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Global team? Have you considered a cultural liaison?


If you have a geographically dispersed team, you might need to consider the role of “cultural liaison”, which is a role as diplomatic as it sounds, but [hopefully] without the politics.

The cultural liaison is someone who is familiar with the cultures and languages involved in your teams, who is a good communicator, and can help the rest of the team manage the communications challenges any global team faces. Usually an expatriate, repatriate, or a well-traveled individual with broader global perspectives is a good fit for the role.

The liaison’s role is to facilitate the cultural, linguistic, and organizational flow of communication, bridge cultures, mediate conflicts, and resolve cultural miscommunications. The goal is to reduce national and organizational culture distances, and to overcome socio-cultural tensions within projects.

The cultural liaison should be the person identified as best suited for the role, and not necessarily a team leader or a person in a position of power.

Responsibilities:

  • Translate polices and practices into local languages and/or cultural context.

  • Institute training programs geared towards promoting the benefits of cultural diversity.

  • Make sure project leader(s) are made aware of cultural differences between sites, possible conflicts and possible cultural miscommunications.

  • Encourage inter-organizational communications and socializing.

  • Facilitate communication of company’s values and vision.

  • Make sure documents and communications use English as the common language.

Maybe you already have someone doing part of the job, just without the official title. You know, sometimes you don’t find people for these roles... they find you.

Want to know more? Let's talk!


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