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Tips & tricks: Cross-cultural meetings

Business woman on a virtual meeting

It’s not easy running a meeting of people from different backgrounds – especially virtually.

We have all been in meetings when a leader asks: “Any questions?” – this is usually followed by the awkward silence, as no-one knows if they should speak first, then chaos as everyone talks.

Here are three tips for driving dialogue:

  • Just like a good radio host, cue participants to respond.
  • Don’t just call for questions. Instead, ask for comments, reflections and builds. In some cultures, questions are seen as too challenging.
  • Split people into small teams for discussion then get each team to voice their points. This stops those from individualistic, competitive cultures taking over.

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