Successfully Working with Singaporean Teams

Module 1: Understanding cultural differences

1. Intercultural awareness, the key to success in international business

  • Taking stock of one's own 'cultural baggage'
  • The basics of effective intercultural management
  • Identifying and going beyond cultural stereotypes

2. Key aspects of Singaporean culture

  • A city state surrounded by powerful neighbours
  • A multiracial population. Extensive Chinese influence
  • Singapore’s British and military heritage
  • A successful economy based on trade and industry

3. The impact of values and behaviour patterns on professional dealings and relationships

  • The importance of Chinese references and values
  • Family traditions, the role of women and children
  • The Singaporean approach to time and space: cyclical and unified
  • Identifying private and public realms
  • Attitudes to groups, hierarchies and authority: a quest for harmony and coherence
  • Attitudes to risk and uncertainty

4. The corporate world in Singapore

  • The main keys to understanding the way Singaporean companies operate
  • Different approaches and working methods.  The notion of quality
  • The market and employment: understanding and dealing with a number of specifically Singaporean factors and challenges

Module 2: Working successfully with Singaporeans

1. Effective communication with Singaporeans

  • Information flows, active listening: understanding the true meanings of Yes and No
  • The value of the written word and the importance of non-verbal communication
  • Identifying connections and relationships
  • Maintaining a necessary distance
  • The role of the interpreter: ensuring that your message gets across

2. Adapting your working methods

  • Local management styles: a well-established sense of hierarchy
  • A concept of responsibility similar to that of the Chinese
  • Anticipating possible obstacles
  • Project management, the team spirit, a sense of service
  • Pitfalls to be avoided

3. Successful meetings and negotiations with Singaporeans

  • The preparatory phase: negotiation is seen as both an art and a sport
  • Identifying decision-makers and power chains/power conflicts
  • Identifying negotiation styles
  • Time, priority and deadline management
  • Understanding written contracts, their interpretation and implications
  • Organizing the post-negotiation phase

4. Final handy tips

  • Caution, patience and humility : allow others to save face
  • Protocol and etiquette
  • Social standards, gifts, business cards, dress code, etc
  • Sensitive subjects: politics, history, religion
  • Humour: a double-edged sword

Successfully Working with Singaporean Teams

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