Work Effectively with US Americans on Remote, Offshore Teams

Categories: IT, Mid-Level, Foundational, Cross-Cultural, Elevate Offshore Teams

Course Summary

This is a foundational course for those new to working with US Americans from offshore. As of April 2022, this course is available only in live, online facilitator-led format via Zoom. Contact us - info@authenticjourneys.info - to sign up your team.


Goal of the Course
This series of interactive, hands-on sessions will provide practical, ready-to-use skills to create more understanding and a better working culture between Indian team members and U.S. based counterparts.  We help you build rapport and good working relationships with North American counterparts while working remotely.

Delivered by: Ms. Jennifer Kumar

Program Objectives

  1. Identify key cultural gaps (United States and India) along with ways to bridge the gap and learn to code switch
  2. Learn, practice, apply, fine leadership skills, meeting management, and team-building to effectively work remotely between cultures
  3. Team collaboration, time management and team building skills (from in and in-between session commitment)
  4. Learn how to be assertive, yet collaborative in challenging conversations 

Time Commitment

  1. 1 to 1.5 hours set aside each week for in person sessions on Zoom
  2. 30 to 90 minutes between sessions for group work and application of skills
  3. Best suited for teams in India working US business hours, however, depending on spring forward or fall back, we'd meet 1 hour a week either IST evenings (spring and summer) or IST mornings (fall and winter)

Overview of Course Content

American Work Values & Business Communication Essentials  
In this module, we will explore five business values in American business situations. Participants will learn how to recognize and navigate these values in a culturally understandable way to an American. Tips on using American English to communicate these concepts will be practiced and analyzed.  

American Work Values & Business Communication Essentials

Throughout this course, participants will learn how to recognize and navigate the values listed below in a culturally understandable way to an American. Tips on using American English to communicate these concepts will be practiced and analyzed.  

American Work Values - Time Management

  • How Americans view time.
  • What does it mean to be late? How to handle lateness. 
  • Tips on setting deadlines for projects that Americans can appreciate.  

American Work Values - Asking Questions & Pleasantries

  • Questions as conversation breakers 
  • Types of questions 
  • Using questions to gather requirements  

American Work Values - Process Management

  • How Americans view task management.
  • How to communicate the gap between the cultures in an effective way.  
  • How to organize messages and agendas effectively for preciseness and conciseness  
  • Overpromise / under deliver vs. Under promise / over deliver  

American Work Values - Conflict Management

  • How to handle delicate situations with Americans (bring your examples) 
  • Saying yes, no and partial agreements with clarity 
  • How to use time and process your advantage to negotiate deadlines. 
  • How to understand the business case behind the negotiation for leverage 

Learning to Drive Meetings with US Americans

Participants learn skills to drive meetings with US Americans, providing outstanding client facing skills along with customer service skills that will improve client engagement.

  • Sending invites/Proper ways to request meetings 
  • How to decline meeting invites 
  • Writing crisp agendas (If teams already have a preferred agenda and/or meeting minutes format, provide a copy to the trainer.) 
  • Importance of preparation in advance 
  • How to manage time during meetings  
  • Importance of driving the meeting, how to drive the meeting, how to assure the client is not driving the meeting  
  • How to go above and beyond. Not waiting for the client to provide ideas. 
  • Effective communication in virtual environments (listening skills, phone skills, group discussion skills)  
  • Moving from small talk to business talk (opening the meeting) and moving from business talk to small talk (closing the meeting)  
  • How to follow up after a meeting (notes, updates on critical elements from the meeting, other) 
  • Group discussion skills (full participation) 
  • Team members will be able to provide a better client experience by understanding the motivations and desires of Americans and tailoring their approach to meet business outcomes

Customizations

  • Facilitator can listen into client meetings or recordings of client calls to assess how the meeting is being driven by your team and how to improve this process. 
  • Addition of cross-cultural assessment and team communication assessment tool. 

Note: This outline is quite ambitious. An 8 hour program for a majority of professionals provides a high level orientation or refresher to these skills. We can make the program longer or add 1:1 coaching elements for specific participants.

Course Curriculum

Session #

Topic

Group work between sessions

In-session time

Elapsed Time (in hours)

1 -Kickoff

Participants will be introduced to the course, expectations, and delivery method. Cultural Assessment Tool Overview.

n/a

1

1

Prework

Cultural Assessment Tool
Individuals will set up calendar invites for training program to learn meeting management skills

1.5

n/a

2.5

2

Group Presentations on Cultural Assessment Tool

n/a

1

3.5

3

Cultural Value: Learning to Drive Meetings with US Americans
Calendar invite debrief, Importance of meeting structure, Group discussion skills, speaking up, sharing updates 

n/a

1

4.5

Prework

Groups will create a 5 minute meeting role play using group discussion skills

1

n/a

5.5

4

Meeting Role Play Debrief Introduction to Cultural Value: Time Management 

n/a

1

6.5

5

Cultural Value: Time Management Cultural Value: Process Management How cultures see time differently, Importance of time in building relationships with US Americans, how to negotiate timelines, deadliness (introduction) 

n/a

1

7.5

Prework

Question Building Workshop

n/a

1

8.5

6

Cultural Values: Asking Questions & Pleasantries Debrief on the question building activity and application to meetings with US clients

1

n/a

9.5

Prework

Groups will brainstorm all areas they would need to push back for samples/case studies

30 minutes

n/a

10

7

Cultural Value: Conflict Management How to push back on deadlines, timelines, requirement requests, and other daily requests using all the strategies discussed so far 

n/a

1

11

Prework

Role Play Practice

1

n/a

12

8

Groups deliver role plays and get feedback

n/a

1

13

Prework

Groups meet to discuss application/program feedback (optional)

1

n/a

14

9

Final Session – Groups give feedback as discussed from their group

n/a

1

15

Takeaways and Insights from this Program

We have delivered live iterations of this program onsite in India and virtually to several thousand professionals in over 40 companies since 2011.

...More Inspiring Outcomes...

"I learned how we can better communicate bad news to the customer. With proper planning, brainstorming, mitigation plans and questions. This can be done without spoiling the relation with the client."

“I learned to ask questions without hurting or offending others in a respectful way.”

“Now I really understand what is meant by being ‘proactive.’”

“Reporting solutions is more important than reporting problems.”

“I know what to say instead of “I don’t know.”

Get to know a little about your facilitator

Jennifer Kumar

Hello everyone, I am Jennifer Kumar. I have over a decade of experience coaching US client-facing professionals in India who manage teams and projects in virtual environments. I understand some of the cultural missteps that professionals like you may encounter, as I have also lived and worked in India for over 10 years (I was born and raised in the USA). In addition to having on-the-ground experience working between cultures, I have a Teaching Certification in ESL from the University of Arizona and a Coaching Certification from the International Coaching Federation.