Virtual, cross-cultural

– We are just so frustrated. We can’t hold it anymore. We are fed up, on the verge of giving up. – said the team manager when ETTA consultant enquired about the cooperation. – Perhaps it’s a wrong project, or maybe we are sitting in a wrong company.

– So, what happens specifically? – He was not able to explain in detail. All the small things gathered up to the pile. On the top of it, Polish people were working for a Client from India! In this scenario, they were the service provider to fit the needs and expectations of a Client in India. Cooperating fully virtually, never having met face to face.

We needed to understand what actually was happening in the communication. The trainer analyzed the hottest email threads with all their rapidity, abundance, and crowds of cc’d names. Some patterns became visible. The Polish people needed to know more about building relationships at distance, in a more high-context and relationship-oriented culture than their own. Explaining things like the need to keep in touch by chat to IT engineers in Poland was not easy – but many of them understood. The team was lucky: the manager got the gist of it. The training became the first step to a full year evolution of how the team communicated with their Indian partners – and a slow evolution towards collaborative virtual partnership.

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