Appreciating Hierarchy in Decision-Making

How to build relationships when working with intercultural teams

We work with different cultural backgrounds, practices, and experiences as organizations grow and expand globally. For example, some leadership styles vary. Some cultures are more egalitarian, while others are more authoritative. If we donʼt respect a team culture, we might put colleagues in an awkward situation, cause unproductive conflict, and create bad outcomes. 

Microlesson Description

In this skill-building microlesson, we illustrate the different styles of leadership, decision-making, and team structures. For example, some cultures have flat consensus-oriented structures. Other cultures have hierarchical structures where team leaders make decisions and inform their teams. While it can sometimes be challenging to work with different cultures, we can be more effective, respectful, and inclusive if we understand their hierarchy and decision-making processes. This lesson is part of the Embracing Interculturalism skill-building series. At the end of the lesson, we provide learners with a downloadable tip sheet to put these practices into action.

Key Concepts

  • Understanding different decision-making processes and leadership styles and how it differs in structure, authority, and formality.
  • How to build relationships when working with intercultural teams and co-workers.
  • When we foster collaboration and trust, we create inclusive, respectful interactions and working relationships.
  • Tips and best practices to uncover how decisions are made.
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