Strategic management of international assignments benefits both the individual and the organization! While the need for leaders to manage successfully in a culturally diverse world has never been more important, we must understand, an overseas assignment is not for everyone!
Candidates expressing an interest and/or desire to work abroad are much more likely to be successful versus highly skilled candidates who are pressured or directed to accept an overseas assignment. When an employee moves overseas he or she experiences a change in living arrangements as well as his/her work environment. Accompanying family members are likely to experience a change in career and/or educational situations. Coping with these new circumstances requires a commitment of time and energy along with a willingness to tolerate frustration and ambiguity.
Several personal attributes have been identified as contributing to success when working across cultures. Some of these characteristics include: awareness of one’s own values, behaviors, communication styles, conflict styles, and biases. Other attributes include: the ability to respond to new situations with flexibility; having curiosity about the differences encountered; empathy; and the ability to tolerate ambiguity. Having effective communication skills, confidence, a sense of humility and a strong sense of humor are also advantages.
Interview questions and Assessments can help to identify these attributes. It is also important to explore an individual’s exposure to cultural differences, his or her success in working with diverse clients and colleagues, and his or her expectations for the international assignment.
The selection of candidates for overseas assignments is most successful when conducted by those who understand both the rewards and stressors involved in living and working internationally. Tricia and her team at Collaborative Connection have this first-hand knowledge and it serves them well when interviewing and rating candidates.
Profile Aspects Contributing to Cross-Cultural Success