Experiences of cultural difference – whether pleasant or unpleasant - are sometimes unavoidable for an expatriate working in Viet Nam, especially perhaps for Westerners.
A recent workshop organised by a Vietnamese language studies institution, which may be the first of its kind, discussed helpful tips for expatriates and Vietnamese to overcome culture shock in the workplace.
The workshop pointed out several differences in the ways that Westerners and Vietnamese handle time and conflict management.
The workshop was told that besides being unable to meet a deadline or coming to the office late, Vietnamese employees tend to keep silent instead of speaking if a disagreement occurs in order to avoid direct conflict.
This is contrary to the foreign working style, in which speaking up, whether to challenge ideas or show disagreement, is welcomed.
Have you experienced culture shock while working in Viet Nam?
Besides these examples of cultural difference, what are the experiences of cultural difference you have had in Viet Nam?
From your experience, what are the advantages and disadvantages of working with Vietnamese people?
Please reply by email to: email@example.com, or by fax to (84-4) 3 933 2311. Letters can be sent to The Editor, Viet Nam News, 79 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Ha Noi. Replies to next week's questions must be received by Thursday morning, October 17, 2013.