Creating connection in your global team

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Are you regularly making time and space for connection in your global team? How well are you and your people connecting with each other today?

Building connection through your communication is a real superpower, and can help you create trust, engagement and better relationships with your people, wherever they are based around the world.

Although connection technically is easier than ever, true human connection can be more challenging with hybrid and remote working.

In today’s episode I share how to connect well in your multicultural team.

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Why is it so hard to build connection in the workplace today
  • Connection is more important than ever
  • Your communication superpower: connection
  • Know your people
  • Start with listening
  • The non-verbal communication secrets
  • Conversation skills pro
  • Develop your cultural intelligence muscles

Find out more:


Hello and a very warm welcome back to Cultural Communication Confidence, with me Victoria Rennoldson, and I’m really excited to be back for this solo episode, where I will be talking all about: Connection. Now, this has been part of a series that I’ve been talking about the four pillars of global leader communication, which is a programme that I work with my clients and support my people with. And we have done a deep dive in previous episodes, all around clarity, as well as confidence, and so today, what I would love to do is to share a bit more about the third pillar, which is ‘connection’.

So first of all, why is this so important – why am I talking about connection? Well, I feel, in this current moment in time, connection is more important than ever. In fact, I feel that human connection, real connection, is getting lost so much in the workplace. And why is that? Well, there are many different reasons – of course we have fantastic tools and ways to connect with people productively around the world, so if you’re working in global teams you’re probably using a combination of tools like Teams, or Zoom, collaboration tools like Trello, or Slack, Asana, and any variety of collaboration tools that exist out there. And these things are amazing, they make us incredibly efficient and productive, and can obviously communicate very easily and swiftly between people, and that’s helpful, particularly if you are working globally with people in different time zones, so people can contribute either simultaneously or asynchronously, which means at different times. But the challenge with that, and particularly when people are in addition often working remotely or in hybrid ways, even if they are based in the same location, is that we lose that space and time to connect, to get to know each other.

So there’s little moments, micro moments of finding out more about the people you work, whether that happens in the meeting, so before it starts, at the end of a meeting, or in the old days when people used to be walking out of a meeting room together. These moments are being lost, and of course, that is challenging, because if we don’t know the people that we’re working with, we don’t understand what’s important to them and what motivates them, it can be really hard to connect with people. And these skills are more important than ever, it’s what makes us inherently human. That’s how we build trust in, for example, global teams, when we don’t get that chance to see each other that regularly. It’s how you enable great collaboration. It helps when you want to influence and engage different people in your organisation, or even outside, whether you need to do that with peers, people at the same level as you, or whether you’re managing upwards and influencing towards decision making, or influencing outwards with partners and customers.

So there are many great reasons why this is important, and I think we all agree that connection is a good thing, but the real question is, is how do we do this well? Well, for me, when you get it right, connection is your communication superpower, and genuinely it is. When the connection is there, that means people are motivated to listen to you, they’re motivated and inspired to take action, and they are willing to do things that are difficult and challenging, because they have that connection with you. And that’s incredibly important, no matter what your particular specialism is, what area of your career, and what stage in your career you’re at, we all need connection to be able to collaborate well and deliver our goals and our objectives. So let’s come to this idea of our communication superpower – connection.

How do we do this well? Well for me, as it so often does in the world of communication, it starts with people. How well do you know your people, that you’re working with, whether that’s internally or externally? How well do you know what’s really going on inside their head, beyond the work-life, but also, inside work, how they feel about the projects you need to deliver? How much time are you spending with them, to understand their motivations and drivers, and the real questions that they have? Are you thinking about how to map the different people you need to influence, perhaps even thinking about how you communicate differently with those groups? So it starts with people. So critical in your connection.

From there, I want you to listen more. So much of when I have conversations with people about communication, people often are thinking that it’s about what we’re saying, so making sure that we say the right things, and we have that message clearly packaged, and told in that right way. And that is important, and yet, we also need to listen, because communication is a two-way process, there is listening and there is speaking. So the more that you listen, the better you will understand people – people feel connected to you when you listen to them well, and I think this is incredibly important, in our very busy, productive, efficient worlds that we work in, we often don’t have that space and time to listen, so create it. It requires you to intentionally create more time, so that you can truly understand what’s going on with somebody else, and that also means that you need to make sure that you are focused in the moment, on listening, rather than getting distracted by other things coming in. So: people; more listening.

