I had my fair share of working with superiors from many different countries due to different job scope and different companies. The common ones are Singaporeans (which is not surprising, given that it is my home country), Malaysians, Indonesians, Indians, Chinese, Israelis, Australians, Americans, and British. I find that different cultures produce a different kind of bosses but of course, this is my observation and my experiences working under them, it might not be applicable to all. There are always nasty bosses and nicest bosses, no matter where they come from.
Typical nice bosses, friendly and usually easy to get along with. Singaporean bosses are somewhere in between Western culture and traditionally conservative. The problem is that while we are able to communicate freely and explore our ideas, any wildly innovative ideas will get pretty much shelved. We don’t have much hierarchy structure enforcement (meaning – we usually address each other by the first name even if it is the CEO) however, there are still underlying (unmentioned) pressure that implies ‘bosses are always right’.
Very friendly bosses too, very similar to Singaporean bosses, given that they are our neighbors. One noticeable trait is that while guidance is given, not much career growth is being planned ahead. They don’t exactly tell you when and how you can aim for the next promotion or what is the next step you can climb the corporate ladder. My experience is that I have to figure it out by myself.
Pretty nice and friendly as colleagues however as a boss, I find that they tend to be easily distracted and short-sighted in terms of goals for the company and for themselves.
They are extremely caring as a boss and someone who will give you a lot of guidance and advices. Their problem is that they tend to pile so much on their shoulder and lost concentration because they spread their attention too widely all around the department. They also tend to jump into situations without clarification or asking for the reasons, wanting to resolve the issue first.
These group, I’m referring them from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. No doubt, they are different countries but hold many similarities in cultures. The managers tend to focus a lot on productivity and are super ambitious. They asked a lot of themselves and from their staff. They strongly believe in hierarchy and tend to promote people based on a number of years served rather than work performance. They view loyalty to the company extremely important.
I love working with them. They are miser and often money pinching but if you have a great idea, no matter how crazy it is as long as it doesn’t cost them too much money, they will support you and your ideas. Their brains are best for picking on innovative ideas, nothing seems to be impossible for them (well, except asking for a pay raise…).
They are very laid back but they are very egotistic as well (at least, the guys) and can be territorial about their space, both office, and career. But when they play, oh boy, can they be competitive! Whether it’s office sports day or just clunking down beer, they give their all. It reflects on them as bosses that they like their department to be always the ones that shine.
Different behaviors reflect which territories they come from but generally, they are nice and friendly, sometimes overly friendly. They tend to like staff who are very vocal, directive and goal oriented. They like being pointed out they are wrong and open to being challenged.
Compared to the Americans, they are more reserved. However, do not make the mistake of their silence for submissiveness. That definitely they are not. When they voice out their opinions, they tend to not beat around the bush and direct to the point. If you have a weak heart and thin skin, you might not take their brashness that well.
As usual, this is my experience, I’m not sure if it reflects correctly on your experience, why not share with us at the comments below?