Seagulls, chameleons and the art of managing people across cultures

Successful cross-cultural team management calls for adaptation, sometimes in unusual ways like having two lunches.

Seagull managers don’t effectively adjust their working and communication style to align with their teammates while chameleon managers are able to adapt to any working environment. PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS
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Here is the first lesson for managing people across cultures: Don't be a seagull.

Seagulls are those big awkward birds that fly in from out of nowhere, they squawk a lot, and then fly away leaving behind a giant mess. Anyone who has worked for an international organisation has likely encountered a seagull manager.

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