HR Managers must think universally!

HR Managers must think universally!

There are all kinds of people around the world! When you try to talk to British HR about internationalizing, its collective eyes quite often start to glaze over very quickly. But it is important that HR managers start thinking internationally right now because we are all international now-or if we are not, we soon will be. As the domestic and international diversity agendas are emerging, we have mixed workforces, deal with foreign visitors and communicate with people across the world by phone and email. More and more of us work in international organisation s or work with organisation s abroad.

To be international successful working means exercising a range of competences and behavior that we need when we are working with people who have very different backgrounds and reflexes from our own. People need to develop the habit of reading the non-linguistic signals that others are sending out and also reading the impact of the signals they themselves are sending out. They need to be slow about making judgments about people very different from themselves. They need to be aware of their own communication style and be able to adapt it people with styles very different from their own.

HR people not only need awareness of competences that they and their people need but they need to know how to manage cultural difference. When there is a clash of behavior or values, as we all know only too well, we can start to feel confused, defensive, angry, and judgmental about the other, and sure that our way is the right way. In fact, what we need to do is surface the misunderstandings - discuss them, hear the others' point of view, listen and try to understand; and then try to reach an agreement about how to proceed that both parties can accept. In other words, we need to negotiate - processes in particular.

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  • Last modified on Monday, 07 December 2015 09:40
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