Developing a Global Mindset in a Global Economy

Developing a Global Mindset in a Global Economy

Globalization of the business scene continues to pose challenges to us every day, especially our ability to communicate and operate effectively across borders and cultures. More organizations now have cross-cultural environments and business leaders must understand the diverse cultural, political, and business customs. 

Every business then needs leaders or even employees who are willing to look past culture and politics to engage people who are unlike them. This is what we call having a Global Mindset. Professionals with global mindset leverage all they know about others and their own culture to respond to situations in the most appropriate and efficient ways. Hence, having a global mindset is now and will always be an essential professional trait. 

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So how does one actually develop and cultivate a global mindset? 

1. Understanding yourself

The very first step you need to take is to understand and analyze your own culture, beliefs, and values. In doing so, you can not only get to know yourself but also see how you compare to other cultures across various aspects like communication habits or perspectives on hierarchy. 

When embarking on a project which requires you to interact with a diverse group of people, this self-awareness will prove useful to the overall productivity and results of the group. Developing a strong self-awareness fosters a non-judgmental perspective on differences, which is critical to developing a global mindset and working with global peers.

2. Be curious and open-minded

We must get curious in order to properly understand anything. Learn about various cultures and individuals. Make a list of all the questions you want to ask. When you have the opportunity, travel, read, and learn about other cultures. Begin to form bonds with people from different countries. Develop new leadership skills and business practices to help you become more globally aware.

To pair with this thirst for curiosity, you would want to be open to trying new things from said cultures. These new things can be food, activities, or even just conversations with a native. Immersing in cross-cultural environments will definitely push you out of your comfort zone, but you will be living and breathing so much more!

3. Learn about the workplace and business expectations of relevant countries and markets

Always remember to research and learn about the people and their environments you are working with. You will need to find out if their workplace culture is any different from yours in terms of their habits, expectations, and best practices. Once you figure out the difference, you will then need to apply those changes to your current work habit to seem a bit more approachable when working with them. For example, you wouldn’t want to schedule a meeting during a prayer time with your UAE peers, or how the Swedish really value their no-work policy during their coffee breaks, etc. 

While you can’t know everything about every culture, you can definitely find a few bits of information from online resources to help you get started. This article by Glassdoor on different workplace habits over the world might help you get the ball rolling

4. Build strong intercultural relationships

To build a global mindset, it’s beneficial to immerse yourself with individuals of various regions of the world, just like how you would when you want to improve in a new language. These connections allow for significant insight into what works and what doesn’t. It’s not a certainty that you’ll be able to make cross-cultural friendships, but the more positive intercultural relationships you have, the more comfortable you’ll be with different work styles, and the less likely you’ll succumb to stereotyping.

5. Develop strategies to adjust and flex your style

What has made you successful in a domestic or local context likely won’t help you reach the same level of success on a global scale, which is why learning to adapt your style is often the hardest part of mastering a global mindset. This step involves expanding your repertoire of business behaviors by learning to behave in ways that may be unusual to you but highly effective when interacting with others.

In any case, one of the benefits of developing strong relationships with colleagues from different cultures is that you can test your approach and ask them for feedback on how your style would be received in their part of the world. Discussing cultural differences with your global colleagues is a great way to build trust and develop personal strategies for success at the same time.

6. Never Stop Learning 

Excellent global leaders value continual learning. Try to make it a habit to learn something new every day, be it reading a book, watching the news, or even traveling and meeting people from other cultures and countries. Free resources are everywhere nowadays, make use of them thoroughly and never stop learning.

7. Learn a New Language 

Learning a new language helps greatly with the development of a global mindset by providing new cultural perspectives and experiences. So not only does learning a new language give your brain a boost, but it can also prepare you for international experiences. 

Furthermore, if you have not picked up English yet, do it! A large percentage of businesses all over the world use English regardless of their countries’ native language. English can be your ticket to more diverse work opportunities and slowly expose you to cross-cultural environments. Especially with the language barrier gone, you will then understand your global peers better and find a common ground to share your unique cultures.

If you are looking for an efficient English language learning tool, take a look at an internationally recognized corporate English training solution, ELSA Speak. Find out how ELSA Speak is able to teach your employees English and make them global leaders with an outstanding global mindset today.

Overall, Leadership and management in international business come with inherent challenges and discomfort. Whether you’re an international executive or a student, developing a Global Mindset will help you thrive in global business and beyond.

Understand that organizational change takes time, and Rome wasn’t built in a single day. Global growth still seems harder than it should be, just follow the few tips above and trust that your company and employees are on the right path to learning what it means to be a truly global company and true global leader.

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