Soft Skills in Cultural Integration

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    Michele Learn

    In what ways can we employ soft skills (ie. character and interpersonal skills) to improve cultural integration?

    Dustin Delewski

    Coaching the project team on compassion, empathy, patience, and mindful leadership would be beneficial. Project managers, leadership, and project leads of the acquiring company tend to be laser focused on the integration tasks and hitting targets and deadlines and disregard the human needs of the team. This may sound new age-y, but I’m a strong proponent of having a gratitude practice and showing recognition. This could be done at the start of a weekly meeting and through thank you notes to team members, especially the incoming team from the acquisition. At the start of a meeting, the meeting lead should take some time to call out what they are grateful for/articulate appreciation regarding the team and their work, and then open the floor to anyone else who wants to share. From a scientific perspective, the integration is shaking up the acquired team’s basic needs of belonging and stability. Some of this can be offset by showing appreciation and making them feel belonged to the new team.

    Gretchen Asher

    Active Listening: Developing strong listening skills is crucial in fostering cultural integration.
    Empathy and Understanding: Cultivating empathy helps in building bridges between people from different cultures.
    Effective Communication: Clear and respectful communication is essential when working towards cultural integration
    Conflict Resolution: Conflict is inevitable when different cultures come together, but having strong conflict resolution skills can help address and reconcile differences in a constructive manner.
    Collaboration and Teamwork: Cultivating a collaborative and inclusive work environment promotes cultural integration.
    Appreciation of Diversity: Embracing and appreciating diversity is essential for cultural integration.

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