During my short career in the IT Consulting world, I had the opportunity to work with people from different countries. And I learned very importing things which I want to share with you via this article.

In this post, I will explain why it’s important to have a good knowledge on the culture and customs of people you’re working with. Then, I will present a work style analysis of people I used to work with.

Why it’s important to have a good knowledge on the culture and customs?

Imagine you are part of an international team project and every day you have to deal with people from different companies and different cultures. To be more accurate, I will speak about my recent personal experience.

Last year, I had the opportunity to be involved in an International Project to build a Global Transparency Solution for a multinational pharmaceutical company. I had to work with teams based on the following countries: Ireland, Switzerland and Belgium.

Over the year, I traveled a lot to join and work with my colleagues, and I quickly noticed that they have different work styles than me. We were not tackling issues in the same way. We were not doing stuff in the same manner.

For example, in case of issues, some colleagues were very direct to tackle the point and others were not.

I was not familiar to work in a such environment. This is why I decided to learn more about people I am working with.

I did some research and analysis on the “Work Style” topic in order to compare my personal work style with the average work styles of people from other countries in order to increase my awareness of potential gaps and develop my skills for effectively bridging this gap.

Cultural Gap Analysis

After I did the analysis, I have learned the following:

  • 75% of people are first focused on building relationship before tasks.
  • 25% of people are first focused on doing tasks before building relationships.

Building Relationship First vs. Building Tasks First

This means that most of the people want to build a trust relationship before starting the business.

After that, I pushed my analysis a bit further in order to get a good picture of my personal work style. To do so, I took a survey which was based on the following parameters:

Independent

  • Egalitarianism
  • Risk
  • Direct
  • Task

Interdependent

  • Status
  • Certainty
  • Indirect
  • Relationship

This survey allowed me to know my personal work style:

My Personal Work Style

The next step of my analysis was to compare my personal work style with average work style of other countries:

My personal work style vs. Tunisian average work style

My personal work style vs. French average work style

My personal work style vs. Irish average work style

My personal work style vs. Swiss average work style

My personal work style vs. Belgium average work style

To summarize, the work style of people differs from country to another. It’s clear now that culture differences have a direct impact on the way we are doing business.

Work Styles Overview

It’s very important to know the work style of people you will work with before start doing the job. Trust me, it will make your job easier and successful.