Over the years, I have consulted more than a hundred teams of Israelis and Indians working together in all configurations. Israelis with Indian bosses, Indians with Israeli bosses and Indians and Israelis with a German boss.
Whilst India is a huge country and Israelis are a very diverse and individualist lot, there tend to be several common characteristics that I want to share.
- Israelis challenge authority as a way of life; India based managers have a difficult time managing their “overly opinionated ” Israel based employees.
- Indians often request permission from their bosses if they need to overstep their role; their Israeli counterparts view this behaviour as “hiding” behind their bosses.
- Both Indians and Israeli bypass the system and leverage personal connections to get things done; this serves as an excellent platform for solving what seem to be insurmountable problems.
- Indian employees exhibit deference and their Israeli bosses often think that there is agreement on a course of action, when there is no agreement whatsoever.
- Both Israelis and Indians negotiate all the time as a way of life. The better the negotiation skills are, the more mutual respect is garnered. (These negotiation skills can drive US and German managers out of their mind.)
- Both Israelis and Indians work very hard and put in long hours, with constant availability via their mobiles. These similarities build trust.
Consultants who work with Israel Indian teams should focus on clarifying relationship to authority, defining expectations from follower-ship, communication styles under duress, ways to augment transparency and face saving. mechanisms.
On a personal level, I love working with Israeli and Indian teams. Both populations show consultants a lot of appreciation and warmth if the consultant does the work properly.