Do you automatically tell everyone everything that's on your mind? Kimberly Wiefling explains the Japanese tradition of omotenashi and how it intersects with political correctness, leadership, and, yes, project management. To help grease the wheels a bit, we've provided several resources that can help diverse teams figure out how to communicate in healthy, productive ways. Also, Chris Hill dives into the art and science of data-driven decision making.
Political Correctness: Social Grease for Your Diverse Project Team
by Kimberly Wiefling
Globalizing Japanese companies hire people from over a dozen different countries, and I often find myself working in the same room with between twenty and fifty people from ten to fifteen different countries. Some are Muslims, many are from outside of Japan, and most of them are not native English speakers. These are incredibly diverse groups of people, and there are endless challenges involved in getting everyone to work together for the greater good. But somehow it all works! Why? Certainly NOT because people openly and honestly share their true feelings about each other. Maybe it's because of the amazing Japanese tradition of omotenashi . . . the Japanese art of selfless hospitality.
After more than a hundred business trips to Japan in the past ten years, I have to say that one of the most striking differences between Japan and the US is the incredible politeness with which people treat each other--and especially how they treat people who are different from them, including a strange character like me.
Applying the Japanese concept of omotenashi can help people feel more at home, and more productive, on your project team.»
Measurement System Analysis
The maturity of an organization can be measured by its ability to use metrics and statistics from its core processes. These statistics can then be used to make tactical and strategic decisions, also known as data-driven decision making. We will explore why the art and science of gathering metrics and statistics is critical, and how variance is the true enemy of the credibility of your information supporting your value proposition.
Chris Hill explains a technique that helps you understand variance in your measurements »
From the Blogs
Powerful Words: I Don't Know
"I don't know" are three words that most people dread saying. The need to know the answer has followed us from school into the working world. I have seen colleagues twist themselves into a pretzel inventing an answer. In my experience, admitting you donât know is often the best option.
Keeping Tabs on Project Information
Running a diverse team without making everyone crazy takes communication, consideration, and a conscious effort to get better at both. These tools can help.
A User's Guide to Working with Me – MEMBER
Do you know what makes your team tick? Could they say the same? This quick chart helps team members communicate their most effective modes of work, including hot buttons, trust-builders, the best ways to raise and resolve conflicts, and more.
Managing Multicultural Teams
We bring differences to the communication process because of our genders and regional or cultural backgrounds. We must be sensitive to these differences in a world of globalization.
Guidelines - Personality Types Impact on Team Interactions – MEMBER
A guideline explaining how an understanding of the "personality types" of your team members can be useful for avoiding conflict and promoting effective collaboration among your team members, who may differ in the way they perceive and organize information, communicate, and make decisions.
Meeting Evaluation Guidelines – MEMBER
If you think your meetings have problems, they probably do. A simple evaluation questionnaire and process helps evaluate meeting effectiveness and suggest goals for improvement. Two formats accommodate formal or informal meeting environments.
Speaking Up – How to Make Your Case – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until March 23, 2017
Speaking up is a key leadership skill, whether or not you're officially the team leader. This guideline can help you make your case more effectively when you see ways your team could improve the project or work together better.
Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing
Want your team members to have their own access to templates and how-to resources for their project work? Need to share documents and deliverables beyond your project team? We make it easier with affordable corporate subscriptions and licensing. Detailed information regarding corporate options is available online. Give your whole team, or even the entire organization, cost-effective access to our comprehensive online library of resources. You already know how helpful it's been for you. Now it's time to share with everyone else. Find out more »
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