Part of establishing good relations with your Australian boss or clients is familiarizing yourself with Australian business etiquette and culture. From knowing the various Australian gestures and greetings to the things your clients find offensive, doing so helps you communicate better with them and avoid offending them through misunderstandings.
It helps if you have some sort of guide to help you better interact and give an excellent impression to your boss or client. Fortunately for you, this article’s just that.
Expect Your Clients to Be Informal and Casual With You.
Unlike in Philippine offices where everyone is addressed as sir/ma’am/mamsir, Australians aren’t fond of that. It may initially feel strange and awkward when they request you call them by their first name. But that’s because they want a casual and warm work relationship with you.
Also, expect your boss or client to throw a lot of banter and jokes with you, some of which may rub you the wrong way. But just like their request to refer to them by their first name, they ask this to make the work environment more cordial and comfortable. That said, if you’re uncomfortable with the jokes and banter, don’t hesitate to tell it to them to avoid future issues.
Keep It Direct, Short, and Sweet.
Whether it’s business or personal matters, Australians like things direct. On the other hand, we Filipinos use plenty of filler words in conversations, and often aren’t confrontational. We see this behavior as a sign of insecurity and a lack of confidence. If it helps, keeping sticky notes during your video calls or emails can help you get straight to your point.
This preference for being direct stems from the value Australians place with being honest. If you have a suggestion to improve your boss’ or client’s idea, or their instructions are unclear, tell it to them immediately. Based on the experiences of one of my co-writers, they wouldn’t judge you for being honest. Instead, they’ll try to understand your point of view and help you out.
However, this doesn’t mean being unapologetically blunt. Having a little bit of eloquence is still expected when passing on constructive criticism.
One trait highly valued by Australians, and everyone else, is punctuality. Even though meetings are now online and informal, this does not mean you can be tardy on them. In the business world, being late for meetings tells your boss you don’t respect their time, making you unreliable and unprofessional.
To avoid this, schedule your meetings on Google Calendar. This is so it’s not only you who will get notified, but also your boss or client. Be sure to also clarify whether your scheduled meeting will be in Australian or Philippine time. Doing so ensures everyone has ample time to prepare for the meeting.
Familiarize Yourself With Australian Slang.
Knowing your way around Australian slang words will help you figure out Australian business etiquette. How do you expect to communicate well with your boss or client if you don’t know what they’re saying?
This was the case for one of my co-writers who was just started working with their boss. Once, their boss cracked a joke and waited for her reaction. Unfortunately, they didn’t understand what their boss meant and remained silent.
Remember, Australian English is very different from the American version. It has terms that have a very different meaning from the English we’re used to. An example of this is the slang barrack. For Australians, it means cheering or showing support for someone or something. Not the place where soldiers stay.
Australians Appreciate Modesty.
Australians like modest people. That’s why whenever you discuss your work with your boss or client, don’t overstate your efforts. Instead, be honest and highlight both your ups and downs to them.
Because of this, it’s no surprise your Australian boss or client will do the same by cracking self-deprecating jokes or downplay their achievements every now and then. However, do be careful not to overdo your banter with them. As they’re still your boss and client, after all.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions.
One of the habits Filipinos working traditional or online jobs need to unlearn is not asking questions. Not doing so makes it difficult for you to do your job well. Besides, Australian bosses and clients enjoy being asked questions. Doing so shows you’re interested in what theyre discussing; and you’re committed to getting your job done right.
However, be sure the questions you’re asking are intelligent and relevant to the topic. Your boss or client will find it annoying if you ask questions that don’t connect to or are unrelated to the current topic.
Best to Familiarize Yourself With Australian Business Etiquette Before Getting a Client From There.
Establishing a good relationship with your boss isn’t always easy. Especially if they live thousands of kilometers away and have a different work culture than yours. But not to worry, as long as you stick to this guide regarding the business etiquette in Australia, you’ll be alright.