Now, the third area is about how you connect with people through non-verbal communication. I really believe that people often don’t pay enough attention to what’s going on with their bodies and how they can use this to engage and connect with other people. That includes what you’re doing with your eyes, what you’re doing with your facial expressions, how you use your hands to underline and emphasise what you’re saying, but also, it even includes elements such as, what you choose to wear – that communicates something and can help you connect with people. That’s very relevant, particularly when you think across different cultures. Even the way that you sit or stand, has an influence on how you’re connecting with the people that you’re speaking with. So really pay much more close attention to this.

Now the next area that I want you to consider, is conversational skills. Some people would argue you that this is becoming a lost art, that particularly in the workplace, again just like listening, we’re not creating enough time and space to have good conversations And yet there are so many benefits when we do have great conversations with people. What that looks like in the workplace, is that it gives a better sense of social well-being. It improves individual and team morale, because people feel like you care about them, that you know what’s going on in their lives at work and outside work, and people feel connected to each other, through great conversation. So what does that look like? Well again, it’s about making the space and time. I mentioned right at the start, that we often now have very productive meeting agendas, where we don’t create enough time for the social interaction. And that’s tricky, I understand, in the online space. However, you may need to intentionally create separate conversations, either one-to-one or in groups, where you have the pure intention of creating connection and conversation.

So I want you to become a conversation skills pro! I want you to bring little moments of joy and connection to people every day, so that they feel like you care about what’s important to them, and that you know what’s going on in their lives. If you get this right, then you will absolutely see a huge boost to your connection. This is about the micro moments of connection, that should be happening every single day. And then, the final area of connection for me, is to develop your cultural intelligence muscles. Everything I’ve shared so far: understanding people; listening; knowing how to connect with your non-verbal communication; building great conversations; these all will have a cultural angle to them. This means that you need to understand how to adapt your own communication style and behaviours, to connect more closely with the people that you’re working with. What works with one person may not work with another. For some people they’re incredibly motivated by sharing lots about their personal lives and that’s how they feel like you are connected and building trust. For others, they don’t feel so comfortable talking about personal things, particularly within work time, however, get them outside in more informal environments, whether those are social settings like restaurants, or if drinks are involved, in a bar or a pub, but this is where they feel more comfortable to share more about what they’re thinking really, and their personal lives. This is cultural, so you have to understand, with the people you’re working with, what their preferences are, and adapt yourself accordingly. This is the power of cultural intelligence, and I’ve spoken lots about this topic in the past, so I’ll put a link to a useful episode you can get an introduction to this, if this is a new concept for you.

But the opportunity here is, is to adapt our behaviours, to adapt our communication style, and also, the invitation is to be able to interpret and decode what people prefer to do, and I think that is incredibly powerful, when we get this right, we can connect even more deeply with the people that we work with, because they understand we get it, we understand them, we get them. So, there we go, some key thoughts about how you can build better connection with the people that you work with, in your workplace. And I want to just remind you, this is the third pillar of four pillars in the global leader communication. If you’re interested also to learn more and missed the previous episodes on Clarity and Confidence, I will also put links to these in the show notes below.

So let me ask you: how do you feel you’re doing on connection today? If you were to rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being ‘not at all’, and 10 being ‘incredibly connected’, how are you feeling within your team today? What specific action can you take from the ideas I have shared here, that will make a deep impact in the way that you’re connecting and engaging with the people that you’re working with? Really consider this, and I would love to know, so please feel free to share this with me as well.

Now, if this is a topic that you know you need to go deeper on, and perhaps you do feel that your team is not connected, or even facing challenges and feeling disconnected in the way they’re working across different locations, then I would love to help give you some clarity around this, so why not book a discovery call with me, and I can find out more about your situation, and how I would recommend you apply connection ideas into your team, so that you can start improving straight away. To do that, all you need to do is go to and you can book a discovery call with me there.

Thank you so much for joining me here today, I really do hope you found this episode valuable. If you did, please feel free to share with a colleague, somebody you work with, co-worker or a friend who would also benefit from this episode, and don’t forget to also subscribe, so you continue to receive these episodes. Thank you so much for joining me here today, and I look forward to seeing you next time, on Cultural Communication Confidence.

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Cultural Intelligence certified facilitator
Cultural Intelligence certified facilitator 2
mybrain mind master practitioner
global chamber
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