Working with Malaysians


What is Double-Voiced Discourse and How Does it Affect Us at the Workplace?

Double-voiced discourse is a phrase coined by the Russian philosopher and linguistic theorist named Mikhail Bakhtin. While we may not often speak of this term, some of our everyday actions would fall under its very definition. As opposed to single-voiced discourse (where a topic is expressed in a straightforward way), […]


CQ Self-Assessment Pro – Part 3 Benefits of the Assessment

In this final part of our CQ Self-Assessment Pro series, we will consider the benefits that result from participating in this cultural intelligence assessment. Designed to measure an individual’s capability for working and relating across cultures, the outcome will certainly prove to be useful insight for individuals and corporations looking […]


CQ Self-Assessment Pro – Part 2 The DeBrief

In this second part of our CQ Self-Assessment Pro series, we will discuss the processes involved in debriefing participants after the assessment has been taken. The debriefing session will be conducted by a trained facilitator, whose goal is to help participants fully understand their existing cultural intelligence (CQ) capabilities (drive, […]


The Concept of Saving Face in a Malaysian Cultural Context

As with many Asian countries, Malaysia is known to be a face saving culture. Although the term is not commonly used in everyday conversations among Malaysians, the concept is deeply ingrained in our cultural makeup and affects everything that we do. To save face means to preserve one’s reputation, credibility […]


Small Talk in Malaysia

Ever been stuck in an elevator ride alone with the big boss, nervously wondering if you should engage in small talk or give in to your instinctive desire to whip out your phone and pretend to be busy? Or seated at a friend’s wedding dinner amongst strangers who were as […]


Manglish – A Truly Unique Malaysian Language

As a non-Malaysian, have you ever conversed with a Malaysian in English and found yourself confounded?  You thought you heard some English words used, but couldn’t understand what was being said?  Well, don’t be too quick to dismiss us as uneducated and backward for you have just been exposed to […]


Do Malaysians Like To Be Micromanaged?

Your boss has given you an important project with a set deadline. In the days that follow, would you prefer if your boss touch base with you periodically or would you rather your boss frequently drop by your desk to check on your progress and direct your every move? No […]


The Art of Giving Feedback to Malaysians

The delicate art of giving feedback to Malaysians is one that many expat managers might regularly struggle with. “Should I praise/shame him in public? Do I wait until the annual performance review to give feedback? How do I motivate her to improve in a particular area? Maybe if I just […]


Work-Life Balance: How Late Is a Malaysian Expected to Work?

As a foreigner working in Malaysia, have you found yourself in the situation below? It’s 6pm and you see your colleague get up from his seat. Instead of leaving the office though, he heads toward the pantry to pour himself another cup of coffee and stays on for another hour […]


Honesty-The Malaysian Cultural Perspective

In the workplace, it is essential to have trust. Mutual respect and trust form the foundation for strong workplace relationships. However, in a workplace where employees and employers may come from different backgrounds, cultural differences may be misunderstood and foster distrust. One such cultural difference is that of the way […]