Proponents of distributed, global teams promote the idea that building empathy builds great teams across international borders.
I am all for this, being a cross-cultural trainer. Part of attending a cross-cultural training is building empathy for the other culture’s way of doing business. When we learn about our teammate’s culture or our client’s culture, we can get into their mindset and try to understand why they do what they do. We can also try to understand how our culture and our normal behavior may impact interactions with our associates from another culture.