The key to every successful business is being able to work effectively in a global diverse team. According to Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, “Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.” Therefore, Coventry University not only educates its students but also prepares them to enter the world of work due to which it works hard to ensure that it can provide an atmosphere of diversity for its students and create a culture that embraces differences and respects the ideas of others.
During my journey at Coventry University throughout this term, I got a chance to communicate and work with people from across the globe. All my team mates did a great job and contributed to the team in their own way, however, there were times when all my team mates had a difference of opinion which made it hard for us to agree on one thing, but we managed to reach a consensus.
This was mainly because of the cultural differences between my team members. All my team members were hard working and responsible when it came to accomplishing their assigned tasks or accepting responsibility, however, when it came to presenting together as a group, everyone had a separate way of interacting and delivering the presentation to the audience.
All my team members were very helpful and dependent on each other which is all team work is about. An English girl in my team who was also the team leader, was very skilled in IT and I’ve always been good at laying out presentations so when we were asked to make a poster for our mid-term presentation in week 6, everyone did thorough research for their assigned parts and though it took me longer than usual to find the information I needed, we managed to get done with it before the assigned time keeping the plagiarism rate as low as possible, after which I presented the lay out I had come up with for the poster to ask my team members for their approval or if they had any suggestions on how I could improve it, but my team members were very supportive and immediately agreed on the lay out after which our team leader did an exceptional job putting it together and got it printed on time.
During my weekly class activities, I got a chance to work with people who were not very comfortable and confident with working in a team. They believed that they were much more effective in working independently. Working with such people is a big challenge for people who go through easy with team work. My other team members and I had a constant fear of not being good enough as compared to other groups in the class due to our team members not being efficient and participative enough.
According to some cultures, introducing yourself to the audience isn’t important, one must get directly to the point, however, others felt the need to come up with a formal introduction about themselves and about their part of the presentation before starting.
Since I come from a high context culture that rely’s on unspoken or situational cues as well as spoken or written words in communication such as voice tone, gestures or facial expressions (Aboujanah, 2018), I did not have a hard time communicating and working with people in my group who also belonged to a high context culture as it made organising activities and putting the work together simpler for us however, my team had two members who belonged to a low context culture which emphasizes communication via spoken or written words only (Aboujanah, 2018) and since they were very shy and not very vocal, communicating with them was a big hassle for us as most of our time would be spent coordinating activities with them and trying to confirm whether or not we were all on the same page but since most of us were very patient, we managed to work together effectively.
While presenting, some did not hesitate paper reading, however, others thought that it was rude to paper read or to read from the slide and that they must look directly towards the audience while delivering their part to indicate honesty. Another cultural difference was the tone of the person while conducting a presentation. In some cultures, a high pitch tone is seen to be confident, convincing and helpful to engage the audience however, according to others it is seen to be impolite and that one most keep their tone decent.
At last, the main conflict was which culture should be adopted while delivering the presentation. We decided that we will represent the culture of the company that we are to present in the presentation which made things easier however, it was hard for people from low context cultures to adapt high context culture even if it was just for a few minutes during a small presentation.
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