Leadership

Filipinos & Vietnamese Lead The Way In Global Citizen Collaboration

Clare Anderson
11th August 2021
 < 1 min read

Jemimah, Design Lead

Unfamiliar accents have taken a little time to get used to but this hasn’t hindered our general communication. When the opportunity for me to become the central point of contact between our Filipino and Vietnamese teams and our Australian and US Project Managers came along, I grabbed it with both hands! This is my first job and who wouldn’t want to have their cultural horizons broadened? Working with people from such diverse backgrounds every day has opened my eyes to how much connects, rather than divides, us.

When I realized that the responsibility for training our newly on-boarded Vietnamese colleagues fell on my shoulders, to be honest, I was as nervous as I was excited. I had no experience of interacting or working with other Asian people in the English language. I knew very little about Vietnam, or its people. I guess you could say the same for when I first started working with Australians - but time generally sorts everything out! Much as I’ve needed to learn the nuances of another culture, I have realized that we all have the same goals - to better ourselves, to help and learn from each other and to deliver the best quality design possible for our client. 

My fears were allayed when I realized that not only was everyone 100% willing to learn everything they could, but my team members were ready to step in and help out with conducting demos and meetings for our Vietnam colleagues. Every culture brings something different to the table and this is just another advantage of working in a global village. I have learnt that a lot of Vietnamese people in tech like to be communicated to in a more direct way. They appreciate hearing how it is and like to get to the point very early on in the discussion. I have enjoyed working this way with them.

Ice-breaking pre-call chats around non-work related and personal stuff goes a long way to breaking down barriers and making people feel comfortable. This is important for making sure that people feel able to ask work-related questions if they need to. It also helps to bend my communication style to the type of personality involved - different people require different approaches after all. Both Filipinos and Vietnamese people are super-friendly and thoughtful - often if I’m too busy to check in with them, they will check in with me to see how I am doing. There is always a limit on the extent of personal conversations though - we are interacting in a professional environment after all.  

It might be helpful for Australians and people in other developed countries to understand that both Filipino and Vietnamese people like precise and direct communication on the expected deliverables on any project. We want to be sure that we’re always on the same page as you - so please say it like it is - directly and to the point! Our English language skills are good - we know how to express ourselves - and are really easy to talk to - so please don’t be shy! We’re also happy working on a first name and informal basis (following your lead of course) - and learn to adapt to subtle, developed country cultural differences pretty quickly and easily. 

The world is a small place and we’re more connected than ever - language and cultural differences bring a richness to everyone’s life. Smart people are everywhere and the pandemic has shown us that there’s no need to live within regular commuting distance of an office. I love what a global village the world really is - and the fact that I can facilitate this every day. Each culture has a seat at our table and we’re working together to realise the vision and goals of our global business - it’s the benefit of being a global citizen. 

 

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