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The Culinary Trinity – A common base, for a world of flavors in global teams  


I love training 'Global Teams' as much as I love to cook delicious meals for my kids, although I'm no five-star chef. Yet, even with my basic chopping skills, I'm able to embark on a culinary adventure – one that transcends borders and spices!


How? Because I have mastered The Culinary Trinity


Who taught me this? My Mother and late Grandmother ( She was actually a Le Cordon Bleu chef)


Why? Because these are the basics, that people often get wrong

Imagine the humble trio: celery, carrot, and onion. Not exactly Michelin-star ingredients, right?

Yet, this unassuming trio forms the base of countless dishes across the globe, from steaming French stews to vibrant Indian curries.

Each culture calls them by different names and sometimes adds in other herbs  –

Mirepoix in France

Holy Trinity in Cajun and Creole cuisine

Sofrito in Spain, Latin America, and Greece

Battuto/Soffritto in Italy

Suppengrün in Germany


But their essence remains the same: a symphony of flavors, a foundation for culinary journeys.

Now, picture yourself leading a global team. Each member brings a unique blend of spices and their cultural heritage like fragrant herbs enriching the overall dish.

But just like raw vegetables, these differences can create a confusing stir-fry if not handled right. This, my friends, is where the magic of finding common ground comes in.

The same goes for leaders of global teams. You don't need to be a master of leadership, you do need to master some of the basic rules and skills of connecting different people in your diverse team.

We don't shy away from cultural differences; we embrace them, searching for the celery, carrot, and onion in each other. What are the shared values that bind us? The universal human threads that weave a tapestry of connection?

But how do we translate this metaphor into tangible actionable steps?

Start with "Why Commonalities Matter"? :

  • Shared Foundation: Identifying and nurturing commonalities builds a solid foundation of trust and understanding. This shared ground becomes a safe space for navigating inevitable differences with respect and open-mindedness.

  • Reduced Friction: Commonalities act as bridges, reducing friction caused by cultural misunderstandings. Shared values, goals, and even hobbies create a sense of belonging and mitigate feelings of isolation, fostering better collaboration.

  • Boosting Collaboration: Recognizing and leveraging commonalities unlocks the true potential of a diverse team. Different perspectives enriched by shared goals lead to innovative solutions and improved team performance.

  • Conflict Resolution: Common ground provides a neutral reference point during disagreements. By referring back to shared values and objectives, leaders can guide constructive conflict resolution and maintain team unity.

  • Motivation & Engagement: Highlighting commonalities fosters a sense of shared purpose and belonging. This motivates team members, boosting engagement and overall team morale.

Then move on to "How do we find Commonalities?" :

  • Shared Values: Identify shared values like integrity, excellence, or customer focus. Make them the guiding principles for team decisions and communication.

  • Universal Human Needs: Appeal to basic human needs like respect, belonging, and growth. Create a work environment that caters to these needs regardless of cultural differences.

  • Team Building Activities: Design activities that emphasize collaboration and shared goals, like volunteering or problem-solving challenges, fostering a sense of "we're in this together."

  • Shared Passions: Encourage discussions about hobbies, interests, or even favorite foods. Finding common ground beyond work creates personal connections and builds rapport.

  • Humor (Carefully): Shared laughter can be a powerful tool, but be mindful of cultural sensitivities. Use humor that appeals to a broad audience and avoids stereotypes or insensitive jokes.

Finally, understand "What's my Role as a Leader in using Commonalities to Strengthen my Team"? :

  • Active Discovery: Don't assume commonalities exist. Actively seek them out through open communication, surveys, and team discussions.

  • Amplification: Once identified, highlight and celebrate shared values and experiences to increase their impact on team dynamics.

  • Bridging the Gap: Use commonalities to bridge cultural differences. During disagreements, remind the team of their shared goals and values to promote constructive dialogue.

  • Continuous Learning: Encourage all team members to learn about different cultures represented in the team. This builds empathy and understanding, further strengthening common ground.

Remember, finding commonalities is not about erasing differences. It's about creating a space where diverse cultures can thrive together, united by shared purpose and respect. By effectively utilizing this powerful tool, global team leaders can unlock the full potential of their diverse teams and achieve remarkable results.

So let me wrap this up for you to go:


Spice Up Your Celebrations: Don't just tolerate diversity; celebrate it! Recognize and appreciate the unique spices each culture brings to the table. Encourage cultural sharing, potlucks, or presentations that showcase individual backgrounds.

Simmer Down and Seek Shared Flavors: Building trust and understanding takes time, just like perfectly caramelizing onions. Don't expect instant results. Instead, facilitate open communication, encourage active listening, and create opportunities for team members to bond over shared passions, hobbies, or even just a good cup of coffee.

Don't Forget the Secret Sauce: Every dish has its hidden gem, that special ingredient that elevates it to another level. In the global kitchen, the secret sauce is empathy. Put yourself in your teammates' shoes, try to understand their perspectives, and celebrate your shared humanity.

Humor is the Simmering Spice: Don't underestimate the power of laughter! Shared humor breaks down barriers and builds rapport.

Go Beyond the Recipe: Encourage experimentation. Just like chefs create new dishes by combining familiar ingredients, your team can achieve amazing things by leveraging diverse perspectives and experiences. Remember, creativity thrives in a kitchen that welcomes new recipes.

As a trainer focusing on global teams, I help companies unlock the secret ingredients of both commonalities and differences


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