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Where do you think you belong?
As Drucker (2005) had stated, the number of people who know where they belong from an early stage is quite less. He states that cooks, mathematicians and musicians usually discover their talent when they are very young, while physicians tend to discover their interests at a later age. He further argues that it is the people who are most gifted that have no real idea of where they belong until much later in their lives. By the time they reach that age, they should know the three most important things about themselves: their strengths, their performance, and their values. The answers to these three questions are what would help them understand where they belong, and the same can be said for me as well.
Just as Drucker (2005) has stated, it is possible that I think I know my strengths, but I could be wrong. It is therefore necessary for me to understand my strong points since they are what would help me perform and help me know where I belong. Using the feedback I gain from my peers and colleagues, I can build a plan to concentrate on those strengths and analyse as to where I need improvement. Drucker (2005) also mentions that the way people perform is unique, and thus, my personality traits would help me understand how I do the same. It is important for me to understand whether I am a reader or a listener, and being the latter makes it easier to be receptive to new knowledge as well.
Values are essentially important for managing oneself. These "values" are not just ethics but rather the viewpoints that I harbour regarding people and processes around me.
Thus, after thorough reflection on these points, I can state that when the question of where I belong arises, it would be perhaps sensible to state that I am more of a listener and I have the necessary patience it takes to be open to hearing others out. This would help me make an important contribution, as it not only adds value to my personality, but also strengthens my position in both the corporate and the social spectrum.
What is critical for you to be an outstanding manager in a multicultural environment?
The workplace of today is no longer a closed environment, and much of it can be attributed to globalisation. This diverse nature often lends organisations the much-needed competitive edge but can also be daunting for those in managerial or supervisory positions. This is because it is common to be faced with misalignment, especially when the upper levels of the corporate hierarchy are not prepared or well-versed with what it takes to handle cross-cultural differences. Thus, in order to be an outstanding manager in a multicultural environment, it would be critical for me to adapt my leadership style in such a manner as to be enable me to listen patiently without bias, thereby building an early groundwork in order to bridge the tangible differences between the diverse teams. To make this possible, the Forbes Coach Council (2016) has listed a number of responsibilities, which can be listed as below -
1. It is important for me to realise the fact that one size does not fit all. In other words, it would be very harmful if I assume that my leadership and management approach would be suitable for all the workers. If I am to be an outstanding manager in the given environment, I must learn how to shape my efforts and messages to coax the team members to exhibit their full potential.
2. Developing patience and understanding are the two keys to developing a strong relationship with the employees, especially when they are from multicultural teams. Many people might have weird biases or be prejudiced towards others due to lack of awareness regarding cultures but being understanding and receptive opens up new pathways and reduces the chances of misalignment.
3. In my opinion, embracing the multicultural aspect of the workers is also something that managers must do if they wish to be outstanding in their role. It is absolutely fine to be curious and learn from the employees, and I would also adopt the same steps if I am to ensure that I become successful as a manager.
4. It would also be important for me to find out what motivates each of the workers rather than assuming a standard approach for all. Different employees from different cultures may have different needs and therefore the motivational factors would also not be the same. I must learn how to customise my style of management so that I can address all the cultural differences and keep everyone content and motivated.
5. Finally, I must resist the tendency to lean towards those employees who might be belonging to the same background as me. We as humans have the natural instinct to feel more connected to those who may have the same cultural background as us, and if I do not avoid this, the other employees might feel alienated and left out. Thus, my employees should always be reassured that they are being treated equally and impartially.
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