Managerial Skills

Yulkl, Wall, and Leipsinger (cited in Chang and Tharenou, n.d, p. 5) proposed a list of 11 categories of managerial practices that are relevant for successful job performance. The 11 categories have been developed from the result of prior studies into managerial functions. The categories are planning and organising, problem solving, monitoring, networking, informing, clarifying, motivating and inspiring, conflict management and team building, supporting and developing, consulting and delegating, and recognising and rewarding. All these categories are relevant for a manager of a multicultural workforce. It is clear from the different researches that tolerance for ambiguity, cultural empathy, cognitive complexity management of stereotypes and generic managerial skills are basic components of competence in managing a multicultural workforce.

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Concluding, the skills which a manager should have include a basic understanding, not the whole knowledge, about different cultures. In addition, getting pleasure from studying and dealing with different cultures will facilitate the manager’s job. Behaviour is determined most of the time by culture, personality and religion, therefore the manager must have the ability to distinguish these factors. Each staff member may be a different individual from another culture, so the manager must be aware of that. Finally, the manager has to put all the skills for interactions across cultures together and he/she will be able to treat each one as an individual.

The respond of his/her treatment will be given in action to his/her behave as a manager of a multicultural workforce. Learning as education is an enormous industry that seems to have a large potential. Not only for students is it important to learn every day. Companies need to have manager with a wide and strong knowledge. Especially multicultural managers have to learn a lot about their multicultural workforce.

Nowadays shows that teaming is an important aspect of being a good manager of a multicultural workforce as well. One of the most important factors of teaming is the manager’s ability to adapt what he has learned about relevant skills or knowledge to manage different cultures at the same time. Part of the learning/teaming process is also that curiosity and willingness to learn are important as well. Be interested in the workers, their cultures, and stories about themselves and their family, celebrations that they take part or how they used to do things etc.

The idea of learning and the idea of change are normally linked to each other. When something is learned and understood normally human change their normal habitual. To complete all the skills for a multicultural manager he/she needs still to learn about the different cultures. Yes it is the different what make it different from each culture. To understand what is the different from the current knowledge, the manager has to have an open mind.

Open-mindedness is an essential factor for the manager, new perspectives, knowledge and skills are vital to develop the competences. For a multicultural manger it is a changing process, the environment is completely different even if he/she is working in his/her home country. Inside the organisation the manager needs to adopt his/her changes and learn about it, how to handle, how to treat and behave in this new environment.

A learning culture can nourish through different ways; it can encourage managers and workforce to identify their own learning needs. Providing a regular check or performance and learning for the individual. The manager can encourage individuals to set challenging learning goals for themselves. It provides new experiences from which individuals can learn. It should be for the manager a challenge to change some traditional ways of doing things. Another link can be created here: culture and learning as culture must be learnt and understood.


Nearly all researches have proved that open communication and mutual respect are vital to develop trust and ensure the success for a multicultural company. Therefore, among all the factors what a multicultural manager need to know that he can manage successfully his/her workforce, the communication is still one of the most important points. A company with international employees must provide multilingual managers.

After all research it is still the main factor that communication for multicultural oriented companies begins with knowing other languages. Furthermore it would be a great competence if the multicultural manager could recognize the idiomatic interpretations, which are quite different from those found in a dictionary. Words spoken by a language my not have the same meaning in another language. This can give big misunderstandings between manager and workforce (please refer to Appendix 3).

The various aspects of communication are also important in managing a multicultural workforce, primary it is listening. Wills & Barham study (cited in Chang and Tharenou, nd, p. 10) shows that listening actively is vital for managing a multicultural workforce. The manager should listen to his/her employees what they have to say about their work practices, their own cultural practices and their view on diverse matter. Another part of communication is that the manager is considered as a person of easy access, what mean that the employee can go anytime to the manager’s office and speak to him.

As mentioned above, listening may be an essential aspect for communication. But after more research it was clear that there are more categories than listening. For instance clear expression and clarifying are important as well. Especially for the multicultural manager it is important how the information is exchanged. As example some cultures have a direct way to communicate they value open behaviour and resolution of stress and conflict. The manager has to know that this type of cultures need a straight feedback either positive or negative but they see that as constructive and important. It is also considered as a sign of honesty and trustworthiness.

On the other hand the indirect cultures communicate in a softer way than the direct cultures. If the manager is from a direct culture it is necessary that he/she can change its attitude while communicating with somebody from an indirect culture. As this workers are more on conflict avoidance oriented. He should avoid giving the impression of disrespect or causing tension or conflict. The manager should be also aware about the expressive cultures. Emotions are key components of the communication process. The voice may be raised in anger or joy, body language is likely to demonstrate and touching or hugging may be acceptable.

Those cultures are another type which the manager should be attentive and accept the other type of communication. In the case of the multicultural manager’s skills about communication competences it should not be a problem for him to differentiate a formal from an informal culture. Etiquette and protocol are not for everybody the same. But adapting to another culture should not be a big problem, it is only a question of the open mind and how the manager communicates this to his international workforce. In all the different researches done on communication we see that it is a main point for the manager to understand different cultures behaviour and the way they communicate. It is not only the language what makes a difference also the way the talk to each other and expressions.


Competences in managing a multicultural workforce show that some of the competences are essential for a manager to lead a multicultural team. It is important for the manager to recognise that some basic skills about another culture are necessary to know. This project suggest a competences framework for the multicultural manager which of the competences are skills, characteristics and cognitive factors which may have an impact on the success of the manager in the multicultural work environment. The research work shows also how important it is for the manager to learn about the cultures, what and how he can learn or how the employees can learn from the manager or themselves.

Furthermore it helps the manager to know how to communicate with the workforce, that cultures have different ways of communication is in general very important but not only to know the language also that the manager should listen to his/her employees. Open mind, open door are always welcome for managing a multicultural workforce. It depend all the manager’s competence, if the company is successful or not.