Working With Americans: A Workshop for Asians

Working With Americans: A Workshop for Asians

Some Asian cultural practices have the potential to create hurdles for capable and ambitious Asians in "global" corporations, the cultures of which tend to be largely or entirely American. To contribute productively and advance their careers, the Asians need to be able to communicate and work effectively with colleagues from the U.S. and Western European backgrounds.


Communicating effectively within the global marketplace requires many Asians to learn a complementary set of skills. Examples include being willing to offer their ideas during meetings, make convincing formal presentations, deal with misunderstandings or disagreements, and give and receive feedback. Of course, these skills are needed when they’re doing business virtually, too.

GROVEWELL’s workshop explores barriers to communication within global virtual teams, and offers strategies, techniques, and skills for building relationships, trust, and productivity. The workshop provides many opportunities for participants to practice behaviors that are familiar to American and Western European businesspeople.

Participants leave with a greater understanding of Western colleagues’ styles of thinking and communicating, as well as how they can utilize their new understanding to improve relationships, increase effectiveness, reduce frustration, and have their ideas heard and considered by Western colleagues. Via focused practice, participants are empowered with specific skills to improve their cross-cultural communication face-to-face, via e-mail, and by means of the telephone as well as teleconferencing platforms.

The Learn More button will bring a swift response from managing partner Cornelius Grove.


  • Challenges of communicating across cultures and time zones
  • Skills for maximizing the effectiveness of communication across cultures
  • Assertiveness skills: Succeeding in difficult conversations with non-Asians
  • Getting your voice heard: Speaking up at meetings and on conference calls
  • Building trusting, productive relationships among members of global virtual teams
  • Succeeding with challenging communications: dealing with mistakes, renegotiating time-lines, sharing bad news, handling disagreements, interacting with difficult people
  • Being persuasive and advancing convincing arguments across cultures
  • Seizing opportunities and advantages presented by virtual communication
  • Practicing global net-etiquette skills when using various media

Our Working with Americans workshop is filled with concrete, specific suggestions and practices for those who seek to be successful when communicating across cultures, especially Asians communicating with Americans. It can benefit…

  • those who interact regularly with foreign colleagues either face-to-face or virtually
  • those likely to be sent abroad for training, short-term assignments, or conferences


Joel Wallach & Gale Metcalf are GROVEWELL associates who have lived and worked in East and Southeast Asia for more than two decades. They have consulted with the U.S. government and more than 100 international companies on issues of preparing Americans and Asians to work effectively with each other and with others across the global workplace. During the 1990s, they co-authored Working with Americans: A Practical Guide to Business Success for Asian Managers, the first book ever to address intercultural business communication from the perspective of Asian businesspeople. Working with Americans was revised in 2008 and republished in Asia. Joel & Gale currently reside in Penang, Malaysia, where they consult regionally on cross-cultural management issues. For a much more extensive joint biography of this husband-wife team, click here.