Working with Malaysians


Cultural Intelligence – The Cure to Stereotyping

“I prefer hiring candidates from ethnicity A because those from ethnicity B are generally lazy and unproductive.” “Ladies do not make good bosses because they’re typically mean, controlling and moody all the time.” “Oh no, I’ve got a Millennial on my project team. These Millennials always feel they are so […]


When Is Conflict not a Conflict?

When you notice two people speaking very loudly and gesturing animatedly, would you assume they are arguing or just having a normal conversation? Or when someone comments negatively on the work you produce, does that affect you emotionally as a person? Do you welcome disagreements or challenges to your idea […]


Dealing with Conflict Across Cultures

During a regional management meeting several years ago, Donald (an Australian manager working in Singapore) delivered his progress update and unashamedly claimed full credit for the data gathering and completion of a particular project. The irony was that the actual contributors (Malaysians and Singaporeans) to the project of whom he […]


Leveraging Our Treasured Malaysian Cultural Values to Elevate Customer Service Standards

After a month of waiting, my car is finally back in commission following a replacement of a defective automotive part. My customer service experience was fraught with long waiting periods, lack of progress updates, unanswered calls and the general we-can’t-help-you-much-and-you-will-just-have-to-wait attitude. Even though my car was finally ready for collection, […]


Are You Known for Responding in a Timely Manner?

Ronald requires a third-party reviewer to provide feedback on his recent evaluation report for a construction project. He sent the documents via email to his peer, Thomas, two weeks ago but has not received a response. He decides to send a reminder email to Thomas. When Ronald returns to the […]


3 Keys to Developing Critical Thinking for Malaysians – From Local to Global

Let us imagine that you work as a senior finance personnel in the Kuala Lumpur branch of a multinational pharmaceutical organization. Recently, a decision was made to standardize your finance processes across all regions so as to create a One Finance Team rather than individual silos that operate with varying […]


“It’s Not Part of My Job Description” – Working with Malaysians

Brian, a British expat living in Malaysia, receives an early morning email and walks over to one of his subordinates. Brian:        Zul, Nadia is on leave but one of her clients has just called up and requested for some information about their account. Can you help to […]


Differing Concepts of How to Show Respect When Working in Malaysia

Martha:         “Everyone, I’m throwing a birthday party for my daughter this Saturday at my house. Would you be able to come and join the celebration?” Wai Ling:      “I might have something to do on that day. If I can, I’ll try to make it.” Martha:  […]


Want to Get the Best Out of Your Malaysian Team? Try This!

“Thanks for the wonderfully written report, Mark! Your summary of the project gave us a really good insight about its progress and what we can expect in the coming months.” “Lina, great job with your presentation this morning! You got all your facts right and you delivered with such poise […]


Successful Change Management – The Malaysian Way

Several years ago, the multinational company I was working for went through a merger which resulted in significant organizational changes. The new company direction favoured a more web based approach to training, so half of the total number of trainers were at risk of unemployment. As the last employee to […]