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How to increase the autonomy of your teams internationally?

How to increase the autonomy of your teams internationally?

Often international leaders complain about their international teams. They regret the lack of autonomy and initiative of employees, the weak culture of constructive feedback or critical thinking, and the preponderance of tasks that are carried out in silos, without cross-functional communication.

However, in every employee, there is an aspiration for autonomy, freedom to take initiatives and feedback. But in some management cultures, this aspiration does not find a way to express itself.

What to do to get out of this situation? How do you have leadership that empowers your teams internationally?

Here are the 5 mistakes not to make and the 5 rules to follow to succeed.

The 5 mistakes not to make

Mistake #1: Believing that you are already doing the maximum

You are certainly a good manager and a good leader in France or in the countries with which you are familiar. Over the years, you have gained the experience necessary to “lead the teams”.

But growing its international and multicultural teams requires deep questioning with each change of position. Believing that you will just have to do as you did before is the most common mistake. Thinking that reading a few books on cross-culturalism will be enough is also a mistake. The reality is that being an inspiring leader internationally requires a complete investment of your person.

Mistake #2: Thinking Your Management Style Will Be Good Enough

Your managerial successes in your previous positions reinforce the confidence you have in your managerial talent and your natural leadership. However, changing countries, even staying in the same group, is like changing planets. You think you speak the same language (often English), but the words do not have the same meaning or the same scope, in your new position and in the one you were in before. Some cultures are very advanced in participatory management while others value highly directive Leaders. With each change of country and/or company, you will have to question your entire management style to enrich it with a new range of postures adapted to your change of situation.

Mistake n°3: Believing that it is enough to listen to your collaborators

You are convinced that you just need to listen to your employees to develop their self-confidence and their autonomy. Yet however much you listen, you are slow to feel the effects of this listening. Indeed, simple listening is necessary, but it is not sufficient. To create trust and develop the autonomy of teams, it is necessary to master certain advanced communication and listening techniques in a multicultural context, such as those used in the so-called “Manager-Coach” posture.

Mistake n°4: Thinking that the position of Manager-Coach is reduced to that of a mentor

You have heard of the benefits of the Manager-Coach posture and you think that this posture is that of a mentor who accompanies the employee by feeding him with his experience and his advice. Nothing is further from the position of Manager-Coach! If it is easy to call yourself a coach – I hear many managers who say that they “coach” their teams very well – it is very difficult to really behave like a real coach. The position of Manager-Coach consists in encouraging the opening of the conscience of the collaborator and to accompany him to overcome his fears, all without giving advice – which has the effect of infantilizing the employee and encouraging him to stay in the comfortable situation of disempowerment — In the end, the position of Manager-Coach is not at all natural!

Mistake n°5: Thinking that support for the manager-coach position is useless

As you have a strong capacity for listening and empathy, you do not think it necessary to be accompanied to develop your Manager-Coach posture. You think your natural ease will be sufficient. In this case, get ready for 10 years of mistakes and failures, before you know how to be an inspiring Manager-Coach. To be more effective and faster in acquiring your new skills, you will need to be accompanied by professional Executive Coaches who have accumulated the interculturality necessary to give you the keys to the position of Manager-Coach abroad.

How to empower yourself to succeed

Rule n°1: Define a strategy and an action plan to develop your position as a Manager-Coach

You must consider the development of your Manager-Coach posture as a challenge in its own right. To do this, you must take the time to build a strategy and then an action plan. Thus, you will have a roadmap, with milestones, allowing you to measure the path taken towards your goal. You will be able to congratulate yourself on each of your progress, and keep your determination to continue your improvement process.

Rule n°2: Multiply the angles of view on the characteristics of this posture

In your country of expatriation, you will certainly find books on communication, negotiation and intercultural management. However, you will gain a lot by supplementing this reading with discussions with foreign leaders who have been established in the country for several years. Their experience will make you discover what is beyond the books, through concrete cases of their experience as leaders.

Rule n°3: Ask for frequent feedback on your management style

No book, no training, or sharing with another leader can replace feedback from your teams. This is why you will need to be proactive in getting genuine feedback and suggestions for improvement on your behavior and communication. Your challenge: to create sufficient trust for your employees to open up to you and agree to give you really constructive feedback on your position as a Manager-Coach!

Rule n°4: Follow Webinars or Masterclasses on the Manager-Coach posture

To introduce you to the fundamentals of the Manager-Coach posture, it will be in your interest to participate in Webinars or online Masterclasses on this topic (see some examples in the appendix to the article). The webinars will give you the useful theoretical framework for your development and that of your teams. The Masterclasses will not only allow you to deepen your theoretical knowledge, but also to train and benefit from feedback from a professional coach, and finally, to form a practice group with other international leaders. , with whom you can have a lasting relationship to discuss your challenges and your progress on this topic.

Rule n°5: Be accompanied by an International Executive Coach

To definitively anchor your position as an international Manager-Coach, you will also have to work on the brakes that are your convictions, your habits and your reflex patterns. For this, support from an International Executive Coach will be very beneficial to you. Such a coach will allow you to free yourself from your own limitations and truly open your field of consciousness to multicultural leadership.

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