First Published - March 9, 2019. Updated August 24, 2019
The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a diverse industry that it's normal to work with or for foreign nationals. It's typical to work with Americans, Indians, Australians and other nationalities in this line of work.
BPO companies are typically global companies that have branches all over the world so it's inevitable that you will work with a foreign national or work for them.
So in the past 12 years, I have been working for foreign national bosses and I've actually come to appreciate it. In fact I've embraced it by now and would like to share a few things to help you work better with your foreigner boss,
These Career Tips have worked wonders for me and got recognized multiple times for my work ethic, dedication and leadership.
Here are my 6 Career Advice on How to Work Better with your Boss.
1. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
Sometimes Filipinos tend to say "Yes" when they mean "No" for fear of verbal lashing or just to please. This does not sit well with a foreigner boss. They are not going to pick up on these nuances like a Filipino boss would.
So be straight and confident with your responses.
What I've learned is that they appreciate it when you are up front with your thoughts. It helps them understand your point if view and truly understand how to genuinely help you.
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2. Always do extra.
I know this may be applicable for Filipino bosses too but I've learned that if you do much more than the expectation, they will rave about you and become big advocates.
They already know that coming here in the Philippines means that they will get quality work. Wow them more with your skills and do much more than expected.
Look for ways do more especially if it won't take you so much time anyway.
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3. Learn to move on quickly.
Sometimes your boss may be upset with you and then after a few hours, invite you for drinks after office as if nothing happened.
When this happens, move on and join him for a few drinks.
Or maybe you were just in a close door meeting about all your identified opportunities where your boss is visibly upset and then a few minutes after, cracks a joke like nothing happened.
When this happens, move on and join in on the joke.
No, your boss is not bipolar. They just move on quickly.
And you should too.
Try not to obsess on why your boss is upset. Learn from it and do better.
Move on. Don't hold grudges. Believe me it will do wonders for you and your well being.
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4. There is a difference between yelling at each other vs. arguing professionally. Learn to know the difference.
As professionals there will always be differences in opinion. And this probably happens a lot more when you have a foreigner boss not by design but because " Lost in Translation" is very real.
These differences in opinion sometimes gets too heated and may become a yelling match. And when you feel like it's turning into a yelling match then stop.
What I've learned is that foreigner bosses tend to raise their tone to drive their point across. They are not upset. Just expressing themselves.
They are not upset with you. Most of the time they are upset with the situation.
Try your best to argue professionally. Set aside emotions and convey your points calmly. Believe me the more calm you are, the more focused you will be and you'll come out stronger from that argument.
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5. Always validate and re-calibrate expectations.
With a very dynamic environment, most of the time goals are moving targets. Do not assume that there is always time to properly communicate the change.
This is why it's important to be proactive in asking your foreigner boss on updated expectations.
I guess this also applies to Filipino bosses but I have observed that foreigner bosses tend to assume that you can keep up with the pace so they do not oftentimes see the need to re-calibrate expectations.
But to make sure you are able to manage your bosses expectations, it is best that you proactively validate. This will spare both of you the headache of the blame game after a few weeks of assumptions.
6. Be assertive!
I have been in several situations in the past where I felt that keeping quiet was best but it has massively bombed on me because I chose not to assert myself.
With a foreigner boss, this is a crucial skill you would have to learn. As a culture we tend to be non-confrontational in nature and being assertive definitely means it has its fair share of confrontations that we need to face. This gets so uncomfortable to so many people that they literally go around in circles just to avoid confrontation.
Don't be this person. Be better.
Do not be shy. This is a life skill that you definitely need to practice and believe me, a foreigner boss will help you with this skill in more ways than you can imagine.
So you go girl! Assert yourself and drive your point across without any apology. You have a seat in the table. Might as well take advantage of it.
So those are my 6 Genuine Tips on How to Work Better with your Foreigner Boss. All coming from experience!
Remember that working in the BPO means that you are exposed to different cultures and that diversity is normal.
Make the most of this experience and it will help you become a versatile BPO professional and will take your career to the next level.
P.S. Got Foreigner Boss stories to share? Send them over at [email protected]. I will pick the best ones and feature them in my next post.
About Daisy Casio
Daisy is the creator of ChampLeaders. She has a husband, a toddler, a passion for travel and love for learning something new everyday. She writes about leadership, motivation, career advice, productivity and many more. Daisy hopes to share her mantra on being positive and living your best self in the now.