Seeing the Invisible…
The Growing Importance of Self-Awareness in an Increasingly Remote, Multinational Workforce
In this issue: Seeing the Invisible…/ Americans are stuck in unhealthy pandemic habits. Here's how to reboot / How does stress impact your health? / The Lighter Side of Remote Work
Why you’re getting this:
I'm Andrea J. Miller and this is my “On Leading Well” Newsletter. I send this to people in my networks, people I’ve met recently, and friends I want to keep in touch with. You can unsubscribe (SEE THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE EMAIL) anytime, I won’t be offended
Seeing the Invisible… The Growing Importance of Self-Awareness in an Increasingly Remote, Multinational Workforce
The morning begins with a Zoom call with teammates in Europe.
Later in the day, you’re speaking to colleagues in Latin America.
And, of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without saying good night or is it good morning to your coworkers in the Asia Pacific.
We’re in the midst of not only a remote-work revolution but a multicultural one.
Working remotely hasn’t only changed the US hiring landscape it’s changed the global one.
If companies let their people work from anywhere then why not hire from anywhere.
This has led some U.S. and other technology companies to widen recruiting to new, growing markets like Latin America among others.
According to a recent report by Deel, the number of foreign companies hiring from Latin America has increased by 156%.
Highly qualified staff at lower salaries with “cultural similarities” what’s not to like…
In general, managing teams isn’t easy…
When you add on the complexities that come with remote teams, who often never meet and have different cultural contexts, it takes it all to another level.
The thing about it is that it’s usually not obvious.
We may be speaking the same language and yet, depending on the culture, the words can have very different meanings.
Years ago, I was traveling through South America and at times it felt a bit like maneuvering through minefields. A word that was harmless in one country, took on a very different meaning across borders…I was a source of endless entertainment.
Often more challenging are the less visible cultural values and their implications for interactions.
Staying with Brazil, researchers have found the culture to be far more hierarchical than the US.
For businesses, this translates to a greater emphasis on status, along with an expectation that the boss will take complete responsibility.
It can also impact the likelihood of people speaking up, which has its own implications.
Brazil also tends to be significantly more collectivistic or group-oriented than their U.S. counterparts, which influences the team dynamics. They, like other collectivistic societies, place greater emphasis on developing trustworthy and long-lasting relationships.
It also increases the importance of people getting to know one another before doing business.
So what does it all mean?
In this increasingly global, remote world we require a greater level of awareness and related skillsets so that people, no matter where they are, feel valued, listened to, cared for, consulted, and understood.
Awareness – Your Managerial Superpower
Prior to the pandemic managers and teams missed social and language cues all the time.
But each opportunity to interact provided clues that helped us develop a greater understanding of each other and our idiosyncrasies.
Over time you might notice that Noel wasn’t aloof, just an introvert who felt uncomfortable in meetings, or that Emerson who could seem abrupt, was actually dealing with personal stresses at home.
And yet, even still there are things we miss, even in person, as we go through our days with our own stresses, concerns, and idiosyncrasies.
We often lack the self-awareness required to truly understand others.
It’s not intentional...
And that is the problem.
Self-awareness is about being truly conscious of the way we feel and the impact those feelings can have on our decisions, behavior, and performance.
It’s easy to think we’ve got things under control.
When in fact, we don’t.
In our increasingly remote, multicultural world, self-awareness and intentionality may be the difference between clarity and misunderstandings, belonging and feeling like an outsider…and, from a business perspective, success and failure.
We can’t be aware of the needs of others, particularly people from other cultures on a screen thousands of miles away unless we take the time to understand their perspective…and our own.
TIPS FOR INCREASING YOUR AWARENESS OF OTHERS
1. Make time to get to know the people you work with better, explore their values and beliefs, personality, and topics like what they enjoy and find challenging at work and/or at home.
2. Pay attention to the way others are feeling, particularly their demeanor, body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice.
3. Ask open-ended questions about others’ thoughts, feelings, and perspectives when appropriate.
4. Consult others in your decision-making.
5. Acknowledge and recognize others’ hard work, thoughts, feelings, and perspectives.
RECOMMENDED LISTENS, READS
Americans are stuck in unhealthy pandemic habits. Here's how to reboot
"We know when a shock arises and forces a change in our behavior for an extended period of time, there tend to be carryover effects because we're sticky in our behaviors," says Katy Milkman of the University of Pennsylvania, and author of the book How To Change. In other words, our pandemic habits may be hard to break.
How does stress impact your health?
“the same stress response that evolved to keep you alive becomes maladaptive when chronically activated. Overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones disrupts your body’s natural processes and puts you at increased risk for a slew of health concerns, including obesity, chronic inflammation, disrupted glucose homeostasis, and sleep disorders, to name a few.”
The Lighter Side of Remote Work
Are there any other subjects you want me to cover? Hit “Reply” and tell me!
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Andrea J. Miller
+1 (646) 556-5401 (Whatsapp)
nice post Andrea and speaking of self awareness Quantifying an individual's skills and knowledge has been hard until now. Map and connect your talent data with Gobekli.io