicate with. We need to take the time to understand our staff members as individuals from diverse backgrounds. We need to learn more about their religions, their customs and their preferred way of communicating.

Sometimes being direct is too direct and it will certainly have the opposite of your desired effect. Be thoughtful and mindful in your approach, don’t be reactive instead be responsive which requires conscious thought before commenting.

As a positude leader, make it your business to learn more about “Cultural Intelligence”, you will be a better leader because of it. Similar to “Emotional Intelligence”, it takes practice and continuous learning to be great at it.

Temper your directness to the individual to ensure your approach is balanced!

-W

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